Post by Eric
Elderberry Hill Farm
Dear Garlic lovers,
As it starts to feel like winter I often find myself thinking of the season in the past tense. I think about the bright tomatoes and peppers and all of the work that went into raising them from tiny little seeds. I remember seeding, transplanting, and weeding a multitude of different crops. This week though, we have an exciting project that links the past season and future ones: planting garlic.
Garlic is one of the easiest crops to save as seed because each clove grows into a full bulb when planted. Growing garlic offers a great lesson in the importance of adapting plants to local conditions. When we harvested and cured the garlic crop in July, we separated the largest cloves from all the others and that is what will get planted for next year's harvest. Through this process of selection, the average bulb size will increase from year to year.
One final note about planting garlic: you can do it too! All you have to do is stop by any farmers market and buy a couple of the nicest looking bulbs you can find. Break them apart (DON'T PEEL THE CLOVES!) and select the biggest cloves. Take them into your yard (you can plant them anywhere, but they'll do best with full sun) and push them into the ground with the pointy side up. Kids will love this project. Try to get them 2-3 inches deep. They may start growing this fall, but most likely you'll see a grass-like sprout poking out of the snow in early March next year. Good luck!