Garlic, garlic, garlic

This month has been crazy and busy and stressful in so many ways, thus I’ve been absent from blogging nearly the entire month.  Tonight things settled down a bit and I spent a very relaxing evening sitting out in the orchard cleaning garlic.  The chickens were down there doing their thing, and for once not bugging me while I worked, which added to the pleasure.  The temperature was perfect, there was a light breeze, and I could feel all stress in my life fall away like the dirty bulb wrappers I brushed away from my garlic bulbs.

I cleaned Spanish Roja, a variety I have grown for 3 years now.  I ended up harvesting 43 bulbs out of 47 planted last fall, which I consider to be a pretty good success rate.  Once cleaned I measured each one, and I graphed the data alongside last year’s data to see how it is progressing.  The results are encouraging:

SpanishRoja2015

My average bulb size increased slightly this year, and I had some really nice large bulbs.  I’ll plant the very largest bulbs with the hopes that next year’s harvest will yield even more large ones.  I wonder how long it takes for a garlic variety to become acclimated to an environment?  I guess if I keep recording my data, someday I may find out.  Once I cleaned all the bulbs, I selected 8 of the largest ones for next year’s planting stock.  Then I pulled 20 of the next largest ones and set them aside for the CSA share next week.  I need 132 bulbs for next week’s share, so I still have a lot of cleaning to do between now and next Tuesday morning!  But I’m very excited that I am actually going to sell some of my garlic.  I may not have the farm I’ve been dreaming of, but at least I can pretend to have a farm in my front yard and make it look somewhat real.

I had several small bulbs left over, so I decided to braid them.  I love garlic braids.  They are so pleasing to the eye.  Stepdaughter #2 even complimented the braid when she got home from work.  Not every 18 year old would say her stepmom’s garlic is pretty, so I took it as a very nice compliment.

IMG_9148

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