Category Archives: garlic

Yesterday

Yesterday the weather was perfect for working outdoors, so we decided to get busy cleaning the rest of the garlic.

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Cleaning the garlic requires cutting the dried (top) leaves off and trimming the roots. (An interesting fact – to be sold in the United States garlic that is grown in the U.S. is not required to have the roots totally removed, while garlic that is imported into the U.S must have all of the roots removed.) After removing the tops and trimming the roots we then use a scrub brush to remove the dried dirt that is still clinging to the bulb. We also sort the bulbs at this time – the largest will be saved for seed, any bulbs that have a damaged clove or are too small to be sold are set aside and will be used to make garlic powder or sold as seconds to a customer who does the same, and the rest will be sold as culinary garlic either to individual customers or to the retail locations that are selling our garlic.

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The beautiful weather motivated us to do other fall activities like airing out the beach umbrellas so that they can be stored for the winter. The wasps had begun building their nests inside the umbrellas.

After a few hours of cleaning garlic my husband and I both decided to shift gears, so with about 500 bulbs still hanging in the barn we packed up our garlic cleaning project and moved on. I spent the next couple of hours cutting grass while he cut up some fire wood for last nights fire then dragged downed trees to the wood lot where they will be cut into fire wood.

Quite honestly the best part about working out doors yesterday was the beautiful sky. It was as blue as I’ve ever seen it yet filled with fluffy white clouds. I couldn’t help snapping photos to share with all of you.

 

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I hope you enjoyed this. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

Where To Buy Our Garlic – 2018 Update

As of yesterday our fresh garlic is now being sold at four local retail locations. In addition to Neiman’s and Water To Go which I mentioned in this post , it is also available at Pure Michigan Country Market http://www.puremichigancountrymarket.com/ on 10th Avenue in Port Huron, Michigan and Fronney’s Foods http://www.fronneysfoods.com/ in Capac, Michigan.

We are very appreciative to be working with all of these retailers again this year. We have learned in working with them in past years that all of these businesses’ are eager to work with other local, small,  businesses in order to support the local economy and bring quality products to their customers.

While this post is about where to find  our garlic I would be remiss if I did not mention that if you stop into Pure Michigan Country Market or Water To Go you can also pick up a bar of my handcrafted “Don’t Eat It!” Soap.

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Where To Buy Our Garlic – 2018

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We are pleased to tell you that our 2018 garlic crop is now available at a couple of local retailers.

As of today you can find our garlic at Neiman’s Family Market in Saint Clair, Michigan as well as Purified Water To Go, in Richmond, Michigan. If you shop at these local retailers please be sure to let them know how much you appreciate them supporting local farmers by offering locally grown produce.

I do expect to be adding two more locations to this list later this week so be sure to follow this blog for updates.

 

 

 

Spring Has Sprung and The Chicks are On The Move

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This was what I saw when I looked out the window in the morning last Sunday, April 15. Ice coated the all of the windows on the East side of the house.

IMG_3901 When I looked out the North window I could see that most of the precipitation that had fallen was in the form of sleet and freezing rain. It felt very discouraging since we should be three weeks into spring by now. Thankfully the power was still on. We had prepared for a power outage by bringing extra firewood inside, making sure that there was oil in the oil lamps, checking flashlight batteries and making sure the freezers were full so that foods would stay frozen longer. When the freezers are only partially full of food I freeze blocks of ice in cardboard milk containers to fill the empty space. When warm weather comes, and we are spending days at the farm, we will use these blocks of ice in a cooler at the farm to keep drinks and food cold. Buying bags of ice everyday can get quite expensive.

My husband also added extra weight to the back of the van, for added traction, in anticipation of driving on icy roads.  We use to buy bags of sand every year to keep in the back of the van during winter driving season. Then last year we began taking a different approach – instead of buying bags of sand, that we really didn’t need, we began using things that we did need. Having several bags of chicken feed or a load of firewood in the back of the van can provide that extra traction just as well as sand bags.

Temperatures warmed slightly throughout the day, so even though it continued to rain the ice on the windows melted. We were fortunate that we were not among the 350,000 in South East Michigan that lost power due to this storm.

The rest of the week seemed to be a slow transition into spring. While daytime temperatures were above freezing most days the winds out of the North kept the chill in the air. It wasn’t until Friday that it felt like Spring had arrived. The day was partly sunny and it was comfortable to go outside with just a hooded sweatshirt rather than a heavy coat.

Saturday’s weather along with the rest of the 10 day forecast confirmed it. Spring has Sprung!!! We began doing the spring happy dance yesterday. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I find that garden and leaf rakes, pruning shears and a wheelbarrow make great dance partners when it comes to the spring happy dance, and popular dance moves involve raking last years leaves from the lawn and flower beds, and pruning dead foliage from perennial plants. My husband made a very bold move yesterday as he stored the snow shovel away for the season. He also discovered the very first dandelion of the year. There was only one but I am sure that in a week or so there will be yellow blossoms everywhere.

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The garlic has been slow to emerge but is now about three inches above ground.

The pond is pretty much as full as it gets. Very little of the beach is not under water.

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At this level it is seeping over the edge in a couple of places. This is a good starting point for spring, as we will use the pond for irrigating crops as needed.

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The chicks have moved to their stage-two brooder. They had begun getting their feathers and had become very curious about the world beyond the stock tank brooder. Flying up to the rim of the stock tank had become a fun adventure for them. Here is their new set up.

IMG_3885After assembling the hutch and putting in straw for bedding we use a zip tie to anchor the heat lamp in place.

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We put in food and water and a roost. Then put the chicks in their new home. They can now see the outside, and they can’t fly out of the brooder.

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We cover the hutch with a large piece of canvass. The canvass keeps water out and warmth in. The chicks regulate their body temperature by move closer or farther from the heat lamp as needed. We lift or lower the sides of the canvass as the weather gets warmer or cooler as well.

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Last night it was warm enough to watch a little chicken TV. As the chicks get the rest of their feathers and the temperatures continue to warm we will be transitioning them to stage three – at the farm. I’ll post about that soon.

In the mean time I hope that, if you too have been waiting on spring, your Spring has Sprung. Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day.

National Garlic Day – Really?

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When I got out of the shower this morning I discovered that I had a voicemail from my dad wishing me a “Happy National Garlic Day”. I honestly had no idea it was National Garlic Day. It wasn’t marked on my calendar and our local news show had failed to report it.

I decided to do an internet search to learn more.

According to this National Garlic Day is celebrated every year on April 19, and it should be celebrated by eating lots of garlic and learning about the benefits of eating garlic. The page notes that the origin of this “National Day” could not be determined and that there was no evidence that it had ever been recorded by congress or proclaimed by the president as such. Sorry, if you were hoping to get holiday pay I am afraid you are out of luck. However, if you decide to begin your celebration early with a garlic omelet or smoothie for breakfast your boss just might decided to give you the day off. 😉

Now I am not usually a person to rant, so this is probably the closest you will come to reading a rant on my blog. I just want to know who comes up with this stuff??? As a garlic grower I certainly support celebrating garlic by eating lots of it and learning about the health benefits, and if it takes a designated day to get people to do that then so be it. The thing that I am not ok with is the USA celebrating National Garlic Day in April!

April is probably the WORST time of year to celebrate “National Garlic Day”. Maybe you never thought about it because when you go to the grocery store you can usually buy fresh bulbs of garlic anytime of the year, but the truth is most of the garlic sold in the United States is imported. If we are celebrating “National Garlic Day” shouldn’t we be celebrating by eating garlic that is grown in the USA???

In the USA garlic is generally planted in the fall and harvested in summer (mid to late July in our area). After it is harvested garlic is generally cured or allowed to dry for several weeks before it is sold. This is when it is freshest. If garlic is properly cured and stored it will remain fresh for between 3 and 8 months depending on the variety. As garlic begins to shrivel or sprout it is still edible but I certainly would not consider it fresh. Unless you grow your own garlic it would be very difficult to find USA grown garlic this time of year. So why on earth are we celebrating National Garlic Day today? The only thing we are doing with our garlic crops right now is praying for the weather to warm up and dry up so that we may have a bountiful crop this year.

In my opinion, if anyone cares, the optimal time to celebrate “National Garlic Day” would be in early September, when most growers in the USA have had time to harvest and cure their garlic and are then able to take it to market. Garlic growers could then use the “Holiday” to teach people about how garlic is grown, about different varieties of garlic, about ways to cook with garlic, as well as the health benefits all while selling fresh locally grown garlic. Doesn’t this make more sense???

I’m am certain my rant is not going to change anything but thanks for listening and I sure would like to hear what you think.