Kids grow Garlic, Leeks, and Shallots


Belonging to the Alliums Family, leeks, shallots, and garlic are planted in the fall to sprout the following spring and love full sun. Garlic grows year round and each head consists of many cloves which when mashed release a pungent flavor. Garlic has long been known to ward off colds and viral infections; it is heart healthy, helps prevent cancer and inflammations, lowers blood pressure, aids digestion, and is an expectorant. In the garden, garlic is used to repel mosquitoes, aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites from other veggies. Individual cloves of garlic can easily be grown in containers and are planted with the pointed end up and are perennial. Garlic cloves can be soaked in 1 tsp kelp liquid and 1 cup of water for 24 hours before planting to add extra nutrients for growth. When the green tops of the garlic turn brown, kids can harvest them by laying them on the soil to cure for a week, drying them on a screen, and braiding their tops together to store. Leeks are the national symbol of Wales and may have their origins there. Leeks contain many of the health giving properties, like antioxidants, of garlic and onions. Kids can trench leeks when they are planted. As they grow, leeks need to be blanched, having the soil drawn up around it, to ensure a long, white portion. Leeks, when cooked develop a delicious warm buttery onion flavor, are often sandy and need to be thoroughly washed to remove the grit. Shallots are perennials that are similar to onions and garlic. Like garlic, they have a head composed of cloves, and like onions, they are propagated by offsets, clones of the mother plant. Shallots have a mild, sweet flavor with a hint of garlic and many healing properties. Kids can harvest shallots in April and leave some in the ground to spread next year. Kids can use garlic, leeks, and shallots to add flavor to dishes from around the world.

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