Eugene cleaning last seasons' garlic harvest (the 2006 season). Some of which became this years' garlic seed
We finished planting the first crop for 2007-the garlic.
Put in 4 beds that contain around 1875 cloves of garlic. I spent most of yesterday splitting open heads of garlic. I think I opened up 400 heads of garlic and my hands are feeling it today. Eugene got the beds ready in the morning and than in the afternoon helped with the garlic and thought he would get some planted yesterday but he was wrong . The days are just too short to start any project after 3pm and it was about 5 pm and the sky was in full gloam when we got done splitting up the garlic and counting the cloves to be sure we had enough to plant 4 beds with 400+ cloves apiece.
Today we got out to the field around 9am with 3 heavy paper grocery bags of garlic cloves and preceded to lay them out in nice straight lines, four lines to a bed. This took about 2 hours. This is something we are pretty anal retentive about. If the garlic is not laid out just so it will become hard to impossible to keep the beds hoed and weedy beds mean the garlic will not get as big and it can. So we take care to do the laying out right so we do not have [problems 5 months later when it is May and the weeds are growing like weeds.
Than we took a lunch break and came back around 1:30pm and started putting the garlics into the soil and got that done at 3pm. Burying the garlic cloves is a simple and repetitive task. About the only skill to the job is knowing which end will be growing the roots and being able to put that end of the garlic clove down. Otherwise the garlic will grow upside down and become weirdly shaped. So the two of us sat or kneeled and pushed cloves into the ground for two hours straight and talked about things like the guy who played Doogie Houser coming out recently or how deep to plant the cloves (is deeper better?) or why the CSA's are different for the farmers (who expects community and active members willing to spend time at the farm) and members (who expect fresh food and conveinence but no participation at the farm and tend to not like them because of no choice in what they get and too much food) and how the concept of CSA has morphed over the past decade from a way for a person to get fresh food, support a local farm in a profound way and get reconnected to the farm/land by participating with their CSA farm to a trendy thing middle-class to rich people do because they either do not trust the food system or suffer from liberal guilt but they do not want to travel to the farm to get their food much less participate on a work crew for an hour a week instead they want the food dropped at a convenient pick-up point in a share that they picked out themselves via the CSA's on-line ordering system. In other words, CSA has gone from an incredible way for a person to reconnect with the land to a buying club. Needless to say, I am no longer enamoured with the CSA concept and Boulder Belt will not be doing one any longer unless people want to do an old fashioned CSA where everyone participates and makes regular farm visits, helps in the decision making and other things (Ha! Fat chance on that).
I am happy this job is done, It has been weighing heavily upon our shoulders for the past 3 weeks or so ("gotta get the garlic planted...") and it is a tedious job too boot. But garlic is one of our better selling crops and one of my favorite foods. It's good in about anything, and I do mean anything. Garlic jelly and ice cream are both excellent