Welcome to 2024!

2020 harvest

Hi all-

The 2020 harvest is going well, I'm just about 1/5th done, I expect to bring another third to half by next weekend. Most Turbans, and Ajo Rojo, a festival favorite, came in really well this year. I'm blown away by the Ajo Rojo, really. It keeps so well and tastes amazing. Creoles are a challenge up north but it really came through. I think the Artichokes will largely do really well this year too. Ozodlik is a newly bred type that is true-seed fertile that also came in looking beautiful. The others are still finishing out so I am not sure how they will be at the end.

I'll largely save the introspective posts for the dark depths of winter...right now it's all about getting the job done out in the field and getting the garlic carefully cured. I just found a Killarney Red bulb from last year that is still edible. Part of what I do as a farmer is I try to put myself in the place of the garlic, and understand its Central Asian origins, and the processes going on inside it. It's a living thing trying to keep itself alive, and reproduce itself, and incorporating those ideas in how I harvest and cure it, I believe, is how I get the longevity out of it, along with paying attention to its micronutrient balance. A garlic naturally grown, not pushed to accumulate mass off schedule, not subjected to unnatural practices, seems to respond with long storing ability, disease resistance, and ever prolonging growing season as well- I have moved the harvest dates of many garlics back by a week or two, over time, and this lets the garlic weather through June droughts and finish out through July into August. Studies show even a garlic's storage temperature is "recorded" by the garlic and changes its behaviors in the next season.

Anyways, just wanted to also say thanks to everyone who has emailed an order in- the old school system is working. It will be a lot of work to clip and bag the garlic and get inventories updated, so until then I'm happy to make the email system work.

A side note...for my own farmer sanity, I try to dabble in a side project or two even during the insanity of harvest. My most important side project is my attempt at true garlic seed production, through selecting types that may still be male-fertile, and letting the scapes go to flower production after manually removing bulbils. This is an exciting avenue for discovering new flavors and growing traits in garlic, and has already resulted in new, kick-ass garlics (see Ozodlik and Serenity Valley, especially), which are the result of Avram Drucker's work at Garlicana Farm. I am trialling a handful of my favorite types like German White and Duganskij, along with a large grouping of Wild types with proven fertility that Avram has already had success with, and with New types of his that are already 2nd and 3rd generation new garlics.

 True seed garlic garden

I have a crop of heirloom barley in my garden that I'm excited about. I may get to sickle and set it in shocks (large bundles) by some time next week.

barley in the foreground, some wheat in the background

The Hopi Blue corn is doing excellent as well- I saw earliest tassling last week, and now even more tassles are out, and some plants are silking.

Hopi Blue silking

 A final pic, from the end of my most recent full harvest day. You see I carefully harvest each variety as its maturation finishes out, leaving a patchwork of yet-to-harvest types.

earn your views

1 comment

  • Hi Daren .

    Great to hear that you had a good harvest .
    Garlic it’s such an amazing plant .
    I eat it nearly everyday :) .

    I’ve heard of Hopi Blue been used to make flour by so far haven’t seen it .

    It awesome that you grow varieties that could give you real seeds , Avram has done so awesome work in that direction .

    Only discovered this summer about TGS and had some bulbils myself .
    Will follow your journey , thank you for sharing your experience with us .

    Hope your harvest goes well and you have a well deserved rest in the winter .

    Take care and all the best !

    Ionuț ,
    Essex ,

    Ionuț Barbu

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