On the beautiful first Saturday afternoon in November 2019, we planted our 2020 garlic crop. But it all began in 2018.
Back on a snowy day in November 2018, we planted a garlic crop, which we harvested it in August 2019, shown here. Half the crop went home with gardeners. The other half, we reserved as seed.
For fellow garlic geeks, we plant four varieties: Jell-strain garlic, large porcelain stiffneck garlic, Moreno hillside garlic, and elephant garlic, which is not a true garlic, but a garlic-like leek.
The raked-out beds were measured and marked, with seven planting rows in each.
Gardeners placed a seed (a/k/a a garlic clove, just like you’d cook with) into each hole, root-side down, and lightly covered them with earth.
That’s it. That’s all there is to planting, harvesting, and replanting garlic. It’s the only crop we grow our own seed for. We’ve discussed seed-saving for beans, peas, and other crops, but that’s a more complicated conversation for another day.
I almost forgot the most important part: eating garlic! There are so many ways to preserve it to add deliciousness all year long. Gardeners here utilize methods including:
- Peel and freeze individual cloves in freezer-safe bags or containers
- Purée garlic and olive oil in the food processor, freeze in ice cube trays, and empty the cubes into freezer-safe bags or containers
- Make pesto and freeze in desired serving-size containers
- Pickle or lacto-ferment cloves, whole or crushed. Add herbs if desired
- Tie garlic into bundles and hang in a cool, dry, dark area