Thursday, June 05, 2008

Garlic Harvest

We decided to grow garlic last fall. It was simple to do and low maintenance throughout. Our books recommend getting garlic from a seed store but we went to the grocery and picked out a couple of nice organic cloves (the danger in either case is taking garlic home to grow that was not grown in your region and isn't as productive given certain environmental conditions). Pick a sunny space in your yard (maybe a flower bed or anywhere you can spare) and plant bulbs 6 inches apart about a month or 2 before the soil freezes. After planting cover with a layer of straw or mulch. In the spring you can remove the mulch and look for sprouts. Garlic will grow well with only moderate attention, but it is slow growing. It is ready to harvest when the leaves begin to turn brown or fall over. This generally happens in late summer but as you can see we are harvesting here at the beginning of June (probably a combination of poor soil and extreme heat). But it was worth it! Remember that the garlic will inhabit its place in the yard from Fall to late summer but you can companion plant with lettuce underneath the maturing garlic.

Here the girls are spreading our first harvest of vermicompost (worm poo) in the spot where we will be planting the garlic cloves. This was November of 2007

Jen took this picture so she would remember where the cloves were planted.
Garlic growing in spring of this year.
After we pulled it up last week we let it sit and cure in a shady spot for about a week.
Note: Cost=3 bulbs. Payoff=30 bulbs.

Also, here is a quick pic of some of our early summer harvest. We still have greens producing but most of the lettuce, kale, and chard are going to seed. The girls wanted to put hands on the beans as they harvested these. We are eating beans like crazy, and the zucchini is producing well. Below Jennifer is holding some basil. We are eating it like the beans (as much as we want). Last, a picture of the corn. Tomatoes, peppers, corn, and eggplant are flowering and have their first fruits hanging. Very exciting. More later.

Note to self: It is frightening to check the girls growth from garlic planting to garlic harvest. They themselves are growing like crazy!


William Kruidenier said...

Great pix and instructions on the garlic! Ya'll are way ahead of the old Southern tradition about corn: "Knee-high by the Fourth of July." Have been reading more lately about "the food crisis" in America -- prices soaring. Read an anecdote from a woman in a feed store who had sold out of seed potatoes weeks ago and people are calling looking for them. When asked if she ordered less this year she said, "No, people are just planting more." Get it? "More people" would be not farmers but average folks who are seeing the need to grow more of their own food in the face of shortages, high prices, etc. You all are ahead of the game, creating your own food supply in your back yard -- your own yard-farm. More and more people will be joining you in the days/years ahead.

Lesley said...

Yeah for summer and gardens!!
I have been thinking of how great it would be to have a book that was organized by month and maybe even weeks that told you when to plant different things all year. I think I will just depend on the Kruidenier blog posts! Remind me when to start the garlic this fall, ok?!

Miss you guys and loved reading about the Boone trip. We often reminisce on our time there and miss it dearly. Yes, Jen, even our year in the dorm together!!

Love you all. Les