Not much from the garden this week after last week’s glut. I cut more chard and picked more peas. The chard was used in a gratin that my wife ate without complaint, proving that a lot of cheese, butter and garlic can make anything palatable to the picky.
I harvested a head of what I thought was Buttercrunch only to find it was Romaine, which I didn’t know I planted. How strange, it could not have been a volunteer since I planted it. Maybe a stray seed got in the seed packet.
This is Rossa Lunga di Tropea, actually Rossa Lunga di Boltonea since it was not actually grown in Tropea. Don’t want the EU police after me. I donated these to a neighbor gardener’s pot luck potato salad after she spilled her (one and only) diced onion all over the floor.
Daphne harvested her garlic so I thought I better check mine and decided to dig the lot of it. Below is the garlic harvest, five different types, which is now drying in the garage.Some family members are complaining about garlic fumes, but the smell should subside in a few days as they dry. I don’t think it will take the paint off the cars but it will keep the vampires at bay for awhile.
The most impressive harvest was the Spanish Roja garlic, which is new to me this year. It is a rocambole type of hardneck, not a good keeper but it is supposed to have great flavor. The heads were enormous.
Below are twin heads, from a clove I failed to separate completely. It was hard to tell with this particular garlic, so I had several cases of this. I am amazed how large the heads grew while this close together.
And this was a case of planting the clove upside down. The flat basal end is supposed to be down we all know, but for some cloves it may be hard to tell.
This is a Viola Francese, an artichoke type of softneck. I have not grown this type before so I probably pulled these too late. They certainly did not perform well at all. This is supposed to produce large heads, and the single head I received was large, but all the heads are about this size. And what are the bulbils forming in a blister around the stem all about? Apparently I can plant those bulbils this fall and get a single clove/bulb next year and a full head the second year. Commercial farmers use this method to increase their planting stock without having to purchase heads and risk introducing disease to their farm, and I may try it for fun.
Finally, a little more about commercial garlic farmers simply dropping scapes on the ground rather than collecting and selling them. According to the High Mowing catalog, to plant an acre of garlic (is that a lot for a commercial garlic farm?), you need to purchase 1,500 pounds of seed garlic per acre, which is equivalent to 60 million cloves per acre (planted 6” apart with 18” between rows). So that would be 60 million scapes to remove per acre, probably by hand, and either collect or drop on the ground. I think most will get dropped, with maybe a few going home for the farmer and his help to enjoy. Maybe they should try pick-your-own scapes.
To see what other gardeners are harvesting from their garden, head over to Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Monday.