Posted by: David | July 15, 2012

Best Garlic Ever!

Rather than sweating my bum off on the bicycle this hot and steamy weekend, it was time to bring in all the garlic, before the predicted rain which is now quietly falling. So that’s what I did and it took both days of the weekend. And I still sweated my bum off.

Yours truly in action. There were some weeds amongst the garlic.

The bulbs at lower left are ones that had the scapes removed for consumption about 6 weeks ago.

This was the first of 4 or 5 wheelbarrow loads. It’s bulky because of the long flower stalks, which I leave on for the curing period. I still think that leaving the scapes in place is the way to go, especially after this year’s crop. The bulbs which had their scapes pulled are consistently a bit larger, but not all that much. Last year’s crop, which got this same treatment, kept well into the spring. Leaving the plant to its own devices feels better to me. Plus the little bulbils, I now know, are well worth having and planting.

The harvested bulbs completely covered the firewood pile.

And here’s another couple of wheelbarrow loads in the hay loft of the barn.

I guess I really did overdo it on the planting last fall. But this is the nicest garlic I’ve ever grown. Hopefully it will cure nicely over the next few weeks and I can imagine things to do with it, other than giving it to friends and to fellow gardeners for planting.

The aftermath. 4 empty beds. 5 if you count the first one where the bulbil experiment went.

So that’s what I did this weekend. Woot.



  1. Sure would like to be your neighbor about now. Mmmm

    So you’re a garlic fan? Garlic lovers make great neighbors. I think …

  2. This winter’s cozy fires will smell of roasted garlic. How romantic!

    You may be right about this. As I took the cured garlic off the woodpile the other day, your comment kept coming to mind. The bulbil heads of the cured garlic were sort of coming apart and dropping the rice-grain sized bulbils deep into the woodpile. I wonder if the chipmunks living in the woodpile will eat the garlic bits. Probably not.

  3. That is a sunflower, isn’t it? And what happened to the seeds in that “basket” beside it? Did the birds get them? 4 or 5 wheelbarrows of garlic will get you through the winter, sure.

    Yes, the birds get all those sunflower seeds. Which is just fine. The pony has been munching on the sunflowers too.

    The garlic yield was about 2 bushels (about 50 kg). It’s fun to give away garlic. You find out who the vampires are.

  4. God, I must be a city slicker, I honestly had no idea that garlic had flower stalks. I guess I always just assumed it came out of the ground already chopped. And in a jar.

    ps. I’m jealous of the tan!!

    It’s OK, I was a city slicker in my youth. Educational moments like this are one of the primary reasons I keep this blog alive. Though at this point, it’s assigned power of attorney and DNR orders …

    Thanks for the jealousy. It’s a farmer tan.

  5. Wow! I’ve never had any luck growing garlic – to be fair, though, I haven’t been trying in the right soil I think. My first attempt was as a student, and I tried to plant it in pots on the balcony… Epic fail!!

    I’d say to keep trying. It’s worth it. For some reason, I didn’t even try growing garlic until very recently. The interesting thing about it is how it’s opposite the normal growing cycle, planted in the fall, overwintered, and harvested midsummer.

  6. *sigh*

    I know. It’s pretty awful. I’m so sorry about this …

  7. The deed is done, though not completely, but will be mailed on Monday. This afternoon I’ll still have to “give it a look.” We started a day or two before July 17.
    Like all lawyers and also like schoolkids who have to write an essay, the IRS begins by defining its terminology. So, if, like me, you have to find out whether you are allowed a certain deduction and you begin to read on page 1 of the instructions, you will have to learn for instance what is meant by a “foreign country”:

    The term “foreign country” includes the
    country’s territorial waters and airspace,
    but not international waters and the
    airspace above them. It also includes the
    seabed and subsoil of those submarine
    areas adjacent to the country’s territorial
    waters over which it has exclusive rights
    under international law to explore and
    exploit the natural resources. ……

    see? It is never too late to learn. The term “foreign country” includes parts of the seabed.

    Congratulations. I hope that it works out in your favor, and that submarine property taxes are low.

    And yes, it is never too late to learn.

  8. It was mailed, but we have to do at least two more years. So now I am doing 2010. But there is an unending heat wave. Can’t sleep. There is an air cooler, but it is noisy. I use a spray, a water spray, and that works really well, spraying water up oin the air and let it fall like mist all over. But one has to be awake to do that.
    And I have been trying to translate some of my posts into German. Just almost can’t. Have to read Wikipedia information to get expressions and vocabulary. I had an English post about a “cat flap”. I did not know these existed, but I wrote the English post in very little time. It is only a few lines long, maybe 20 lines. It took more than 4 hours to translate because of the technology and the names of things. Of course the 4 hours include reading German cat flap ads. The difficulty is not in the vocabulary, but in verbs that describe motion.

    I hope that the IRS will be satisfied with your efforts.

    Cat flap? I’m going out on a limb to guess that it refers to a device installed in a door that allows felines to enter and exit at will. Another sense of the word “flap” is fight or dispute. Which is it then?

    • Of course the door! I read that Newton made two holes in his street door, one for the mama cat and one for the kittens, forgetting that the kittens follow their mom.
      Now cat flaps have become high tech with sensors inserted even under the skin of the cat. In English the complete vocabulary can be made ad hoc; no problem. In German and in Spanish this becomes destructive because, as it is hard to translate, the original English term is usually corrupted and accepted.

      Imagine, though there is a Spanish word for the take-off of an airplane, people who work on the airport say “el ticko” because they can’t hear the “a” of “take” and even less the “f” of “off”, and they can’t pronounce most final consonants anyway. I knew of a man who spent a lot of money advertising “moder ar” for “modern art” and thought that the difference was not worth mentioning.

      Wow, sensors under the cats’ skins? I guess you don’t want the wrong cat going in.

      These language problems are fascinating! What do you think it means for the future of spoken languages on the planet?

      We have a Fulbright Scholar from Spain who has come to the college to teach some classes. Her name is Ana and I met her last week. I will be listening more closely now to the way she speaks English. I had to show her how to use her college email account. These phonic differences are fascinating, and I’m inclined to agree with the man advertising modern ar that the differences are less important. Although it’s a measure of one’s listening skills as to whether one gets stuck on things like missing final consonant sounds or is able to ignore such things for favor of actual communication.

  9. Sorry. This started to spook in a new way. The whole screen turned grey, except the space where I was writing, but the grey frame contracted and widened.
    As I meant to say, the difficulty is never in static vocabulary, but in words used to describe motion which in English are easily made up by adding up or down or in or out or back or over to a neutral verb like go or run or come, and in German this can be done to some degree and in Spanish it cannot be done at all. The idea is: neutral verb of motion plus particle indicating the direction of the motion = English verb.
    You must marvel at it, for it is the one thing that allowed the English language to become irresistible for technological texting:
    Roll it up : roll it over : roll it in : roll it off : send it in : send it over : send it away : send it back : it fell in : it fell back : it fell down : it fell away : each of these may need a cirumlocution in another language and it is really hard.

    I do marvel at your description of these things. Sadly, I have only the one language with which to render these ideas. Which is impossible. But I love reading your explanations …

  10. Hey! I’m around Bloggersville! How are you then?

    I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOO tired, I haven’t slept a wink …

  11. A hay loft. That must be where the word “lofty” comes from. “Lofty”, you know, is used to describe feelings, ideas and thoughts, but not hay. And garlic? Shouldn’t that garlic of the photo be called lofty?

    Absolutely! Clearly garlic occupies a very high spot in the attic of my mind.

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