At the end of the season it is wonderful to look back, reflect and simply enjoy. One wonderful moment from last season was the infamous hail storm that past through the valley at the end of May. In its wake it left a magical double rainbow that farmersdotter was able to capture. Happy Thanksgiving and cheers!
Once the garlic is off the field we bundle the plants into bunches of about a dozen. A bundle large enough to easily grab with both hands. Bundles are placed on a tying table and the crew then links two bundles together with twine.
Just like saddling a horse each bundle is placed over a cross piece on a drying rack which resemble a ladder… only not.
After all the garlic is hung to dry in the barn, we call it a barn but it only has a roof for weather protection and is open on the sides to allow for great ventilation. Anyway, the garlic is hung for at least two and preferably three weeks before it is trimmed and cleaned for market.
So yeah. Hopefully that answers some questions you had about our simple method of drying garlic.
We have been harvesting our Russian Red garlic for a week now and anticipate pulling it all off by this Wednesday. Today we have a half crew finishing the last half of the garlic field.
The garlic will continue to hang on racks in the drying shed until at least the beginning of August at which time the crew will return to trim the roots and stalks. Shortly there after the garlic will go to market in 25 pound onion sacks.
The area for planting garlic this fall is under cover with Caliente 199 mustard from Rupp Seeds This mustard adds good bio mass and provides protection against a host of pest and disease.
On Monday farmersdotter and I hosted the crew from Quest OutWest’s “Wild Food”. The programme observes the four food chiefs; Bear, Salmon, Saskatoon Berry, and Bitterroot, and explores the varieties, heritage, cultivation and preparation of each. Our focus was on bitterroot, representative of all root vegetables and in our case garlic.
The project began as the brain child of series host Tracey Kim Bonneau…
Tracey Kim Bonneau
…and is now in production for release on the APTN Network next year. The programme is about Aboriginal foods and their place in history, culture and modern times and intends to weave together threads about growing up Okanagan, family, community, culture and health.
The day began with the arrival of the crew at 8:00am who then promptly set about the task of preparing for the first scene.
Weather conditions for the most part were favourable for the exterior scenes and of course the interior scenes which took place in the bakery held few challenges, at least the crew made it look very easy.
Topics varied from the psychological trauma experienced in confronting an elderly cow in a root cellar to land stewardship. Who’d have thought all that from root veggies?
The shoot culminated with a wonderful root vegetable nicoise with tuna expertly prepared by culinary consultant Scot Roger.
Root Vegetable Nicoise Salad
farmersdotter and I want to thank the whole crew of Wild Food for a wonderful and informative experience. In particular producers Suzan Derkson and Darlene Choo and director Richard Flower who pulled everything together with calm and grace. Cheers!