Harvesting Garlic

Two weeks ago today we began our garlic harvest! Thanks to the foresight of last years’ Garden Coordinator there were around 120 beautifully healthy bulbs to haul out of the soil. The first sign that garlic is ready to come out of the ground are the drying leaves. When the bottom three leaves are turning brown and the remaining leaves are still green it is time to harvest! Treat your garlic with the utmost care as the bulbs are very fragile and bruise easily if bumped around. If possible, manually pick all of your garlic to ensure little damage to the bulb.

Once we had all of our bulbs out of the ground, we peeled off 2-3 layers of skin from each bulb and washed the dirt out of the roots. We then clipped the roots off, and began the braiding process.

Essential to garlic’s long shelf life is the way in which the bulbs are stored. The more airy, dry, and dark – the better! Although you may be tempted to use your freshly pulled garlic right away, the bulbs need about two weeks untouched to cure. The shed at the farm is perfect for curing garlic. All the bulbs, in their tight braids, are hanging from the ceiling at this very moment, soon ready for purchase!

Saving seed is the last step in the process before whipping up a batch of delicious garlic bread. If you’re thinking about planting garlic for next year, choose some of your best looking bulbs and store them for a late fall planting. Each clove will sprout into a whole new bulb in the spring – it’s pure magic!

O.K… Time to get baking!

Carolyn

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