Tag Archives: the garlic farm

Garlic, Glorious, Garlic @TheGarlicFarm #gdnbloggers

First thing first, this is not a sponsored post. I love the product, I paid for it, and will always share the stuff that I think would be useful, folks are going to benefit from and draw some joy from.

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I have now lifted all of the garlic on the plot. This batch was well and truly ready to be lifted as the foliage was going yellow, some of it had actually keeled over and part of it was starting to form flower buds. Definitely time, therefore to lift it and let it dry out.

It’s no secret that I have sown and grown seed garlic from The Garlic Farm before. It is by far, in my opinion, some of the best stuff that you can sow and grow as far as garlic goes. I find it wonderfully straight forward to sink and then to harvest. The bounty on harvest is always huge, a wonderful quality and always makes me want to grow it again the followig season.  This time of year, feels such a long time away from when it was first sown. Whilst other things such as tomatoes and squashes are only just kicking off, the garlic season is on the home straight.

Right now, Pops is a bit concerned that the house now smells of garlic. To be honest, I am little concerned too. I don’t recall it ever honking this much. Home grown garlic does smell, the scent is so much more intense than the shop bought stuff. Not in the offensive way, but the potency is indicative of just how fresh it is. At least there will be no vampires crossing into his conservatory.

I had sunk quite a bit of garlic; a fact that became rather apparent to me as pulled up the plants and proceeded to chop bits off. See, space is a premium for me. Many growers might plait and suspend it from the rafters. In the first instance, I am useless at the plaiting, and second I have no rafters. So I chop off the stalks-which I do believe you can use in cooking anyway-and lop off the very robust root systems and let the lot dry out in a warm and bright area. Hopefully the skins will dry out, become papery and allow the bulb itself to be handled more easily. The soil will also dry off and fall away, with the bulbs looking a little more supermarket brought.

As you can see, the bulbs come in an assortment of sizes. This is influenced by the variety and also the growing conditions. All the bulbs are solid bulbs, nothing has fragmented or rotted away; the drainage of raised beds does help. There is a lot of purple and solent wights in the harvest. This is meaty and robust garlic, with proper cloves that are intense and flavoursome when used in cooking. There are some diddly little cloves as well. These are usually the bane of Mum’s kitchen, and she complains that they are too small and take ages to peel and chop. I have yet to figure out how to prevent this from happening, alas all of the garlic gets used regardless.

With this years garlic harvest done and dusted, I will be looking into what will be sown in Autumn. A habitual thing,  only difference this year is that Mama F will want some and that will mean a bigger order!

Harvest and homebrew kick off 2015

The garlic foliage has dramatically keeled over, indicating that it is rather good to go. The seed garlic was sunk last autumn, having been purchased from the garlic farm. Over the years, I have brought and planted lots of different varieties of seed garlic. This was the first ever batch from the garlic farm, and I do have to say, I have not been disappointed.

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As of yet I have only harvested the one bed; I have two beds of over wintering garlic. The foliage had fallen over completely, was all very straw like and yellow. The bulbs didn’t take much lift, and moved out of the soil quite easily. The vast majority of the bulbs are very, very big. By far the largest that I have ever managed to sow and harvest. Big clumps, that are almost trying to split away from the main one. And they honk. Honk of garlic. There are assorted varieties here, and the purple ones are my own personal favourite. Not least because of their size, but because of their smell as that indicates the flavour they will yield. These are solid and stable cloves. What will happen now, is that they will be left to dry for at least a few weeks. The skins and peel should dry out and become crispy. These are better than good garlic bulbs, and I don’t do plugs of people just for the sake of it. This is produce that has come from an excellent seed producer and exceeded my expectations. I would certainly order again from The Garlic Farm.

Then comes the home brew.

Also harvested from the plot today was the last of gooseberries and and also raspberries. I am lucky to half allotment neighbours who ask me to liberate their excess fruit. I don’t ever filch fruit, by virtue of ethics, I always ask permission for the fruit is liberated.

With the gooseberries, this was always going to be their final fate for this year. I have so far made an experimental jam with them, and also an experimental Indian pickle. Their final fate, was to be used to infuse gin. There was a lot of experimentation last year with all sorts of fruit. An interesting learning experience, that produced interesting Christmas presents for family and friends. I also received, via a twitter conversation, really good advice from the lovely Thane Prince. Add coriander seeds to the gin. This advice worked last year, so I am taking it up again, having raided mum’s garam masala stash. Whilst I also plan to make some form of raspberry ice cream; the gin is one possible experiment with those that I have been looking at for a while.

The process is simple. Put fruit into jar, add sugar and steep. Then place into an airing cupboard and wait for a bit. The raspberry gin is apparently quicker than the gooseberry gin; a matter of only a couple of weeks. Gooseberries will be left for a while longer.

Garlic update March 2015

It’s been a long time since I wrote about the garlic that was planted during the autumn last year. You can find that post here where I planted it.

The varieties are:

  • Early Purple wight
  • Lautrec Wight
  • Elephant garlic
  • Provence Wight

Generally, I will plug it in, and then pretty much leave it alone. Such is the beauty of planting garlic, other than feeding during the spring and weeding from time to time, I have observed that not much else is needed. In the past, I have grew it both in open ground and also in raised beds. In my experience, planting and growing in raised beds has produced a bigger and better crop compared to growing in the open ground.

So far so good, I will  have to feed these in the coming weeks. At this moment, the need to weed isn’t too bad. There is nice green foliage that has some way to go before it is shows that the bulbs are mature. The full maturity is indicated when the foliage becomes raffia like and pale, it also keels over in some cases.