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Elephant Garlic



Elephant Garlic

At right, a clove of Elephant next to a nice-sized clove of regular garlic:

This Big Daddy has the largest bulbs and cloves of them all. It is the king of the roasters. Some Elephant individual cloves are larger than an egg!

Elephant is the mildest of the garlics, and is actually closer to a leek than a garlic. Awesome for stews, roast vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes. Elephant grows well in most parts of the country.

Since the bulbs will probably be larger than typical garlic, plant farther apart with a minimum of 6″ between cloves. Mulching with straw or grass clippings and keeping the soil relatively moist, even during the winter, promotes larger bulbs.

Elephant Bulblets or Bulbils (also incorrectly called korms): This is a fun way to gain some elephant garlic for your garden! Bulbils (aka bulblets) are seed-like growths found at the bottom of many elephant bulbs. They can be left in the ground after harvesting elephant garlic, or can be moved and replanted.

Soaking the bulbils for a few days, and even cutting/scoring a small slit in the bulbil toward the bottom can improve germination rates. The bulblets’ shell is very tough, so a score helps moisture get inside to allow the seed to expand and sprout. The shoots may not emerge until spring or early summer, so don’t forget where you plant them!

Plant the elephant bulbils this year, and expect to harvest “rounds” (large, round bulbs that have not yet formed multiple cloves per bulb) next year…although we have had some multi-clove bulbs form the first year from bulbils. Re-plant the “rounds,” and harvest potentially VERY large bulbs of elephant the following year.

All garlic seed for sale is supplied by our small micro farm in Elgin Oregon – Greifs Gourmet Garlic! 

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Ceñillin: Versatile Wild Garlic with a Rich History and Unique Uses




Ceñillin, also known as wild garlic or ramsons, is a member of the Allium family that has been used by humans for thousands of years. Here are some key points about this versatile plant.

Identification and Habitat

Ceñillin is a perennial herb with flat, elliptical leaves and small, white flowers that bloom in clusters. It grows in deciduous woodlands with moist, slightly acidic soils, often alongside bluebells. Ceñillin is considered an ancient woodland indicator species, so its presence can signify a rare and special habitat.

Historical and Cultural Significance

Evidence of human use of ceñillin dates back to the late Mesolithic period in Denmark, where charred remnants of bulbs were found at a settlement. The ancient Greeks referred to it as “bear’s onion”, and in many European languages, its name translates to “bear garlic” or “bear leek”. This reflects the plant’s importance in folk traditions, where bears were seen as wise “medicine animals” whose food choices humans would emulate.

Culinary Uses

All parts of the ceñillin plant are edible, including the leaves, bulbs, and flowers. The leaves are the most commonly used part, with a subtle garlicky flavor. They can be eaten raw in salads, used as an herb, or cooked as a vegetable. The leaves can also be used to make pesto, garlic butter, or a sauce for pasta. The bulbs can be used similarly to garlic cloves, and the flowers are edible and can garnish salads.

Medicinal Properties

Ceñillin has been credited with many medicinal qualities and is a popular homeopathic ingredient. It is often used to treat cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive problems, as well as for wound sterilization. The leaves contain high levels of minerals like magnesium, earning it the nickname “magnesium king” of plants.

Other Uses

In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, ceñillin has a few unique applications:

  • Natural dye: The leaves can create a natural, green dye for fabrics, paper, or food.
  • Insect repellent: The strong aroma can help deter pests in gardens.
  • Floral arrangements: The delicate white flowers pair well with other spring blooms.
  • Companion plant: In gardens, ceñillin can attract beneficial insects and deter pests from other vegetables.

Foraging and Conservation

Ceñillin is common and widespread across much of Europe, from Ireland to the Caucasus. However, as an ancient woodland indicator, its presence can signify a rare habitat. When foraging for ceñillin, it’s essential to ensure proper identification and avoid any toxic lookalikes like lily-of-the-valley. Sustainable harvesting practices are crucial to conserve this important plant.


Ceñillin is a fascinating plant with a rich history, versatile uses, and ecological significance. Its culinary and medicinal properties have made it a valuable resource for humans for millennia, while its role as an ancient woodland indicator highlights the importance of preserving the habitats it calls home.


What is Ceñillin?
Ceñillin, also known as wild garlic, is a perennial herb native to parts of Europe and Asia. It belongs to the Allium genus, which includes garlic, onions, and leeks. The plant features flat, elliptical leaves and small, white flowers that bloom in clusters.

What are the benefits of Ceñillin?
Ceñi-llin is rich in various nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium. It also contains sulfur compounds that give it a distinctive aroma and flavor. Some studies suggest that ceñi-llin may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

How can one use Ceñillin?
Ceñi-llin is a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. One can use the leaves to add flavor to soups, stews, and sauces. The flowers are also edible and can add a decorative touch to salads. Some people also use ceñi-llin to make pesto or infuse it in oils and vinegars.

Are there any precautions to take with Ceñillin?
While ceñi-llin is generally safe to consume, some people may experience allergic reactions or digestive discomfort. It’s essential to wash the leaves thoroughly before use and avoid consuming large quantities, especially if pregnant or breastfeeding. Those with thyroid disorders or taking blood-thinning medications should consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating ceñillin into their diet.

Where can one find Ceñillin?
Ceñi-llin grows wild in many parts of Europe and Asia, often in moist, shady areas. Some people may be able to forage for it in their local parks or forests. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the plant is correctly identified and not confused with any toxic lookalikes. Ceñi-llin is also available in some specialty grocery stores or online retailers.

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Stored properly, fresh garlic will last for months. Commercially, garlic is stored between 30 and 32 degrees.  In most households that is not possible.  Here are some other ideas on how to store garlic.

  • Bundle garlic in bundles of 8 to 12 bulbs by tying the stalks and hanging it, bulb down. Store garlic in a cool, dry place, with plenty of circulation, away from sunlight.
  • You can purchase a ‘garlic keeper’ or simply store it in a wire basket under a flower pot.
  • For a homespun display, you can braid softneck garlic stems together, adorned with ribbon and dried flowers, and hang it in your kitchen.


It’s easy and you’ll be amazed at how flavorful fresh garlic powder is compared to commercially purchased garlic powder.

  • Break the cloves apart.
  • Cut the root end of the clove (you may also peel the clove, but it is not necessary).
  • Lay the cloves in a single layer in your dehydrator and dehydrate for 16+ hour depending on your dehydrator and the size of the cloves.
  • The skins fall right off!
  • You can store whole cloves or grind them into powder.
  • Store in an airtight container. OR…
  • To make garlic salt, mix 3 parts salt and 1 part garlic.


  • Peeled garlic cloves can be stored in wine or vinegar and refrigerated.
  • Garlic can be stored in this manner for about 4 months.
  • Discard if you see any signs of mold or yeast growth.


  • While it can be done, refrigeration is not the best way to store your garlic because it changes its texture, flavor, and speeds germination.


  • Garlic can be stored in the freezer but keep in mind that freezing garlic changes its texture and flavor.
  • You can freeze entire bulbs and use individual cloves when you need them, OR
  • Peel, chop, and store in small Ziploc bags.  If you fill the bags lightly and freeze them flattened you can break off what you need later.


  • Never store garlic in oil.  Garlic in oil can be kept in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2 weeks. After that, it can develop dangerous bacteria/toxins.
  • Garlic and oil at room temperature can cause dangerous toxins to form.


Here are some helpful hints to make peeling your cloves a little easier.
Blanch in boiling water for approximately 20 seconds, then drop into icy cold water. The skins will slip right through your fingers.

  • Place cloves in a glass of cool water for 30 minutes and the skins will come right off.
  • Using the old fashioned method, trim off the top and bottom of the clove and roll it between your fingers.
  • Trim off the bottom of the clove, place flat on your counter or cutting board, pop it with the flat end of a knife.
  • Purchase a ‘garlic tube’.  It’s basically a flat piece of silicone.  Wrap the cloves in the tube and roll it on the counter a few times.

All garlic seed for sale is supplied by our small micro-farm in Elgin Oregon – Greif’s Gourmet Garlic!

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