Mid-July means heavy harvests (we’re looking at you, Squash & Cukes) and long sunny days planting our fall crops (fall Carrots and Beets being seeded this week!) and harvesting our Garlic. Garlic harvest is always a milestone in the farm season, the culmination of lots of patience, care, and hard work.
We planted this Garlic last fall, in simpler times. They put down roots through December, hibernated through the coldest part of winter, and emerged with their first little green shoots in early March, back in the before-times. In early March we didn’t understand the changes that were almost on top of us. This season has been a wild ride for everyone—often frustrating, sometimes painful, always unexpected. It’s strange to think that when this Garlic was planted, the world was a very different place. That time feels much farther away than just 9 months ago.
Once our Garlic crop is harvested, they still have some time left on their journey before they arrive at your kitchen cupboards. They’ll be brought in from the field and dried on tall racks set up in our barn, surrounded by large fans for maximum air circulation. This curing process fortifies them for winter storage, ensuring that they’ll remain firm and vital, even when stashed away without sunlight or water, two elements we usually know to be critical to life.
In cured form, the bulbs can remain robust and spicy for long periods, retaining the legendary health benefits and versatile, delicious flavor that Garlic is known for throughout the world. A healthy, hardy food that improves flavor in diverse dishes seems like the perfect ally for the rest of 2020.