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as good as ten mothers

sweet digz farm steveston richmond bc

Garlic has a long and storied history reaching back into the Old World where Egyptian and Indian cultures were believed to have grown garlic more than 5000 years ago and in China between 2000 and 4000 years ago. The mystic of garlic has endured through the ages because of stories regarding its health and magical qualities for example, how Egyptian labourers building the pyramids were given garlic to increase their strength and to ward off disease. The flavour of garlic has also contributed to its place in history for example, it was banned by the Greek nobility because of its potent aroma. No other food has been bestowed with such a variety of qualities and uses from protection against evil to treating the sick and as a glorious addition to flavour food. As the saying goes, garlic is as good as ten mothers.

After losing some of its popularity at the turn of the 20th century, garlic began a renaissance in the 1990’s. In 2010 the estimated harvest of the top ten producing countries was around 17 million tonnes with China accounting for more than 76% of the production (source: Wikipedia). These statistics shouldn’t surprise anyone but many haven’t noticed the market is now flooded with cheap garlic from China. Most of us go to the grocery store and don’t pay much attention to where our food is coming from and we really should. Recent reports of what is happening in China’s food industry might feel like a world away but we live in a global village and China is exporting this food all over the world including North America. Take some time to watch this 25-minute documentary by former BC reporter Steve Chao who is now based in Beijing. “Food for Thought” uncovers very questionable practices and throws light on how pesticides are used to enhance the size and yield of crops in China. Although this documentary does not specifically look at garlic, one can assume these practices are widespread and cannot exclude the garlic crop. Here is another video that discusses food safety in China. It is very eye-opening.

Consumers do have a choice to buy locally and organic. Sweet Digz Farm planted their crop last fall and a few weeks ago they harvested their garlic with the help of students from the Farm School. Ask Kareno about garlic, her whole face will light up and she will chew your ear off. You know that passion and enthusiasm has gone into this year’s crop just by looking at how she cradles the garlic pulled from the ground. Knowing the people who grow your food and being able to trust the methods of production are important to food safety. Not everyone can have that assurance but on this farm, your garlic might just have some of that old magic.

 

garlic sweet digz farm steveston richmond

 

garlic sweet digz farm steveston richmond

 

garlic sweet digz farm steveston richmond

 

garlic sweet digz farm steveston richmond

 

garlic sweet digz farm steveston richmond

 

garlic sweet digz farm steveston richmond

 

garlic sweet digz farm steveston richmond

 

garlic sweet digz farm steveston richmond

 

garlic sweet digz farm steveston richmond

 

 

garlic sweet digz farm steveston richmond

 

garlic sweet digz farm steveston richmond

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6 Comments

  1. Domestic Executive
    August 13, 2014

    Of all the things I grow, garlic is my favourite. It is so easy to cultivate at home and I smile every time I smash a garlic ready for cooking. It’s wonderful to see that Sweet Digz Farm is bring fresh, local garlic to market.

    Reply
  2. Sabrina Henry
    August 13, 2014

    Why am I not surprised you grow your own garlic? 🙂 For people like myself who live in an apartment, having a local farm for fresh vegetables is the next best thing to growing my own.

    Reply
  3. Andrew
    August 17, 2014

    It sure must have taken patience to dig up the garlic. I’m so glad it didn’t get any diseases.

    Great pictures!

    Reply
    • Sabrina Henry
      August 17, 2014

      It was very hot that day Andrew and the students tackled the beds with such gusto, I was very impressed. We were all relieved at how well the garlic had done and are now enjoying the fruits of Kimi and Kareno’s labour.

  4. Andrew
    August 18, 2014

    I love the picture of the broken shovel.

    Reply
    • Sabrina Henry
      August 18, 2014

      🙂 It’s one of my favourites, Andrew!

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