The growing season is in full swing here on Long Island and it’s been quite a good season at that. We grow garlic every year and I’d highly recommend it. It’s a simple crop to grow, the seed stock is very inexpensive, bugs seem to ignore it, it’s very good for your health and it’s delicious ! -they say it chases away the vampires too 😉 For more infoabout garlic visit : http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60
The garlic was plentiful this year. Having planted it in September, the “early italian” variety is harvested during the first week of July. Even the brutal winter couldn’t stop this great crop we got.
This shot was taken mid June when the garlic was approximately 18 inches high. It ultimately gained about an additional 6 inches to full maturity.
Once the garlic is out of the ground, we let it air dry for approximately 2 weeks prior to cleaning and trimming. NEVER WASH THE FRESH GARLIC! Store it somewhere where the soil that falls off won’t cause a problem. The drying soil helps to dry out the bulbs and keep the garlic from becoming moldy. After a couple of weeks the garlic looks like this…
At this point I cut off the roots and the long dried out stems. I gently rub the outer skin of the garlic causing a few paper layers to come off, carrying the last of the dried soil with it.
The final product looks like this and is ready to be stored. We have used wicker baskets and brown paper bags to store the bulbs and have had good success, most of the produce lasting up to a year. This year we are usung some fruit netting that we got when we purchased melons. I’ve hung the garlic in the downstairs workshop. There is no odor as the garlic dries. If you notice a strong smell the garlic is is either sprouting or is moldy. Both of these situations are rare when the garlic is freshly picked. usually it’s a pretty painless procedure.