Spring has finally arrived to Austria..Yeah I know I am gloating about it bit too much but winter was this year not really a winter! Gray and icky no snow, kind of winter. So sunshine feels so good! Friend of mine has farm not so faraway from us and she has also small parcel of forest land. This week I went there and had short walk in the forest. I were on a mission!!
My mission was not to find Liverwort’s which were up already for my surprise. Liverwort or Sinivuokko as we call it in Finland is the first sure sign of spring for us Finns. I remember how I used to go to forests when I were kid just to try to find Liverwort and be the first one to report it in the school. We had always competition in school who was able to spot first signs of spring. Being it animals,birds or plants..
This is why I went to forest!! Wood Garlic!!! And yes..It was up. When we moved here, I didn’t have any idea what this was or how to use it. Wood Garlic is known as Bärlauch in german speaking area. Bears garlic so to say… And it grows wild everywhere!
It loves shady and moist environment. First green leafs are up in early March. Some people say that leafs look like Lily of Valley’s leafs, which is true, but growing time and appearance for these two are completely different. Lily of Valley grows as a single plant and has only two leafs.It comes up late April early May. Where as Wood Garlic grows in groups. Like a small bush. when you rub leafs it has very pronounced garlic smell.
In natural medicine Wood Garlic is used as a remedy. The healing effect is due to the numerous sulfur-like essential oils, which have a positive effects on the digestive, respiratory, liver, gall bladder, intestines and stomach. Furthermore, an effective curative effect in atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and intestinal diseases.It also stimulates metabolism and has a positive effect on cholesterol levels and also helps in worm infestations.
Which brings me to the point. I will be posting, and trying out some Wood Garlic recipes later in March. I still have to wait week or two that leafs are big enough to be harvested. Now I got just so much of it that I were able to make small soup for us.