We’ll be at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival this Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30, booth B57. We’ve had a good harvest, about 750 pounds, with a lot of large, well-formed bulbs. See you there!
So we arrived Friday evening, planning to get a good start on the harvest, but we were on the fence as to whether the garlic was ready, or whether we should wait a week. Normally we look for about four dried leaves on the bottom of the plant, but in any row you’ll have some plants that are farther along, and some that could use more time in the ground. This debate goes on each year – be safe and take it out now, or let it go for a while longer, hoping for a big rain followed by some dry sunny days (much easier and cleaner to harvest when the earth is dry). Ultimately we took out all of the Italian Red on Saturday. It was a good time to do it as all the Bosch siblings (Tina, Jenny, Darren, me) were gathered, along with four of my nephews, one niece, Darren’s wife Eve, and Jenny’s husband Paul. Darren ended up perfecting the pitchfork technique for loosening the soil under the garlic so it can be pulled out easily. He also posed, with Tina, in “American Garlic”.
It’s our second year growing Italian Red. It’s an artichoke (i.e., several layers of clovers, and no scape), and it tends to be ready to pull before the hardneck garlic. Taking it out was the right decision, as we found generally large, well formed, purple-hued bulbs, as in the photo. It has an exquisite taste – not overpowering, yet very garlicky. Made collard greens in the cast iron skillet tonight with two cloves sauteed a little in olive oil, a little salt, and a little hot pepper. Couldn’t get enough. We pulled about 1,700 Italian Red bulbs.
I also finally put screens in windows of the barn where we cure (i.e., dry) the garlic, something I’d been planning to do but hadn’t gotten around to. When the garlic is hung to dry, it needs good ventilation. Sunday, after five of us ran the Millers’ Mills 5K nearby, it was a little harder to round up help, but we got 650 Riesig bulbs out – from medium (2″) to jumbo (over 3″) in diameter, and nice and dry (see picture).
It was high summer and beautiful this weekend in the Mohawk Valley. Hoping next weekend has similar conditions, as I’d love get the remaining 7,500 bulbs out and up to dry.
Arrived Friday evening. Woody had probably picked about ¼ of the scapes previous week. Some were a little too far, but at most the Reisig was just starting to straighten up. We picked scapes for an hour and a half Friday, finished them today early, by 9:30 or so. Most of the good stuff – Roja and German Red – went back with Dad to put in freezer. I have a duffle bag full.
Mowed down the cover crop. Oats already had seeds, still a few rye growing. Need to get them down earlier – before the seeds develop. However, clover is coming in pretty well, in most places, except the northwest side of the new patch – I wonder if that’s just bad soil. It might pay to see where the pasture is best and pick that as the next area to open up. Field peas are present, long, climbing the oats, but so-so in terms of thickness. They probably need to be drilled next time. Bush hog was not cutting well – right side was leaving tall growth. Adjust better next time. Helped Matt unload two wagons of hay – haying the big upper south field. Good stuff. Nice to get into a rhythm throwing bales off the wagon.
Sorted twine – have 46 x 10, 21 with labels, 25 without. 460×20 = 9200, so almost there. Pulled one Italian – big one, well formed bulb, but not fully developed yet. I pulled a lot of oats from the G. Red and the Italian – they got spread in there by accident. Hope the oats are not cannibalizing the nutrients.
Dad asked about a utility bar at Clinton tractor, and they knew of it but had nothing. Curt Doremus traded his Ford for a 75 HP John Deer. Same issue as ours – the loader will not both lift and tilt the bucket at the same time – problem with turning compost.
Jim mentioned that we have a resident fox in the south pasture with pup, and a doe and fawn. Saw a heron hanging around the pond – I assumed for frogs, but Jim thinks for muskrat too.
Was high summer in the Mohawk Valley – nothing finer, just like our garlic.