As the Sequim Farmers Market is wrapping up its season on the plaza, it is just about to start planning for the coming year. For us the end is just the beginning and garlic is much the same. As we near the end of the harvest season, it is time to plant garlic!
It kicks off the planting season, just before a long winter nap.
Garlic is an extraordinary plant. It dates back more than 6,000 years and traces its roots back to central Asia. The ancient Egyptians worshiped it, placing clay models of garlic bulbs in the tomb of Tutankhamen, a.k.a. King Tut.
Ancient medical texts from Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and India each prescribed medical applications for garlic. It has been used to increase strength and productivity in soldiers and slaves as well as a treatment for wounds, parasites, the flu, lung disease, arthritis, cardiovascular ailments, general malaise and protection from insects.
I am sure there are more. It packs a punch!
Research has shown that garlic really is an antimicrobial and is effective against a wide range of both gram positive and negative bacteria.
It has also been shown that it can stimulate and boost the human immune system.
Finally, clinical studies have shown that garlic has the ability to lower total cholesterol, LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” and triglycerides, and increase HDL cholesterol.
So what are you waiting for? Go get some fresh, local, scrumptious, health-inducing garlic! With Halloween right around the corner you can also ensure your safety from vampire attacks by having some on hand.
Potatoes and garlic are wonderful culinary companions. There is an abundance of potatoes at the Sequim Farmers Market right now, and for these last two weeks, as well as garlic.
Here is a recipe that will knock your socks off.
Garlic Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes
2 lbs potatoes (6-7, depending on size)
10 large garlic cloves (peeled)
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch slices. Peel garlic and add potatoes and garlic to a large pot and cover with water.
Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Drain the potatoes and garlic and add them back to the pot.
Add in the butter, cream cheese, milk, salt, and pepper and mash with a potato masher. If you want them creamier, just add more milk a little bit at a time.
As always, a garnish of our market’s own Olympic Onion Green Onion Powder, with garlic or hot pepper or without, is a great addition to any meal.
Note: The Sequim Farmers Market is open until Oct. 28 this year. It will be followed by two indoor Holiday Shows at the Guy Cole Center at Carrie Blake Community Park (9 a.m.-3 p.m.) on Nov. 18 and Dec. 23!