Saturday, July 11, 2009

a truly once a year event--- garlic harvest

After three straight days of pulling weeds at the school, it was time to do something a bit more fun on Thursday, if not a bit more stinky... The annual garlic harvest. There is different opinions on how brown/green the leaves should be when you harvest the garlic. Some years I have gone to the browner end of the spectrum, but I like doing it at the greener end.

At the greener end the students are less likely to find rotted bulbs and are also less likely to snap the connection between bulb and leaves.

The students are shown the technique then I for the most part step back only to rush back if help is needed. I wait for the bundles to be tied up, at which point I venture into our cart garage to hang them for drying.

For the next few months it is a place one is not likely to find any vampires. However, if you chose to hide out in there, the smell will very likely permeate your being. In two weeks or so, we will begin selling it.



17 comments:

Tatyana said...

I might ask my boys to harvest garlic this year. It sounds like fun after reading your post. Other day, I told them that I hoped their wives would love gardening. They nodded (they are 10 years old). Thanks for stopping at my blog and leaving a comment!

tina said...

I'll be posting my garlic harvest post next week. I made the mistake of letting some of the foliage disappear completely so there might be something to picking while it is a bit green.

Wayne Stratz said...

Tatyana--- hope the boys decide to help. I am blessed that my students desire to have horticulture.

tina-- good luck with the harvest. It is a way cool thing to grow... and deer don't touch it!

Gail said...

I noticed that the Farmers Market farmers in Providence RI were selling garlic scapes. Do you know anything about them? gail

Wayne Stratz said...

Gail--- I just did some research on them and there is info on them all over the internet. What I sadly read was this: best when harvested early and are tender.

mine had shot up while the school was on vacation so they were not so tender, so I did not try to do anything with them.

Phoenix C. said...

This sounds like heaven - I love garlic! I've occasionally used a garlic stew drench over vulnerable plants in the garden, to deter rabbits, and the smell was wonderful!

Thank you for your comment on my blog.

Wayne Stratz said...

Phoenix C... sounds like you would love the experience of opening the door to our shed.

Susan_Morrison said...

Nice post Wayne. I have a small, mostly shade garden so don't grow anything edible other than a few herbs and Meyer Lemons, but have been enjoying fresh garlic from the farmer's market the past few weeks. Definitely a treat!

Wayne Stratz said...

Susan--- thanks. I've got a few edibles in my back yard which I supplement with the school's garden and farmer's markets.

walk2write said...

Will the students get to practice braiding the garlic? Or maybe they've had enough of the stink?

Wayne Stratz said...

walk2write-- I have never braided the garlic. we tie them together in bunches and then hang those to dry. maybe next year.

Dana said...

Is there any way the parents can buy the garlic (give the student money, have them take it home) or too much? I think you stuck to selling to staff in the past, so no problem if you don't want to expand your existing book of business....the family has been watching Julia Child videos at night and I can think of some uses...

joey said...

Can't live without garlic! Wish I was there to help :) Taught an elementary school cooking class years ago ... the kids teased me about my garlic fetish and that the only recipes MINUS garlic were for cakes/cookies :)

Wayne Stratz said...

Dana--- I hope by the time you see this that you will know the answer to your question. If not the two heads of garlic I gave to your son would be somewhere to be found later.

Joey--- we made pesto in my cooking club today... looked disgusting to many of the students, but they all ate it.

Pomona Belvedere said...

Well having read Tina's post and now yours, I'm a lot more confident about how/when to harvest garlic. I like it that you spread it around. And the photo of the harvest is gorgeous.

Soft neck or hard neck?

Dana said...

thanks for the garlic, I sauted it into breakfast eggs.

Wayne Stratz said...

Pomona--- soft/hard neck... that would be a memory question. I tend to buy a few varieties of each.

Dana---- I bought some at a farmer's market right before harvest, so I have not had any at home, but did taste it in the pesto at school.