Garlic is an important ingredient on my homestead. I find ways to use it on the farm, in the kitchen and for my animals. Here in Ohio garlic is planted in the fall and harvested in late June. Being such an easy crop for us to grow, I make sure I have multiple beds dedicated to it every year. In honor of National Garlic Day, I will be sharing 3 different ways I use garlic on my homestead!
One simple and easy way to use garlic is to incorporate it into Chicken magic water. Chicken magic water is a fast way to offer probiotics to chicks. I offer this water to my day-old chickens for the first week in the brooder, (my husband thinks he's so funny when calls this pre-seasoning the chickens) I use this for both laying hens and meat birds. It boosts the immune system, helps with gut health and I also have a theory that it helps with the shock of shipping. This recipe was popular in the homesteading youtube community about 6 years ago and I've used it ever since with great results. I tend to use this recipe when I feel like my chickens need a boost, and this recipe is great to use no matter the season. I just simply warm the recipe in the winter making it a nice treat and I like to add ice cubes to this recipe in the summer during heat waves.
Chicken magic water:
The garden for me is a safe space where I am able to enjoy watching nature and allowing the fruits of my labor to grow. For those of us that grow organic gardens, finding an effective protection spray from harmful insects is nothing short of a miracle. You can find many if not all of these ingredients in your pantries making this recipe easy to whip up. When applying this spray, you can apply this repellent multiple times, but typically spraying this mosquito spray once is enough for me. This spray works by repelling the insects rather than killing them, it was important to me to find something that doesn't bother bees or birds. I went back and forth on what type of repellent to use, but this recipe ended up being a great fit after trying many other techniques and I have been able to use this recipe successfully for the last 3 years!
Garlic mint mosquito spray (1-gallon):
1. Shake well before each use.
2. Saturate the leaves, including the undersides
3. Overcast days are best for application, to avoid burning from the sun.
4. This recipe includes hot pepper. Take care to protect your eyes and mouth.
My favorite use of garlic in the kitchen, Garlic Confit. Confit is a french method of cooking, you cook a simple ingredient in a fat at a slow temperature for a long time. This breaks down the clove's fibers so it becomes a spreadable component. I typically use this on sourdough, which gives a dreamy sharp bite to a meal. You can mix garlic confit into mashed potatoes, pasta sauce and hummus. Once cooked, the oil that's leftover is delicious. Vinaigrettes, marinades, and stir fries come to mind when I'm daydreaming of that liquid gold. The uses for this dish's components are endless. I think after writing this I'm going to whip some up to put on top of a nice steak.
I wanted to end this blog by sharing another kitchen favorite of mine! If you are a garlic lover like I am, black garlic is such an interesting flavor profile that I enjoy immensely. Black garlic casts aside that fresh pungent bite for a sweeter tangier bite and it's absolutely delicious. I harvest about 500 garlic heads every year and having this in my arsenal has added an extra boost to our meals.
With so many ways to use and incorporate garlic, I hope you have learned a new way to use your garlic this year. Have a very Happy National Garlic Day!