The garlic has been harvested! From late last October when we planted it in the ground……to now, the harvest…
the cycle of the garlic season is almost complete. The next step is the curing process, in which we allow the outer layers of skin to dry, preserving the inner cloves for storage.
I often consider garlic to be the heartbeat of the farm. From the time of planting garlic in late Fall and then continuing throughout the Winter, the farm never stops growing food. When nothing else is growing, Garlic is. In early Spring we can enjoy scapes and green garlic before the cured garlic is ready and after curing, the harvested bulbs can last almost until the time of planting again. A full cycle, a full season.
Harvesting garlic is very satisfying, because although the garlic plant does require maintenance (some weeding, disease control, irrigation, and mowing between the beds), it is one of the crops that just sits there, almost forgotten, for such a long-time and because its a root, you never know what you’ll get when you pull it all out of the ground. And when you do, you’ve almost forgotten the work you put into planting and maintaining it. Since it all gets harvested at the same time, the sheer quantity is astounding, especially with that classic garlic scent. With the smell of garlic emanating from the packing shed, we will be reminded daily of all the tasty food that is yet to come. If you had asked us on Friday if the 4 hours in the heat pulling plants, piling, lifting and loading them onto the wagon was worth it, the answer would have been an unequivocally YES. And I think you’ll agree when you taste this year’s garlic—coming to the CSA in about a month.