Tag Archives: garlic

Garlic pull – Little.

  
My little bed of garlic turned out to be quite productive this year.

& while I intentionally planted “doubles” in order to get smaller bulbs (they keep better), well, they weren’t exactly smaller.

  
I’m not complaining… Just surprised, is all.

I wasn’t in my own garden much this year.

Work, depression, fatigue…

My gratitude for the rain that came, for the weeds which provided moisture retention, & the owners of the land who took off the scapes.

  
The Ukrainian & Romainian varieties yielded the most bulbs. 

Above are 52 stalks of the Ukrainian variety.

  
Quack grass roots. Hrumph. This will go into the cull pile to be eaten right away.

  
I’m digging my garlic late, & this is one of the reasons why getting garlic out of the ground in time is important: the garlic begins to sort of “grow out” from  its skin.

  
And the skin on the stem can separate from the bulb… 

Ah well.

  
Fortunately, there were only about 8 culled bulbs out of about 150.

  
That means plenty for seed, sharing, & through Winter & Spring!

  
  
Clinging to a buckwheat leaf wrapped around a garlic stalk was this gorgeous snowy moth.

I asked an ornithologist friend who is also a, um, moth-person which type of moth this was…

Virginian Tiger Moth!

  
Thank you garlic!

Thank you earth & elements!

& much gratitude &  thanks to all you readers who for whatever reason, brings you to this blog.


Garlic Pull – Big.

Yet another tardy post from two Sunday’s ago…

Sara’s garlic pull.

There’s a bit of a walk to get to the field.

First there’s the path which crosses a dry/wet stream…

  
The sound of laughter leading through a canopy of hardwood trees

Up a hillside

  
Sunlight – a sign of being close to the field

  
Almost there, just out of the woods, laughter louder…

  
A faraway welcome greeting from friends

  
It’s good to be known & loved.

  
Okay, down to business.

There those who “pull” and those who “dig”

I dig. That means I’ve had years of experience wielding a digging fork so as to be less likely to stab the bulb of garlic.

  
I don’t have a photo of a stab, but if you can imagine gouging a 1/2 inch wide steel tine with the force of a human leg behind it pushing through soil & scraping into the tender flesh of a below ground vegetable, well, you get the picture.

  
Both jobs are important.

Those that dig, loosen the soil below & around each head of garlic with a 4-tine digging fork. Methodically moving down each row.

The ones who pull, grab low on the stem to unearth the garlic intact. 

The soil is brushed from the roots & bulb, then laying it (gently) in piles.

  
   
 
Bundles are made, & tied in such a way as to be strong enough to hold the weight of about 15 – 20 stalks in each bundle, which are then tied via square knot in pairs.

These will be hung over nails high in the barn to dry.

  
It was a beautiful day – and we dug the entire half-acre of garlic with the least amount of stabs EVER.

  

This is the river of bundled garlic awaiting Sara & two of her horses pulling the wagon.

  
A view from the field across the pasture where the horse barn lives.

  
A closer view as she harnesses the horses…

  
Here they come!

  
Connor on the left, & Larry on the right!

  
So handsome. Big beauties.

  
I mostly was taking many videos at this point of the day – but I didn’t ask everyone for their blessing to be posted on the blog, so my apologies for the choppy sequence.

Once the cart was loaded to capacity, Sara drives Connor & Larry down a lane then up the road to where the garlic is hung at the barn near the house.

  
Then they return with an empty cart, and once again the cart is loaded back up with the remaining garlic, & Sara drives the horses back to the barn by the house where the rest of the garlic is hung.

  
While I’m not afraid of heights, & used to be one of the people at the top of the ladders, it’s a heavy job so I bowed out this year of that final step.

  
And it was with Sara’s blessing that I stayed and simply sat in the field & enjoyed just being there, taking in the sounds.

  
Half-acre of garlic, hanging from the barn rafters.

I felt fatigued from the long day of physical work out in the sun, and I felt happy & proud & grateful to be a part of this yearly ritual & especially, with the awareness that this garlic allowed the horses to have hay in the winter & Sara’s daughter to go to college… Well, I felt content in a deep way.


Photo-string from Nook & Cranny, Fall seeding, cleaning green garlic, & gratuitous kitty photo.

  
It’s been warm.

& I’ve either been slacking on the photos or more focused on the work – depending how one looks at it.

  
This was from last Sunday’s harvest.

  
I swing between being present with what’s in front of my eyes & swirling around with what’s behind my eyes

Looking up & out at the sky, feeling into my body & breathing helps return my awareness to what’s in front of my eyes.

  
Opening the gaze from focusing on seeding & internal thinkings.

The habit of being in story (behind the eyes) is SO strong. SO ingrained.

  
I keep hoping I’ll “get it”, that is, be present all of the time, no longer in story.

But then I laugh at myself, remembering that it’s a practice.

Thank you, Sky.

  
From earlier in the week…

  
Bob, ever scanning the beds & overseeing the great ship called Nook & Cranny.

  
First eggplant came in!

  
Fall seeding well underway…

Yesterday was similar, minus Broccoli, & with the addition of Sorrel and Watercress.

  
The trays, once seeded & watered-in, are kept in stacks on the cool barn floor & need to have an eye kept on them for the first emerging seedlings

Here’s spinach just popping up

  
Then out it goes into the Big World behind the greenhouse & seedling tunnel

Along with beets, basil, & lettuce.

  
Basically anything that is not a Brassica (like Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli, & Cauliflower) which would be landed upon by the lovely cabbage moth, then rapidly munched down to misery by the cute-as-a-button larvae.

  
Garlic is coming in from the fields, too.

(That sounds like it just up & walks its way to the barn…)

  
It’s still “green garlic” at this point – which is before the stem has fully dried down.

People either hang or stack in it such a way that it allows for good air flow for the stalks to fully dry.

Garlic keeps better this way.

  
This is not my ship, & I’m not out in the field harvesting it, but for the record there’s less cleaning later if this soil had been brushed off in the field.

But, it’s unavoidable if it happens to be a rainy, muddy-muck day when the garlic is harvested.

  
Either way, soil gets brushed off with an opened palm or a brush of some sort.

  
Then clipping the roots

  
Peel the outer, dirt-stained layer/s of skin

  
All purty & ready for market.

I was trained to clean garlic this way at Sara’s farm, where I interned in 2006.

Next Sunday is the Garlic Pull at her farm, Earthly Mirth. I’ll be sure to get some photos that day to share.

A half-acre of garlic!

  
Finally, a gratuitous photo of my favorite Shoofins, Sophie & Izzy.

(Photo by Jenny – thank you!)


Potatoes are IN.

Yesterday I got to my garden.

I haven’t planted anything of my own since last Autumn when the garlic got in

  
They seem to be growing well

  
The folks who own the land planted the first 20 pounds of potatoes last week

This is the bed I set to plant in the remaining 25 pounds

Buckwheat was planted there last season

  
I’m not sure when it was last tilled, but this was a job for the push-hoe

My favorite hand tool!

 
Heart-shaped T-handled push-hoe, to be more precise 

 This is the view looking back down the bed after first swiping through

Then, I raked up the weeds.

Here’s what it looked like prior to push-hoeing… Before… & After. 

Ah-mazing.

Yep. Love my push-hoe. 
Then, the wheel-hoe with the chisel-plow attachments to create two furrows where the potatoes will be set

 
Shoved & grunted my way through Quack Grass roots

That’s some strong medicine in those roots!

  

It’s also built for a taller frame, so it’s not the most ideal tool for this body.

But, it did the work to be done.

Time to fetch the potatoes & Potash

   

 

Three varieties left

  

Loaded up in the garden-way cart

  

…some Potash goodness for the potatoes dusted into the furrows

Thank you, Ocean

 
Starting with the variety Strawberry Paw

  

Some of the seed from this variety was larger than an egg, so they were cut so that at least two eyes remained on each piece

 Eyes, check.

 The phrase “snug as a bug in a rug” came to mind…

  
Hooray!

Onto the next variety

 I really like purple potatoes

  

Last, but not least… The German Butterball.

Quite a delicious potato.

  
All in!

Time to zip them up…

  
Zzzzzzip

  
Zzzzzzip

Potatoes are IN.

In the remaining 4 feet at the far end of the bed, I seeded two varieties of sunflowers.

It’s older seed… Hopefully they’ll germinate well.

It remains to be seen.

 
I forget how much I enjoy this work… 

It felt so good to tend to my garden.

Dry beans coming soon!

 


late night ramble on farmish things, emotions-n-stuff, grumps about humans, & the joy of cats.

This past Sunday was the first harvest day at Nook & Cranny

  
Greens, greens, greens 

Spinach, lettuce mix, broccoli raab, arugula, & mustard greens

All from the three smaller hoop houses

  
(And eggs from the many hens)

  
While harvest went throughout the morning into the early afternoon, I seeded & transplanted in the greenhouse

   
 

Basil coming up nicely… 

 

It was a bit overcast & chilly outside, but cozy inside the greenhouse

Soon it will be too warm for me in there & so I’ll do the seeding outside

  
This was from the past Friday when it snowed a bit

The farm slowly is unfolding it’s shape as each new bed is tilled & planted

(I didn’t take many photos again, because there were 25 trays to seed, others to move, & 100 eggplant plants to be transplanted)

Say that three times fast:

…Eggplant plants to be transplanted…

  

(Thankfully this photo was NOT taken at the farm)

Sweet earthy groundhog looking for its breakfast this morning

  
I went across the road to where my garlic was planted to see if it was coming up… And it is!

  
Hello! 

 

Here’s the lovely nearby pond

(From the evening before)

Showing water’s amazing reflective capacity

  
I’ve been marveling at water lately.

It can be a mirror at times, clear at times, and obscuring at times.

And sometimes all at the same time! …depending on ones position relative to the body of water

 
(A vernal pond from last month after a freeze)

I was recently on a walk & passed a parent & child walking in the opposite direction

We were all passing a (thawed) vernal pond at the same time

I overheard the child say “ewwww that water is gross” & then the parent agreed with that sentiment…

I felt saddened by what had just transpired… In my view, it was a missed opportunity to open a narrow opinion

Vernal ponds are teeming with life… Frogs & peepers & insects…

*sigh*

  
But I guess I get sad easily.

I feel sad when great trees are cut down, even if they could pose a threat 

  
Critter activity!

  
I don’t know what was going on today in the world, but it seemed that many people were driving aggressively.

Ultimate example:

I was driving past an elementary school (where the limit drops from 45 to 35 during school hours) and a sporty sports car passed me, crossing a double yellow line.

OMG people…?!?!

What is all the hurry about?

Could we all try to slow down a little bit…?!?

  
Thank goodness for Izzy.

(Thank you Jenny, for the photo)

Nighty night all.


Garlic planting.

Yesterday was the garlic planting at Earthly Mirth.

It had rained vigorously through the previous night
So the fields were quite muddy

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This photo was taken AFTER we scraped off our boots with hoes…

It was a chilly, breezy, and gorgeous day

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The field wasn’t quite a half acre
And by the end of the day we got it all planted

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Three varieties

I was able to video the horses working, putting in more furrows
But I’m not sure how to upload a video on my phone…


Garlic planting.

This past weekend, the folks who own the land where I’ve been keeping a garden and me planted our garlic.

It’s a bit earlier then I usually plant, since I had been planning on going away for the 2nd half of October – but that’s not happening now – so we went ahead anyways

The moon was in Taurus, which is good for root crops
And the plan was in place that we could simply relax into

So – garlic planting.

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It was a beautiful day.

I love walking into the barn when the sun streams in…

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Gotta turn off the electric fence…

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And get the sorted garlic

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Peg insisted on playing fetch throughout the day, which was a pleasure

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Unfortunately & interestingly, I found that a number of the larger heads of garlic had some kind of sadness going on…

These were NOT used for seed garlic

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Proof & Reason #634 that “bigger is not always better”

And it’s just one more experiment and something to notice with this land & soil… I made it a point to not space the garlic so far apart this time

Intentionally growing for smaller heads of garlic, and see what that yields next season…

Smaller heads keep better, anyhow

It’s exciting already…
Something to look forward to in July…

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So instead of two rows per bed, I put in three.

Cracked the garlic

And dusted in some Fertrell

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Which both feeds the garlic & amends the soil with some slow releasing rock dusts

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In goes the garlic cloves

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Four varieties of Rocambole, which came out to about 150 cloves

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All in bed

Ready to zip up the rows

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And add a thick blanket of mulch

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Slow going, it was loose spoiled hay which was in the barn
So back and forth

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The pile of hay in the barn

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With the elegant and formidable spider web near by

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A friend came by
Helping with the rest of the mulching

Back & forth…

Each time the sheep would come over
I would tell them that they didn’t want this hay, as it had spoiled

Or maybe they wanted carrot tops…?

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“Petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nid”

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(Little by little the bird builds its nest)

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It was sunny & cool, but all the back and forth warmed the body, allowing for peeling to happen

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The bumblebees were out on the marigold
I harvested some of the seed heads for next year

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And one of the Batchelor’s Button flowers came out pink!

Not sure if it will make it too seed stage before a hard frost comes, but I’ll keep a watch on it

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I have no idea why, but often when I go to pee, the sheep will follow me & watch

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So curious.

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And so the continuation, unbroken line of seed saving & planting through time

And thus begins the next growing season

Blessings on all things