Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Garlic Chronicles

Garlic is in the air... literally.  Over 200 heads of garlic are hanging/curing in the breezeway of our barn and the fresh garlic aroma wafting through the air is definitely not something typically associated with barns.   But if you're a garlic lover that wonderful aroma is a promise of good things to come!

First batch just pulled, ready to be hung in breezeway

Large, full heads!
Our breezeway is the perfect place for garlic to cure.  The north/south barn openings allow for good air circulation which is essential for the curing process.  Curing garlic is important:  it dries out the "neck" (just above the head) which greatly minimizes the chance for mold during storage, and the leaves dry out, transferring their energy to the head.  

Each garlic plant is tied onto strong baling twine put up in a zig-zag configuration in the hay area of our barn.  This tying process is time consuming, but it is also extremely satisfying - I get to admire each and every beautiful, fat, garlic head.  

About 250 heads of garlic!

The next step after curing is trimming and cleaning each head.  The long tops are cut off just above the head, the bottom roots are trimmed close, and a soft brush is used to gently clean any residual dirt clinging to the head.  Then it is time for good eating or storing in a cool place for planting in the fall (called seed garlic).  

I have been planting my own seed garlic for at least seven years, and the heads are larger and more uniform with each passing year.  

Stay tuned... some of this fresh, organic garlic will be offered for sale later in June.  

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