Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Great Garlic Harvest of 2015

You never know, in the late days of October, just how the garlic will fare through the cold months of winter and wet of spring.  After the scapes have been harvested, and the leaves start dying back, you finally reach the day when it's time.  The day to harvest has come and you can pull the garlic bulbs.

That day was past Friday.  The leaves had turned yellow and died back about 50%, which is my signal that the garlic is ready to be pulled.  It didn't take too long to lift it all, as it was growing in a block in a four foot-by-four foot raised bed.  While I was out there in the sunshine, pulling the white bulbs out of the rich dark earth, my neighbor came by to ask about my corn.  He was convinced it was failing, that it was sweet corn that was turning purple and dying, and was rather surprised when I told him it was an heirloom dwarf variety of flour corn.  Turns out, he really likes garlic but has never tried growing it, so I gave him a couple heads to let dry for a couple of days and then use in whatever his wife will allow him to cook.  I may make a convert of him yet...

In any case, my harvest is spread out and drying down on the porch.  I rigged up a simple frame of furring strips and plastic saw-horse supports (with an additional spare chair on the end) and draped the garlic over the boards.  After they dry down for a few days, I think I'll trim off the stalks and store the bulbs in a basket.  I had fun braiding them last year, but this year's crop has such sturdy, stiff stalks I don't think they'll permit that level of bending.  I don't mind--I have lots of baskets to choose from.

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