The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Garlic harvest

Garlic harvestGood things come to those who wait.  And experiment.  And research.

We planted cloves of garlic straight from the grocery store in January 2007 and got pretty much no yield.  September 2007, we put in some top bulbs from my Mom, again to no avail.  Finally, last October, we got it right, planting four varieties of Virginia-grown garlic in carefully built raised beds.  And look at the harvest!

Actually, we probably should have dug our garlic about a week ago.  As you can see in the photo to the right below, a few of the heads had lost their outer wrapper layer, meaning that we waited a bit long to harvest.  This website gives the best description I've seen of how to plant, harvest, and cure your garlic.

Garlic heads, harvested at the right time and a bit late.

Despite the fact that we're really supposed to let our garlic cure for a couple of weeks to get the best garlic flavor, I couldn't resist harvesting our first basil of the year and doing a pesto taste-test.  We weren't really sure we could tell the difference between the varieties, so we'll have to test them again once they're fully cured.  All four pestos were delicious, though, especially after we realized this meant we may never have to buy grocery store garlic again!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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