Thursday, July 5, 2012
We are finally enjoying hot summer weather and it’s wonderful for the garden and the humans also!
Yesterday I heeded the information that the garlic is ready to harvest when the bottom leaves turn yellow. Although I’ve also read that one should wait till the crowns have wilted. Anyway, I was so excited about digging up some of the garlic that I just started digging away.
The garlic was well rooted, what with the composted soil, the addition of lots of seaweed plus liberal doses of EM …. plus the recent rains had made it a bit more challenging to lift the garlic.
Nonetheless, I did harvest quite a number. As I was cleaning off the bulb and then trimming the roots neatly, I had a thought. What if the roots are meant to be left on?
So, into the house and I started searching for information on garlic. Found several sites. But .. the best site, bar none, was this one, and located in British Columbia! Boundary Garlic Farm. http://www.garlicfarm.ca/about-us.htm
And here I learned to keep the leafy section and the roots attached to the bulb, so that they would add more energy and growth to the bulb. And not to worry about the dirt around the roots, these can be gently removed later when they are dry.
Besides recipes and many, many growing tips and information on how to choose which garlic would be suitable for various climates .. I learned that I can slice the cloves of garlic in a food processor and then dehydrate them. I’ll try that .. drying them in the oven. Then, the dried slices can be kept either in an airtight container or in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Later, they can be ground to a powder.
Lots of helpful information on this site.
I did find a site that mentioned that the garlic roots are a delicacy .. but can’t try that out, as the root cuttings from yesterday are scattered, drying, in the garlic bed. Murphy!
Well, I decided to let the rest of the garlic just stay nice and cozy in their bed until the leaves are more yellow. This will give the soil time to dry out a bit, making it easier for me to harvest them.
I’m sure going to need a lot of space to dry these giants … and luckily, my friend D gave me a wonderful netting that will be perfect for drying. I’ll take a picture tomorrow!
I am very impressed with the size of the garlic, it’s mostly hardneck (I’d bought 4 types from Richter’s a few years ago) and they are the size of elephant garlic. I had bought several cloves of elephant, but wasn’t very successful with those.
Other things I learned while searching for information in the world of garlic .. were that the seeds of garlic can be sown .. they will grow into various shapes over the following 3 years, resulting in large bulbs.
And that the “rounds” can be harvested …. dried .. and then planted again and the result will be larger bulbs.
And that those tiny little round chickpea-like growths that are on the hardnecks can be planted again. So I’ve soaked quite a number of them in concentrated EM and put them in a container for rooting. At which time I’ll plant.
Also, some “rounds” might result from bulbs not receiving a month of 10 degrees of coldness in the fall.
And that you can speed up the rooting of garlic cloves, if time is tight in the fall, by putting them in containers, filled with compost, in the kitchen, until the roots form … which they will do, quickly . .and then plant them out.
Yesterday was quite a garlic-y one for me.
Yum. Yum. Yum.