Total Pageviews

Friday, October 23, 2009

Planting the 2009 Garlic Crop

Planting garlic on a beautiful Indian Summer evening

We started planting garlic this past Tuesday. We are planning on doing 8 50' x 4' beds this year and growing 5 different types, Music, Purple Glazer, Shvilisi (Chesnok Red), Persian Star and German White-all hardneck garlics. The Persian Star, Shvilisi and German white we have grown for years. Last year I traded some rare tomato seeds for the Music and Purple Glazer and we planted the 3 corms of each last fall and got 41 corms of the Glazer and 31 of the Music which translated into 1.3 beds of the Purple Glazer and .6 beds of the Music. We also planted two beds of the Persian Star.

It took an amazingly short amount of time to get the garlic positioned and in the ground. Around 45 minutes a bed with 2 people laying out and planting 450 cloves per bed. Granted, the beds were ready to go. The tilling, raking and applying compost and other amendments would have added another 45 minutes to an hour of time. Though we did put down Sul-Po-Mag right before planting and that took maybe 2 minutes per bed.


At any rate, between 4pm and dusk we planted over 1500 cloves of garlic. Our best time to date. We still have another 1300 to put in whenever it decides to not rain and we get a good day for planting root crops.

Eugene using a rake to mark out rows in the bed

Garlic needs to be planted in the fall. Usually we plant between Halloween and Thanksgiving but this year we had our first freezes in Mid October and the Sella Natura Biodynamic planting calender we use indicated that Tuesday afternoon and evening was a terrific time to plant root crops. So Eugene spent the day harvesting potatoes and doing the final prep on the garlic beds while I got the farm share stuff together. Than around 4pm I went up to see where the garlic planting was headed. Saw Eugene was just beginning to poke the first garlics into the ground and so I grabbed a trowel and started doing the same.

Laying out the garlic. This bed is finished and ready for planting.

While we were planting our garlic crop our neighbors were taking out their soy bean crop. The difference between how we farm and how they farm was striking. We were doing a human scale farming project. Our tools were a couple of buckets, some Sul-po-mag and garlic. They were doing and industrial machine scale farming project. Their tools were a combine with a bean head, a tractor with a gravity wagon and a semi tractor trailer. They were covering lots of acres (I believe the field next to us is 25 acres) while we were covering a small space, maybe 800 square feet at most. And yet we will likely net more money from our small space in garlic than they will on that 25 acres. And we do this having used a small fraction of the energy used in the industrial machine scale farm project.

Took a break after one bed and found that we had been doing this job for under 30 minutes and at that pace we could likely get another 5 or 6 beds done before dark. Drank a beer and sat around for 20 minutes breaking up German White corms into individual cloves because we felt we could plant another 6 beds before dark in 1.5 hours. After a few minutes we realized we really had time to do only 3 more beds as we realized that we had not accounted for laying out the garlic. That that task can sometimes take almost as long as poking the cloves in the ground. Plus we did not have enough garlic prepared for planting to do 6 beds.

Planting the Music at dusk. This was the last bed of the day.

So we headed back up to the garden and finished up the Persian star and than did the Purple Glazer and Music. Plus we finalized where the 3 beds of German white and the bed of Shvlisi will go.

All in all very good work.

1 comment:

nihaty said...

useful is a plant garlic in turkey, we use almost all the dishes and he's my taste wonderful natural antibiotic.