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Mainely Tipping Points

Turkey Tracks: Pulling the Garlic

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Turkey Tracks:  August 15, 2011

Pulling the Garlic

Garlic gets planted in the fall.  It’s a miracle to me that over the winter and the summer, one tiny clove grows into a whole bulb AND gives us a garlic scape just when the stored garlic is running out or has molded sometime in June.

I pulled our garlic Saturday.  It was a beautiful, sunshiny day, and I sat on the grass to trim off the bulbs and put the into a box.  They’re now in a single layer in three boxes in the garage attic, curing.  Soon the garage will smell like garlic.

Garlic is always listed as an immune system booster, so we eat LOTS of garlic.  It’s no accident that it can ward off a vampire since it is so powerful a protector of human health.

Here’s what a year’s supply of garlic for two people who have lots of guests looks like:

Here’s a close-up.  You can see that the stalks are quite spent now.  And you can see the flush of red under the coating of mud on the Russian Red bulbs.

Here’s a box full of fall and winter riches!

Garlic is super easy to grow and doesn’t take much space.  I amend my garden soil with chicken bedding, my kitchen compost, and worm castings in the fall.  In the spring I add whatever kitchen compost I’ve accumulated over the winter.  I cover my garden beds with straw, which breaks down over the winter, which adds more compost.  And, I add ground seaweed meal and azomite.  Garlic really likes azomite, and I do think it helps the garlic not to mold as winter stretches into early spring.

Here’s a picture of the size of the garlic bed this year.  It’s not large, as you can see.  It’s just that bare rectangle bounded by the kale and rock at the top, the La Ratte potatoes on the left, and the celery and lettuce below.

And, here’s a picture of the black, rich soil the worms make for us.  This batch is two years worth since we somehow didn’t empty the bin last fall.  I recover a batch of the worms to start again; the rest stay in the soil.  Or, go into the chickens, who have been working the garden since I turned them loose the other day.  The egg shells will get crushed up, and they add calcium back into the soil.

Speaking of La Ratte fingerling potatoes, I grabbled some for Saturday night dinner.  “Grabbled” is just a fancy word for digging some new potatoes before the green tops start showing yellow and falling over.  Here’s what they look like:

The one vine had about a dozen potatoes under it.  I boiled them in salted water, and they were heavenly:  nutty, buttery, and altogether wonderful.   We had them with grilled New  York strip steaks, Haricot Verte green beans from the garden, and a big, fresh salad with our lettuce, our green onions, and the first of the cukes and tomatoes we’re now getting–thanks to our CSA, Hope’s Edge.

Written by louisaenright

August 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm

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