The other day we removed the last of the Russian Red Garlic from the ground. Team garlic, the moniker our crew has adopted for themselves, were overheard informing the last bulb “You’re so outta there” as it was finally and forever yanked from its earthly bond.
The old garlic patch will immediately receive regular irrigation in preparation for a high summer cover of buckwheat.
What a great feeling of relief each time we reach this point. No longer do we labour in the hot sun in an attempt to outpace the rapidly maturing garlic. Too long in the ground, garlic wrappers tend to prematurely split during the subsequent drying process which can expose the tethered cloves beneath at which point systemic degradation may occur and although the garlic remains a worthy candidate for use in the kitchen it will not tolerate prolonged storage. The tardy garlic may also appear inferior next to well groomed specimens which translates to no sales. No sales is not what farming is about.
The beautiful hot-dry weather which favoured the garlic harvest continues for the drying process. We are blessed. Normally daytime temperature in the mid to high twenties with low humidity for at least ten to fourteen days are desired. We experience extended periods where daytime highs reach 35 to 38 while the garlic hangs to dry. Perhaps a little warm but our garlic has been acclimating to our property over the years and like the mosquitoes doesn’t seem to be bothered by the heat.
Our relative humidity is mucus membrane shriveling 29%.
Soon it’ll be time to plant and fall will not long be upon us. Like they say make hay while the sun shines. In our case its’ make garlic and we have sun shine in spades. The clover patch below is designated as our 2014 garlic plot. The clover will assist with nitrogen fixing. In the mean time we are having soil samples performed and perhaps glean some organic based amendment information so next years harvest will surpass this year.
Happy days, Cheers!