11 Jul Share week 9: Garlic Harvest
Not much has changed on the farm since last week- still hot, still dry, and still irrigating. This week’s share sees the first eggplant of the season, as well as the first heirloom tomatoes. Our heirloom tomatoes are grown in unheated greenhouses where they can flourish under controlled irrigation. They are grafted, pruned and trellised and generally spoiled, and in return they ripen a bit earlier then our field tomatoes. The red field tomatoes are still a week or two away, but we are seeing the first ripening cherry tomatoes, so it won’t be long before they are on the pick-your-own list.
The farm crew, and some wonderful volunteers, began the garlic harvest today, 9 months to the day after it was planted in the ground, on October 11th to be exact. I must confess, garlic is my favorite crop to grow on the farm- it is a very hands off crop- plant it, mulch it with straw, let it go all winter, then give it a little fertility and attention in the spring, and voila, come July, gorgeous fragrant bulbs of garlic. Maybe it’s the mom in me, but there is just something magical about a 9 month overwintered crop, grown from a tiny clove that sits drawing energy from the earth through the cold winter months then emerges green and vibrant in the warm spring. And I do really love the community effort that goes into the harvest. All the garlic is pulled by hand (after being loosened by a tractor drawn implement), then bundled and hung in the barn to dry and cure. The curing process will dry the skins and enable it to be used well into the winter months- returning to us all that wonderful healthy healing properties of the earth that it absorbed all winter. Join us this Saturday if you’d like to be a part of this fun farm experience!
Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.