The garden log entries here usually cover just about everything that’s currently growing out in the Veggie Gardening Tips garden, but this one will be a little different because I just finished harvesting this year’s crop of gourmet garlic and that’s always an exciting and suspenseful event!
If you still haven’t heeded my advice and planted at least a few stinkin’ cloves in your own garden then now’s a perfect time to read up on the subject and get your seed stock ordered to plant this fall. There’s a complete archive of garlic growing articles here including the following selection to help get you started:
Tips and Tricks for Raising Home Grown Gourmet Garlic
- Planting Fall Garlic in the Home Garden
- Locating and Purchasing Gourmet Garlic Seed Stock
- Favorite Gourmet Garlic Varieties
- Fun Facts and General Garlic Information
Now back to my latest garlic harvest. I dug up a sample clove a week or so ago because I needed a bulb for a new recipe and because I was curious to see exactly how the crop was progressing. The randomly selected garlic bulb turned out to be a whopper and I was all smiles about the prospects for the remainder of this season’s harvest.
An Untimely Delay in the Garlic Harvest
Then came the rains, which were welcomed and needed in the garden, but arrived at a bad time and interfered with digging up the garlic bed. The rain delay pushed the garlic harvest back by a week or two and very little in the way of green leaf growth was left by the time the bulbs were dug up.
Fortunately the garlic bulbs were still in great shape and only a few showed any signs of splitting out of their paper-like wrappers. Size wise it turns out that my random test bulb happened to fall towards the upper end of the spectrum, but most of the garlic was at least a few inches across and definitely larger than your typical store bought bulbs.
The crop was very productive with a growing bed about ten feet long by five foot wide yielding nearly a hundred bulbs of delicious gourmet garlic. Not to even mention how carefree it was to manage this garlic production from a fall planting.
The Ultimate Way to Savor Freshly Dug Garlic Cloves
The garlic has been hung to dry and cure for a few weeks with the exception of a few bulbs that were diverted straight to the kitchen! So what shall it be? Hmmm, fresh garlic bread, roasted garlic cloves, or maybe a garlicky pasta recipe?
No, I think I’ll be brave and enjoy the new harvest like a true garlic aficionado; uncooked in a dish that can handle the full flavor and heat of raw cloves! How about a little hummus, salsa, guacamole, or maybe a smorgasbord of all three? I know, I really should have been better prepared and organized, it’s not like I didn’t see this day coming.
Looks like I’m headed back out to the garden to pick a ripe heirloom tomato, some fresh basil and cilantro, and then I’ll have to run to the store for an avocado, tortilla chips, and a baguette of multi-grain bread. On the way out of the store I’ll try my best to resist swinging by the garlic bin to taunt those pathetic, puny, little, flavor deprived, no-fire, bulbs that pass for garlic in my local supermarket!
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