Friday, June 1, 2012

Farm Friday

Fresh Garlic 1
Today's Farm Friday is about an event that I didn't participate in.  It was "garlic day," the day when Bill digs up the garlic that he planted several months ago.  Garlic day can be pretty labor intensive as the garlic must be dug up and then hand tied to some type of panel (Bill uses cattle panels) for curing.  The garlic is tied up by the green tops and then left in a sheltered spot with lots of air circulating (box fans help with this during the day) to help dry out the garlic heads.  If the garlic isn't properly dried, it will go bad.  

Garlic is actually pretty easy to grow and requires a minimal investment.  You can plant garlic from the garlic heads purchased in the grocery store or, better yet, you can purchase specialty garlic which has richer flavor.  Once a purchase is made, you don't need to buy more for planting in subsequent years, unless you want to try new varieties.  You just take garlic heads from a previous crop, break it into the individual cloves, and plant the cloves, rounded end down (that's the end that had the roots) straight into the ground.  Of course, you have to make sure the cloves get adequate water during the growing season and you need to weed regularly to keep the weeds from overtaking the garlic and from consuming the soil nutrients that the garlic needs.  But a little work gives great benefits.

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