For as much as I cook things that include copious amounts of garlic, oddly, it never occurred to me that I could plant and harvest my own until one of my friends showed up at my house with a bag full of “planting cloves” last fall (at which point I was like THIS IS THE BEST IDEA EVER, and there was a lot of excessive punctuation coming out of my mouth.) Then I planted two of my raised beds full of garlic, and basically gave the finger to any and all vampires that might be targeting a small farm in the middle of nowhere for their next meal.
Planting and growing was super easy. I put individual cloves in the ground last fall…
And basically haven’t touched them since. They grew without any interference from me…
A couple of weeks ago the stalks started to go brown, and then in the last week I actually started losing a few, so I figured it was time to pop these babies out of the ground.
For the record: I have no idea what the eff I’m doing. But I do have Google, and it seemed to concur.
So, the garlic came out of the ground.
And… then what?
I read you’re supposed to let it dry (out of the sun) for a couple of weeks, which I first attempted to do with just a couple of heads of garlic hanging in my mudroom. I quickly realized that not only would my entire house repel vampires, but also humans (and possibly the cat) too. I needed another option. So… tools!
Tools solve all problems.
I decided to build a quick-and-dirty drying rack for the thirty-or-so heads I grew this year. The layout was pretty simple…
A couple of 1×2 boards nailed to scrap 2×4 stretchers.
Maybe one day I’ll have a dedicated garlic-drying rack, but for now, this little portable version moves to wherever I’ve got room for it…
Currently sitting between a stool and windowsill in the garage, actually. (This picture also made me laugh because I just noticed the string wrapped around the end of one of the boards and puzzled over it for a minute… until I realized this scrap wood used to be a part of my picnic table pirate flag…)
Garlic does not repel pirates, by the way.
My plan is to leave the heads of garlic out to dry for a couple of weeks, and then (hopefully) it will be ready for storage–the biggest heads will be saved for planting next year.
I may have already started mixing it in (with some chives and cilantro from the garden as well) to my fresh-from-the-Nug eggs.
While the garlic was the first real harvest in my garden this year… things are looking good.
The kale and eggplant is growing. The tomatoes are behemoths (and the cages my mom and I made back in April are working nicely.)
My bean vines are growing.
(Some of them might be peas, actually…)
My corn is making a valiant effort, despite the grass and the late planting…
And then there’s this, which my mother swore was cucumber when we planted it…
Although I’m not entirely sure we didn’t plant some pumpkin plants in the vertical bed. Which will make for interesting growing.
My herb bed is filling in nicely as well (maybe with weeds, but also with herbs.)
And since I’ve managed to make some great strides in getting my shit together inside the house (more on that later this week, I swear) more of my attention will be focused– again– on projects outside and a lot of canning.