Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's the Garlic Harvest!

Today we celebrate the garlic harvest!

This year I planted four varieties.  Chesnok Red is a purple stripe, hardneck.  Inchelium Red, an artichoke softneck.   Loiacono Italian, another artichoke softneck. Nootka Rose is an heirloom silverskin softneck.  I thought I knew which was which, but I did not mark the bed well and now I'm not certain I can tell!

I do know that I selected varieties in part because of their color.  If you've only ever bought garlic at the grocery store, it might surprise you to see how colorful the bulbs can be.  From pinks and reds through purples and even mahogany, garlic comes in a really wide range of colors.  And the flavors are stunningly varied -- mild garlics you'd be happy to eat raw, through exceptionally hot, spicy garlics that linger on your tongue for an hour after you eat them.

Now that the bulbs are out of the ground, they need to dry up a bit for a week or two.  Unlike some other vegetables that "cure", garlic stays out of the sun in the barn where there's good air circulation for this period.  Makes the barn smell amazing, by the way!

Then in early August I can cut the stalks and bundle up the bulbs by variety in paper bags.  Some I'll share as gifts to friends, setting the bulbs in clear egg cartons with variety descriptions.  This year I may try freezing some, as described by Margaret Roach on her A Way to Garden blog.

But most will be eaten!  I love garlic, and rarely cook without it!  And if you grow your own, you will, too!

1 comment:

The JR said...

I planted a little, turned out fair. Boy, you have a lot of garlic!