Tag Archives: Russian Red Garlic

Organic Pooh-Pooher

Certified organic pooh-pooher’s are like glow-sticks; they illuminate once vigorously shaken. If you are an organic pooh-pooher get ready for the light.

We have accounted for our harvest this season and yielded 4.4 pounds on 3,320 pounds of seed for a total harvest of 14,616 pounds of Russian red garlic, the only variety we grow. This is a ratio that we have realized for a few years now and one we believe to be at the top end for the variety we grow.

We break down our harvest into five categories:

1- Number one garlic which is the premium quality garlic sold to consumers.

Premium Consumer Garlic

Premium Consumer Garlic

2- Number two garlic which is lesser quality in appearance than number one yet has the exact same characteristics where it counts; taste and keeping quality.

3: Seed garlic which is the very best garlic. Chosen for size and symmetry these bulbs are retained for our seed bank to be broken apart to be replanted as seed (individual cloves) each fall.

Seed Garlic

Seed Garlic

4: Time Savour garlic which are the individual cloves from the seed garlic that once revealed show themselves to be not suitable candidates for planting. Either because the cloves have too small of a basal plate to develop good roots or two or more cloves are fused together and would produce only number two garlic at best. The Time Savour cloves are sold in bulk primarily to chefs. Again the culinary characteristics are superb and they store as well as whole bulbs.

5: Waste garlic which, as the name suggests is garlic deemed not suitable for consumption. Mostly due to mechanical damage from the harvesting process and some due to pathogens.

Waste Garlic

Waste Garlic

But here is where organics shines… heh

Of the 14,616 pounds harvested only 120 pounds fell into the waste garlic category. That is a mere .82% of the total yield. Number two garlic came in at 1.12% or 164 pounds. This means we were less than 2% away from perfection and all on about one acre of land which is 17% to 33% better than conventional garlic farming where only 10,000 to 12,000 pound per acre is harvested. This is something we attribute 100% to organic practices.

So to the pooh-poohers who say organics can not feed the world; who insist organics can not achieve high yields.

Back at you.

 


39 in the Shade

This is the kind of day you dream about all winter. Mid afternoon, thirty-nine celsius in the shade and not a cloud in sight. Was it ever winter? Can’t even imagine snow on the ground nor fruit trees without luscious foliage and budding fruit. It is an early season. Chelan Cherries are already coming off…

Chelan Cherries

Chelan Cherries

… and the first heirloom tomatoes are available from Harker’s Organics in our fair town of Cawston, BC. The ubiquitous fruit stands are bursting. Yet summer in the Similkameen is amazing if not a contradiction. Part of Canada’s only true desert, the Similkameen is made up with sagebrush, cacti, tarantulas and rattle snakes. No kidding. See…

Rattle Snake

Rattle Snake

…Wes Makepeace photographed this little fellow caught by Walter Makepeace at Hugging Tree Winery on Highway 3 midway between Cawston, BC and Nighthawk, USA. Its okay, Walter insists rattle snakes have never been known to get close to Hugging Tree’s tasting room… Yeh. However, with a little and sometimes a lot of irrigation the dry ground provides the Similkameen with an abundance of lush fruits and vegetables.

Irrigating Garlic

Irrigating Garlic

For us this means an abundance of the best Russian Red Garlic and Garlic Scape. Today was our first day ‘scaping’ a term we use to describe removing the flower stalk (scape) from the garlic plant. Aside from rewarding us with the raw material for the Original Garlic Scape Salt, removing the scape diverts stored energy down to the bulb, which is the money maker. Scapes are collected by hand…

Removing Scapes

Removing Scapes

… and set into clear plastic bags for cold storage.

Bags o' Scape

Bags o’ Scape

There they will wait for the secret proprietary process to turn it all into Scape Salt. In the meantime… Cheers!

39 in the Shade

39 in the Shade


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