The garlic has been harvested! Since October 2010, the garlic has been growing under plastic mulch and waiting for summer to come. We pulled it all out on Monday after driving through with the plastic lifter and easing the bulbs free. Garlic is “daylight sensitive” meaning it will stop growing at or around the summer solstice. With this in mind, the longer it has a chance to develop a bulb before the middle of June, the better. That’s why we plant it in October, let it get established, and essentially hang-out all winter (it is extremely frost tolerant) starting to grow again as soon as the weather warms up, maximizing its growing time. We’ve been periodically checking-it, however, and realized that the skins were starting to ‘split’ and if there are split skins and the bulbs stay in the ground, the garlic will begin to rot. So, we decided to get it out!
With plenty of helpful hands we were able to pull and load the entire field in half a day, leaving us to do the time-consuming, and seemingly never-ending job of trimming, tying, chopping, and hanging the bulbs up to dry whenever we find the chance amidst other daily farm tasks. Today presented the perfect opportunity when it was lightening all around, we sought shelter and starting trimming, tying, chopping, and hanging. We finally finished today-Day 3 of the Garlic Harvest 2011. Check out the pictures on Flickr. You should look forward to seeing the bulbs drying at our Summer Solstice party next Tuesday, June 21st at 6:30pm.