Many hands make light work, and the kids did a lot of work with the garlic this year. They planted it in the fall.

Kids Planting Garlic

Helped harvest garlic scapes. Farm to arm: Makes for a fashionable accessory.

Garlic Scapes

After I dug and loosened the soil, the kids complained about the sun and hot while wiggling  the bulbs gently out of the ground. We separated the two varieties into different buckets so we could tell them apart for eating and growing again.

Garlic from the ground

I was in charge of bundling everything up to prep for curing. Zipties and rubber bands are an amazing thing! They held everything together perfectly. This year, I decided to get an adjustable metal folding laundry rack from Lowe’s. This rack was easy to use and sturdy by itself, but I supported it with some bricks and other items – just in case. After a few weeks outside it still looks great.

Metal Laundry Rack from Lowe's: Garlic Curing

We had a nice two week stretch of breezy, hot, and very dry weather, which is anything but typical in Pittsburgh. After about two and a half weeks, the garlic appeared to be done curing. The leaves were brown, brittle, and generally making a mess of things. The roots were dry and bristly – all good signs the garlic is ready to put into storage.

Garlic done curing Garlic done curing

This kids had the pleasure of trimming the root ends, and peeling off a layer or two of the garlic papers on a seriously windy day. Their hands were just the right size to hold the heads and peel the papers. We composted what we could, and the wind took the rest.

Here’s just one of the forty-eight heads we harvested. The Romanian Red is a beautiful garlic. Its purple-red color is just two layers down.

Garlic: Romanian Red

 

 

In 2013/2014 we planted: 15 German White, 25 Romanian Red = 40 total
In 2014/2015 we planted: 24 German White, 24 Romanian Red = 48 total

For 2016, we will plant more – 28 of each for a total of 56? (I like to plant in rows of four.) I think we only gave out one head to my in-laws with the promise to “use it wisely.” We got lucky and started running low on garlic in April, and then were picky what we used it for after that. Unfortunately we lost about three heads near the end (super dried out, maybe from our dehumidifier), which makes sense because these really only store for 7-9 months if you’re lucky. We always knew it would take us a few years to figure out how much garlic we use, what we can give away, and what we need to set aside for storage.

I can not wait for garlic bread!

http://www.thesugarpixie.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/garlic_romanianred.jpghttp://www.thesugarpixie.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/garlic_romanianred-150x150.jpgthesugarpixieGardeningenon valley,garden 2015,gardening,garlic,garlic harvest,zone 6Many hands make light work, and the kids did a lot of work with the garlic this year. They planted it in the fall. Helped harvest garlic scapes. Farm to arm: Makes for a fashionable accessory. After I dug and loosened the soil, the kids complained about the sun and hot...Misadventures and fun in the kitchen and beyond