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October 13, 2009

I have been slowly working on my garlic crop.  It was somewhat of a disappointment this year, so it has been hard to be motivated to clean it.  Because of the way the soil packs and reduces in the boxes, a crop I plant in the fall, such as garlic, loses quite a bit of volume  surrounding its roots by summer.  My garlic boxes were only about half full of dirt when I harvested the crop in July.  The reduction in nutrients, as well as the weather no doubt, caused the heads of garlic to be smaller than usual.  I also had a disease problem run through a couple boxes as well as affect some random heads here and there. 

What I have, I have and although it is small, it is still a good crop.  I sold about 14 lb of it to an old custumer of mine and am currently in the process of cleaning up what remains hanging in the garage.  If anyone is interested in good, local, naturally grown garlic, give me a call.  The price is $3.50lb.

Garlic is a crop that I plant at the end of October.  The whole family pitches in to break the heads apart and put them in the earth.  When the ground freezes, I cover the area with straw to prevent its heaving.  When spring comes, the little shoots are peeking through the straw, so I work to uncover them and let the sun warm the soil.  In June, there are the seedheads, called scapes, to cut off and eat.  In July the main crop comes up to be hung and cured.  Then, I work to clean up the heads and sort through them to determine what I will use for seed, what I will sell, and what I will keep.   

I have been growing garlic for probably 8 years, now.  I have never encounted a disease before, so I am blaming this year’s problem on an incomplete crop rotation last fall.  I had such limited space that I planted some in soil that had garlic in it before.  Big mistake that won’t happen again!  I haven’t quite figured out exactly where I will put the garlic  this year, but I know where I will not!

The new picture in the header is one my daughter took of the garlic hanging in the garage.  In the picture in the post “Rewards for our Hard Work”  the garlic is from this year’s harvest.



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