Alliums, Onions and Garlic

This family of plant also includes shallots, leeks, and scallions

The latin word allium means 'garlic'. Alliums are herbaceous perennials with flowers produced on scapes, a flower stem.

Charles Dudley Warner said,

"In the onion is the hope of universal brotherhood; if everyone will eat onions at all times, they will come into a universal sympathy."
And while all of us eating a diet heavy on the onion will not create world peace, it is possible to eat these strong tasting bulbs all year round as they do have a long shelf life. Some will keep longer than others. Short Day Onions or Long Day Onions? It depends on how you grow them and what bulbs you choose. I hope the articles on growing garlic, onions, and the rest of the allium family make your choices easy to understand and help your grow these delicious, nutrient packed plants in your organic home garden!


Growing Garlic

From the earliest times, garlic has been used as part of peoples diet. It formed part of the food of the Israelites in Egypt and of the labourers employed by Cheops in the construction of his pyramid.

It was largely consumed by the ancient Greek and Roman soldiers, sailors and rural classes. Galen eulogises it as the rustic's theriac (cure-all), and Alexander Neckam recommends it as a palliative of the heat of the sun in field labour.

Garlic is most often used as a seasoning or a condiment, and is believed by many to have some medicinal value. It also contains alliin, ajoene, enzymes, vitamin B, minerals, and flavonoids.

Garlic Festival

Although Gilroy, California, holds the largest garlic festival in the United States, there are a number of other ones around the country (as well as around the world). In Virginia, you can look to the Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival in Amherst, Virginia (near Lynchburg), on October 8th and 9th. Among the activities are a garlic hunt, garlic cook-off, and garlicky costume contest. Twelve local garlic farms will feature their products, plus there will be tastings from five local wineries, specialty foods, and arts and crafts exhibits. An admission is charged. For further information, go to:

  • How to Grow Garlic
  • Gourmet Garlic
    When you go to the grocery, you're most apt to find only "generic" garlic. But go to a farmer's market in the summer and fall, and you'll likely find at least a few of the dozens of garlic varieties available. Why take a chance on finding some of these when it is incredibly easy to grow your own?
  • Fall Garlic
    If you enjoy garlic but rely on your local grocer to supply your cloves you are missing out on true garlic flavor, quality, and the variety that comes with growing your own. Once you experience the taste treat of homegrown gourmet garlic, ordinary cloves just won't do.
  • Garlic Scape Soup
    Delicious use for when you must sacrifice your garlic scapes for larger bulbs!

Want more??

Growing Great Garlic: The Definitive Guide for Organic Gardeners and Small Farmers
Ron L. Engeland has made his living as an organic garlic grower in Washington State for nearly two decades. He has cultivated more than 450 strains from all over the world. If you want to grow incredible garlic for yourself, he's the man to listen to. For those who thought that garlic was, well, just garlic, there are descriptions of the various kinds as well as fascinating history.

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Garlic Kisses : Human Struggles with Garlic Connections
Part memoir, part philosophy, part cookbook, all delight: Garlic Kisses offers this gift: memories of a life of laughter and tears, seasoned with garlic and tempered with hope.

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The Art of Gardening

The Art of Gardening "Beautifully illustrated and practical Are you ready to take your garden from good to great? Learn how to build your soil...and more!


Greenhouse Plans

What's New?

Discover how to easily build an attractive and affordable greenhouse that will grow anything in any conditions. Also, building your own greenhouse just makes economical sense. You can build a greenhouse at just a fraction of the cost of buying a pre-built one. Most pre-built greenhouse you buy need to be assembled anyway, you are really just paying hugely inflated prices for the material.

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Great Books

Worms Eat My Garbage

The book that started a backyard worm revolution! With more than 150,000 copies sold, this is the bestselling and remains the definitive guide to vermicomposting--a process using red worms to recycle human food waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer for plants. Author Mary Appelhof provides complete illustrated instructions on setting up and maintaining small-scale worm composting systems. Read More...

Chelsea Green Publishing - the leading publisher of sustainable living books since 1985.


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