Garlic Harvest

Back in mid-October 2015, I planted about 50 Music and Duganski hardneck garlic cloves in one raised bed amended with compost. Growing garlic for the third year, I’ve learned that this crop is super easy and productive here in the northwest and yields flavor to last the year. That’s my kind of crop!

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In early April, the two varieties were thriving.

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I snipped the garlic scapes in July and ceased watering. Earlier this week, the bed appeared as below, with the green shoots almost completely browned. Some folks harvest their garlic when just a few leaves are brown, but not I. Time to dig — gently, of course!

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What an abundant harvest! Most of these healthy heads of garlic are as large as my palm. This beautiful garlic is now drying in the garden shed. After a week, I’ll trim down the long stems and roots, then allow the heads to dry or cure another week or so. The heads will last for months in a cool place, but I prefer to finely mince the cloves in a food processor, mix with olive oil, and freeze in ice cube trays. Last year’s harvest and processing allowed me to pop cubes of frozen garlic right into many recipes for the whole year. Now that’s a good return on a tiny investment of time and cash.

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