Posted by: oceannah | October 18, 2012

Garlic Harvest!

Garlic HarvestA nice shot of the garlic we harvested.  Yesterday was a lovely afternoon and we were outdoors clipping the necks and root ends as well as brushing off the excess dirt.  We have been growing this garlic for the past 20 years.  It’s origin is a German White hardneck variety and after 20 years of selection we have bulbs that are nice and firm, with large cloves and the skins slip off with relative ease.  It keeps well, and has a robust flavor!

When choosing which bulbs will become the “seed garlic” we always look for those that have the largest bulb with the fewest amount of cloves.  They must be sound, with no blemishes or cracks.  Only the best of the crop becomes next years garlic.

My favorite clippers!  Felco pruners are tough and durable.  These babies were a birthday gift many years ago.  Even with clipping the filthy root ends they keep on ticking.

Broadleaf Plantain poulticeWhile clipping merrily away I suddenly shouted out…my arm had a huge wasp attached to it!  Yikes.  I swatted it off my arm but it had laid a nice sting on me.  Thankfully we have a ‘lawn’ filled with broad leaved plantain.  This wonderful herb when chewed slightly is a remarkable healer.  I slapped on a bit of the macerated herb and the sting was gone in less than a minute.  Once many years ago while traipsing through a field my daughter who was about 7 at the time stepped on a hornets nest.  She was stung in 12 places and pretty disconsolate.  I found some plantain and covered each sting and again, within a minute or so she was fine.  Thankfully.

somethings happening here...These few garlics all have an unusual thing going on that I’ve never seen in our harvest.  They are skinless on some of the outer cloves and opened up rather than nicely tight around the central stalk.  I’m not sure why, but these will definitely not be in the mix for replanting.  They are fine for cooking and will in fact be in the ‘use first’ category.


garlic harvest 2012This crate is our ‘storage garlic’ for the year.  There’s plenty for an entire year of good cooking!

I hope you are having a great day.  Here my day is off to a good start.  I found some money that I ‘hid’ from myself in my sock drawer 🙂  This may not be the best thing for a person who can be absent minded, but even though it was my money to begin with, it feels pretty sweet to have an extra few bucks.  Has anyone else ever done that?  Do you sometimes ‘find’ money in a pocket or the laundry?



  1. The garlic looks wonderful!! I wish I played hide and seek with money more often…it usually doesn’t last long enough to hide…oh well. Spend wisely, of course on something fun!!

    • hahah Cindy, I don’t usually forget about money 😉 this was a pleasant surprise. Hope your weekend is off to a good start.

  2. I saw on Modern Pioneer’s blog a video about tying garlic. It looked like quite a job, but, I guess it’s convenient to cut one off when you need it. If you are harvesting now, I guess I wont’ be trying to grow garlic till next year. I use so little of it, I’m not sure it’s worth it. The plantain sounds amazing! When I saw the photo, I thought maybe it was yarrow. Did you plant the plantain, or did it just grow? – Kaye

    • Hi Kaye, Tying garlic? Hmmmm I’ll have to check that post out, I grow hard neck garlic here which means (surprise) the ‘neck’ or main stalk is stiff/hard. I have grown softneck garlic in the past specifically for making garlic braids for gifts but I’ve found the quality of the garlic is not so much to my liking as hard neck types so I don’t bother any more….this getting old thing tends to make some things fall by the wayside ;O

      • I have no idea what I planted yesterday, hard neck or soft neck….

  3. Anna, I think you may have the equivalent of Europe’s garlic mountain there! Impressive harvest.

    • Mt. Garlic!! ha 🙂 I used to work on a CSA in PA that grew ACRES of garlic, so to me this is a pittance 😉 I remember the first garlic harvest I ever had at that farm fondly….we were driving the fields in a large dump truck FILLED with garlic. It was amazing and A LOT of work.

  4. What a bounty! Good to know about the plantain too – I’ve been painting the house and have had more than a few close calls with wasps up in the eaves. And coincidentally I just noticed some plantain on my ‘lawn’ yesterday, so if I get stung before the project is over I’ll know just where to run screaming…

    • Calmly Sara, c a l m l y… The idea is to avoid spreading the venom before neutralising it. Be very zen: )

    • Sara I hope the wasps don’t sting you, but should it happen head on over to the nearest plantain…chew it up a bit and slap it on. Good for ALL stings not just wasps. I know you said you’re not posting pix of the paint job since it’s all the same color but I hope you’ll post the finished product 🙂

  5. Wow! So much garlic… I’d love to sit in the middle of it and smell it 🙂 Although I wouldn’t want those silly waspers stinging me!

    • It’s a funny thing garlic, when properly cured it does not reek of garliky goodness til you crack it open.

  6. Fantastic. I’d love to have a crate like that – I can smell all the good food that waits.

    • thanks lilsis 🙂 It’s a funny thing about storage food…it looks like SO much at first. Some have wondered what I DO with all that garlic….but as you know when cooking 3 meals a day at home from scratch takes a goodly amount of ingredients.

      • Indeed. My onion harvest was gone in a flash.

  7. What was that you said about sharing the other day? This was great information (‘specially for us Beekeepers, eh?; ) so right back atcha Babe: )

    What ho such Gorgeous Pile o’ “The Stinking Rose” stacked up so prettily on yon groaning board!!
    And weird about that splitting bulb thing though hmm? Caused by the drought thing mayhap? Just a thought.
    Speaking of thought (or lack thereof; ) I always gift myself from one season to the next in my ski suit pockets… An early birthday/Christmas present, you could say:D:D:D

    • Thanks Deb! I just made a batch of chix stock and hope to brew up a pot of Sopa de Ajo!!
      Not sure about the splitting…not seen it before this year. It was droughty here tis true, but we watered and it was a rather small percentage of the harvest (which is good) so it remains a mystery.
      OHH, yay for moola moola left in winter jackets 🙂 It’s usually only a couple of buck but hey, found money is GOOD money.

      • Oh YUM! I adore French Onion Soup and just happen to have a (real; ) shopping bag full of lovely hardneck right now, so can’t wait to try this too. Obviously you use chicken stock but (already looked at a couple of recipes online) do you use andouille sausage or ham, saute your stale bread(croûton), pre-poach the egg or do it on top of the soup…? Perhaps a recipe will follow? (I know, I know, SUCH a pain in your arse, am I not?; )

  8. Incredible garlic harvest! Wow…very impressive. Thanks for the tip about plantain and wasp stings. Great post.

    • Okay, I’m planting garlic cloves today, Anna, thanks for the “how-to” instruction!! – Kaye

    • Happy to share!

      Great work Kaye, you’ll have a nice patch of garlic for next summer.

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