Well the garlic was harvested last week as planned, well maybe not quite as planned, but that part of the job is complete. We had hoped that this antique potato digger, that we purchased last year, would pull the garlic out of the ground, and we would simply have to pick them up from there. Unfortunately the results of this experiment left us with too many bulbs that were either damaged or left complexly under ground while the stem and leaves lay in the field.
So my husband, who should not have even been in the field due to a injury he occurred the previous weekend, got out the shovel and began digging each individual bulb out of the soil. He placed them in trays and brought them to the shaded area, where I was working to remove excess dirt and put them in bundles to dry. At the end of the day all of the bundles were moved to shelves in our indoor drying location, where they will cure for several weeks before the stems and roots are removed and they get a final cleaning.
The job actually took us a total of three days even with some help from the kids. It was exhausting. These were probably the hottest and most humid days of the entire year, and there was just no time for a dip in the pond.
Now that the garlic is drying for the next couple weeks we will attend to other tasks until it is time to clip and clean and sort each bulb before it can be sold.
We grew five varieties this year (listed below). I was surprised as I examined this years harvest, that the varieties that I expected to produce larger bulbs seemed to only be average size, and the varieties that have not performed as well for me in the past actually seemed to produce larger bulbs. I’m mulling over possible explanations i.e. field location, type of garlic for this years weather conditions, possibility that new varieties were not acclimated to our growing area. One things I know fore sure is, regardless of the size of the bulbs the flavor is superb. 🙂
|A Northwest heirloom brought to the Portland area before the 1900s. Many connoisseurs believe that when well grown its flavor describes true garlic.