We love garlic and use it in everything, quite often far too much (but really, can you ever have too much garlic?) This is why it was so exciting when we planted 50 pounds of garlic last fall. It was our first farming act on our own farm. The evening before planting we put on a movie and “popped cloves”, separating the bulbs and selecting only the firm, vigorous cloves to plant, saving the rest to eat. We planted 1,200 row feet of garlic. It only took a few hours then we had all winter to wait and see how they would do. Then this spring, as the snow melted we began to see our garlic plants, bright, verdant green, poking through the dark wet soil.
In early summer we’ll enjoy garlic scapes, the delicious, relatively mild, crazily spiraled flower stalks of the garlic plant. A few months later, in mid-summer, comes the main event. Glorious garlic bulbs ready to pull, cure and enjoy. We’ll let you know when they are ready!
On Saturday April 6th we took a chance and planted our first few beds. Looking at weather reports we could see rain coming soon and staying for some time. We only had a small window to put seeds in the ground, so we took it. Though the soil was dry our clay heavy ground was not ready for a tractor so we went old school, spreading compost by wheelbarrow, loosening soil with a broakfork and making our seed beds with rakes.
There was still frost on the ground when we started preparing beds in the morning. We won’t know if we are crazy or courageous for a few more weeks but that’s farming; making a million decisions, gambling on weather and hoping for the best.
We’ve been planning all winter and seeding has to be one of the most exciting and hopeful tasks a farmer gets to do. We loved it and we love our new Jang and Earthway seeders. What did we plant you ask? A little bit of a lot of things: baby lettuce, baby kale, baby chard, cilantro, dill, beet greens, Asian greens, arugula, spinach, carrots, beets, green onions, salad turnips, radish, shallots and peas. Now, we’ll tuck them in under row cover to keep them warm and cross our fingers.