Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oodles of Garlic

Garlic is one of my very favorite things to grow in the garden. That and potatoes. They are both such satisfying things, so simple and hearty, and different from veggies grown from seed. You plant a piece of potato or a clove of garlic, and under the ground they multiply into a dozen potatoes or a whole head of garlic. You plant them, and then you basically leave them alone, and then you dig them up, and magically they have generated the big final product.

We harvested our garlic two afternoons ago, and got a mighty haul. For those new to growing garlic, Hood River Garlic (where I got my seed garlic) has this great garlic calendar to explain all the steps and timing of the process (in Zone 8, anyway).

We planted 82 cloves of Chesnok Red back in October, and harvested 80 heads this week. I had pulled up one a month or so ago to check on its progress, so only one plant remains unaccounted for. What a yield! This is a perfect year's supply for us, allowing for 1-2 heads per week and some kept back as seed garlic.

I taught Matt how to braid garlic, and he put in several nails to hang the braids from, under the shelter of the front porch overhang. One small unbraided bunch contains the heads that got nicked by the turning fork while we were digging them up. We'll use those ones first.

It should take about two weeks for the garlic to cure, given that we are forecast to have perfect garlic-curing weather: sunny and 80s without a drop of rain.

Once it's all cured, we'll clean it a bit more and cut off the roots, then hang it in the basement where it's cool and dry. We'll keep six or eight of the biggest heads for next year's seed. 

The summer harvest keeps rolling in, and we've been running around picking and blanching, and foisting large bags of greens off onto the neighbors. 

I am  crazily proud of this perfect cabbage.

The chickens enjoyed the outer leaves, plus the colony of caterpillars and slugs that were living in there.

The first of the Giant Marconi sweet peppers. 

We haven't been eating enough salads to keep up with our lettuce production. Hence the foisting upon neighbors.

I planted a few of these Rattlesnake pole beans that I got from an old coworker. LOVE them.

We're off for another whirlwind weekend trip to my hometown, this time for my tenth high school reunion! I'm excited to see what will be waiting for us in the garden when we come back. 

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