It's time to plant garlic! If you're culinary in the kitchen, you will appreciate having your own garlic to use from mid-summer all the way through until next year. If you're a perennial gardener with little space to dedicate to vegetables, you might consider popping a few garlic cloves in your fall planting for some surprise textures next Spring and Summer. Besides an architectural POP in the flower garden, you'll have a little mid-summer taste treat to enjoy as well!
Garlic hangs to dry in our barn and little by little, I trim off the dried stems and roots. This photo shows about 1/8 of what we grew this year. I've been slow and lazy getting this job done! Notice one bunch where the scapes went to seed? I didn't see their scape growing and by the time I came to dig the garlic, they were seed heads. You might also notice that the bulbs are noticeably smaller in that clump.
Despite not getting the harvest in too expediently, growing garlic is one of my favorite projects. Unlike most other vegetable garden joys, this one gets planted in the Fall just like tulips and daffodils. Then, it will be one of the first things to pop up in the Spring giving us that so very gratifying glimpse of green growth.
Not only do we get to enjoy garlic's erect ribbons of green in early Spring, but by mid-June, before many other garden delights are ready, garlic gives us the scape to enjoy roasted, sauteed or pickled. As you can see from my harvest picture above, cutting scapes sends the bulb a bulk up message instead of spending energy on seed building. After you cut the scape, let the bulbs grow for a couple more weeks and you'll have big garlic by early to mid July. Garlic is easy to harvest if you don't grow too much! A little light lift with a pitch fork to loosen the soil is all you need to pull the bulb from the ground. Let it hang to cure in a dry place out of the sun for a couple of weeks, then trim off the plant and roots to store for winter.
There is something to love, too, about the way garlic must be mulched that feels so appropriate to Fall - the season that signals "Slow Down!" Once planted, it must be tucked in under a warm layer of straw because we know the scene below is right around the corner (winter storm from last October 16th)!
The weather forecast isn't showing any signs of winter yet, so in the meantime, I will continue to trim my garlic for storage, and get a little bit planted for next year's enjoyment.
For you, my friends, I set aside some one-pound bags in the store for eating or planting. If you need garlic, we have it! $5 a pound certified organic. Larger bulbs from a harvest are typically saved for seed, and that saved for culinary use are the smaller bulbs. Most of our garlic cloves, regardless of bulb size, are large. Our one-pound bags in the store each have a mix of sizes, but ALL can be eaten and/or ALL can be planted.
With a long season like this, I hope you thought to plant some late lettuce - Gardens keep on! Speaking of keeping on, our raspberries have had an insane year as well. This week besides garlic for eating or planting, you will find French Raspberry Freezer Jam. This is a 1/2 pint raspberry jam with lemon, sugar and a touch of almond. It may be stored in the freezer for later use or in the fridge for now use! This one is great on toast, pancakes or as an ice cream topping, if that's your jam!
Sending love from the farm,