Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Harvesting Garlic

Earlier this week I began harvesting garlic. I carefully removed it from the soil and spread it on the drying table in the sun to cure for a week or two. A tarp is handy for cover at night and during potential rainstorms.

Look closely at the photo above. On the left is the regular garlic clove, but on the right you see little bulblets about five inches up the stalk. These little bulbs were growing above ground. None of my usual gardening resources gave me any clue about this, so I did what we all do these days---I googled it. Occasionally a very cold winter will cause garlic to grow above ground. This is evidently some sort of defense mechanism. I will use both the underground and above ground cloves. After all, I've already harvested the garlic scapes earlier this summer. Scapes are seedpods that grow at the end of the leaves and sap energy from the main bulb. I use them in cooking as if they were chives or scallions. They are delicious and quite expensive at the market.

There are three kinds of garlic: softneck garlic, which grows many smaller cloves in one head; hardneck garlic, which grows fewer large cloves; and elephant garlic, which is very big cloves. Softneck garlic is the kind that is usually sold in the grocery store, but hardneck garlic is commonly available at the farmers markets. At Red Bucket Farm we grow Inchelium Red softneck and Eric's German White hardneck.

My hardneck garlic is still in the ground (see photo) and needs to be harvested. No time to blog! Thanks for checking in.

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