Saturday, December 3, 2011
October 23 was a beautiful fall day. Perfect conditions to put the garlic cloves in the soil. I headed to the back shed to clean this year's crop which I had hung to dry sometime in July. Since I failed to rotate the garlic last fall, my yield was very low. I lost more than half due to garlic rot. Sad and hard lesson to learn. I picked through every single dry plant tearing the bad bulbs apart to salvage the good cloves.
Jim hitched the tiller to the John Deere and after one pass through the garden, we were ready to make the drills in the new location. The garlic cloves in place, we gently burried 130 of them in of soil. For winter protection, we mulched leaves to cover the rows and walked away satisfied that the job was done.
It warms my heart to see the tiny green shoots in the spring. Come July, the garlic scapes are cut off the minute the second loop appears. It makes a yummy pesto! Good on pasta. Good on fresh bread. Approximately two weeks after the scapes are harvested, the garlic is pulled out and hung to dry.
Come October, I bring it into the cold pantry. Amazingly it will keep well into the following April!
Mom has a good garlic idea. For some reason, her garlic sprouts before she gets to use it all. So, she separates the cloves, places them in a freezer bag and freezes them. That's what I did with my "picked through" crop. When I need a clove, I nuke it for 10 seconds. The peel falls off and it minces like butter.