This Year’s Garlic

Today, I finished the garlic preparation for the this year’s harvest. I cleaned and braided 26 softnecks (and had another 11 heads that were split or not braidable) and also cleaned and destemmed 26 hardnecks. So overall, I harvested 63 heads. That should last me well into next year. However, I just realized that I forgot to save the biggest heads for planting this fall, so I need to cut four large heads from the braid prematurely. I will also save the four largest hardnecks.

The back of the braid
Cleaning hardnecks.

Mid-July

Dahlias, zinnias and asparagus

I spent some time in the garden today weeding the spot where I pulled the garlic a few days ago. I planted carrots and beets there and saved some space for fall greens that will go in the ground in a few weeks. I also sowed more pole beans, as some of the plants had been chewed down to their little stems by, I suspect, a rabbit. My harvest: a couple of pickling cucumbers and flowers.

Softneck garlic

I also cleaned the garlic today and hung it in our back stairwell to cure. In about two to three weeks, I will braid the softnecks and destem the hardnecks and store them for the long-term.

Softnecks on the bottom, hardnecks on the top behind

Garlic 2021

All the softnecks

I finally pulled the garlic yesterday. I pulled a total of 64 heads (37 softneck and 27 hardneck). I was pleasantly surprised about their size as I had planted them a bit too close together and the stems were not very strong in many cases, the latter is probably a result of all the rain we had lately. They are now drying on the porch for a couple of days and then will be cleaned and hung to dry for three weeks or so in our back hallway. Here is to another great harvest. I still have two heads from last year’s harvest in my pantry.

Peas and Carrots

This afternoon, I thinned my carrots (they are supposed to be rainbow carrots, but so far no deep red ones yet) and harvested my last handful of peas. I also took out the pea plants, weeded the plot (we had a lot of rain these past few days) and planted Kentucky Wonder pole beans in the spot where the peas used to be. I also planted nasturtium, which I somehow had forgotten to do earlier this season.

Carrot thinnings against a green backdrop of zucchini, cucumber, kale, Zinnias, onions, Chard, more carrots, beets, garlic and borage.

The garlic is starting to get ready, which is early. I typically harvest at the end of the month. But we had two heat waves, the last one just last week. With the heat and the rain, everything is speeding up this season. I also sprinkled Epsom salt around the base of the tomatoes to fertilize. Over the next few weeks, I will give all plants a nice seaweed/fish emulsion treatment. I have a few “naked” spots in my plot and plant to fill them with beets, carrots and lettuce.

Plot July 5, 2021

Garlic Scape Pesto

I made a small batch of garlic scape pesto with about half the scapes I harvested (15) and home-grown basil leaves (the basil leaves from the porch are huge!). I just pureed all of it with olive oil and salt. No cheese, no nuts. More versatile this way. I froze the surplus for future use. This pesto is so great on pasta, pizza, roasted veggies, or mixed into a pesto mayo for sandwiches …

Garlic scape pesto topped off with olive oil for the freezer (the color is kind of strange on the screen; it was bright green)