Friday, August 28, 2015

Update for August 29th Market

We will be at market tomorrow with 8 kinds of garlic in bins, some variety bags (5 different garlics) and "deluxe" variety bags (8 different garlics). We'll have lots of bargain bags too. So much of the garlic came out small or split due to the June hailstorm and flood here that much of the garlic has ended up as bargain bags. The Chesnok Red turned out especially small and "not pretty" so we will sell out of it earlier than usual. The German Extra Hardy won't last long either. It is mostly split open and so has also gone into bargain bags (great for Pesto making!).
In our main bins tomorrow we will have German Extra Hardy, Chesnok Red, Inchelium Red, Khabar, Tzan, Uzbek Turban, Redneck Wild and Chicago Italian. Under the table we'll have a little bit of Killarney Red, Malaysian and Shantung Purple. Ask if you want any of these.
Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Will be back at market August 1st!

We will have 5 or 6 types of garlic to sell including our newer type called "Khabar".  Mostly fresh eating or cooking garlic (no seed garlic). Come by to get the first of our garlic while it is at it's prime flavor!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The garlic harvest saga

We hoped to harvest with the tractor, but it only lasted a half day before rain stopped us
 Garlic harvest was the hardest ever in 19 years of growing because of the hail and 5" rain we got on June 4th, and the rains that came as harvest started. The June hail pounded the soil for an hour and compacted it so there was an inch and half of hard-packed clay on top. Underneath was still pretty wet. The tractor harvester didn't work well, but then I modified it so it looked like it would be OK. We harvested half a row before the unexpected rains came and turned everything to mud. No more tractor harvesting! It dried out with a few days of hot sun, to the point the mud hardened and was extremely difficult to get off  of each head. This made harvest take 4 times longer, and now the bulbs are decaying quickly in the ground. We are getting showers every afternoon now. Today- we went crazy digging it out of the ground and "whapping" the mud off and made a lot of progress on the last few rows. Thanks to Jock, Ryan, Caley and Sam for your help!

Some of the garlic looks OK, some very tiny, some with weird shapes, some decayed on the outside but OK on the inside. What a year!
Right before the rain. (Bootsie walking the rows)

The very muddy, hail damaged garlic- not as pretty as usual

A few slimy days of harvest
 The good news is I haven't found the "White Rot" disease so far!

As they say there's no better garden than next years' garden!

Jock helping with the extra-strenuous digging

Big mud balls were extremely hard to remove

Happy to have a harvest in spite of everything

Friday, July 3, 2015

When Do I Harvest My garlic? ( A repeat posting from last year)

Quick answer: When half the leaves are brown.
Harvest- Dig up when half of the leaves are brown (including the bottom leaves which have fallen off), usually June 25- July 10 for me. "Turban" garlics such as Tzan and Shantung Purple are usually ready 3 weeks before the rest (June 15 or so).
When harvesting, remove the biggest chunks of dirt from the garlic by giving a gentle twist to the dirt clump. I leave on the roots and stems. After harvest shade immediately. Hang or put on ventilated shelves for 3 weeks to “cure” with stems on. They must have good air circulation and shade.
Cleaning-  After curing just rub off the dirt, and maybe one layer of dirty outside skin and they will look gorgeous.

How To Store- Clip off the stems after they are cured. Store at room temperature or cooler, out of direct sunlight. Cool basements and garages can work well for storage. The bulbs need air circulation, but storing in paper bags is recommended for long-term storage to keep them from drying out too much. Many people are successful storing in the fridge in paper bags. Hardnecks generally store up to 5 months. Softnecks up to 9 months. Turbans stay firm til December or January, but send up random sprouts starting in November (still great to eat).
Garlic that has been in the ground too long will start to lose the skins and will not store as long but is otherwise fine.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Harvesting Garlic Now. Won't be at Market til August 1st

There is a lot of garlic that looks OK, but so far it looks quite a bit smaller than usual, due to the hail damage.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Scapes for Sale!

We will have lots of garlic "curlies" (scapes) for sale on Saturday! Come get them while we have them. They store for several weeks in the fridge in a plastic bag.

We will have generous bags for $1.50 (or $1.25 if you bring your own bag). We'll also have some cucumber and squash plants, flower starts and a few other plants for your garden.
WeeBee Farms will not be at market in July and then will come back August 1st with garlic bulbs for sale. We will probably be at market June 2th with a few more scapes and plants.

• Chop and add to cooked beans, chili, eggs, omelets, quiche, soups, stir fry, tomato sauce and veggies.
• Chop and sautee in olive oil for a minute. Serve generous amounts over pasta or veggie dishes
• Chop fine and eat raw in cold salads, potato salad, tuna or salmon salad, hummous, tabouli
• Roast on the grill whole with a little olive oil and salt
You can use the whole thing including the blossom, maybe slicing off part of the tougher ends.

Scapes only appear on hardneck garlic, not softnecks like Inchelium Red. They should be harvested when they make a full loop on top. This will help the bulbs get bigger. Leave a few on for fun, and for longer storing garlic bulbs.

The bulbs aren't developed yet, but will be soon. When half the leaves are brown- it's time to harvest! For us this is usually around July 1st. Two or three weeks earlier for the Tzan and other Turban types.
Look for garlic bulbs at market starting August 1st or so. Check back here for the exact date.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Flood and Hail Recovery, garlic report.

Thank goodness, some of our garlic looks normal and has made scapes!! We weren't sure, after most of the leaves were shredded and the early scapes got "hailed off". We harvested the early garlic ("Turban" types, about 10% of our crop) on June 11th and it looks great. These had already formed their bulbs before the hailstorm. Although they were extremely muddy, they all came out of the ground just in time before we got another .6 inches of rain. Some of the unharvested garlic looks pretty bad, as it was pummeled from the side and has slits in the stems with lots of strange growth coming out of the slits. Some of the garlic looks OK, but I won't know for sure for another week or two whether it will be normal and what size it will be.
Shredded garlic after June 4th hailstorm

Flooding on June 5th into the garlic field

Friday, June 5, 2015

Huge Hail storm, If we are at market will have scapes, pepper and tomato plants....

Unfortunately last night's storm hit us hard. We were pummeled by hail for about an hour, and got about 2 inches of rain on top of that. We got another inch in a quick storm late this morning. Now we are dealing with some flooding and trying to rescue the bees.
I'm thinking I'll be at market with the plants that were untouched under shelter and in the greenhouse, but not sure- it depends on the forecast. The garlic is shredded- some of the bulbs may turn out fine. We'll just have to wait and see
constant lightning illuminated the photos

flooding got worse after this photo and came up to the garlic field

garlic lost most it's leaves

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pepper Time June 1st- 10th

Peppers! And more peppers! Ideal Planting time is June 1st-June 10th.

Sweet Peppers Hot Peppers!
• All but 3 types are from Organic seeds
It's finally getting close to time to plant peppers!  We will plant ours around June 10th (they can often go in a bit earlier in Boulder). They do NOT like cool ground temperatures! (The peppers just don't thrive if planted too early.) We have gotten a good crop of peppers every year for the last 20 years with the late planting strategy. Some will have to be covered when we get the first frost in September or October. Most of the green ones will turn red by September, some in August.

We have many kinds of hot and sweet peppers. Many are ready to sell at market on Saturday including our very favorites that grow well at WeeBee Farms.  For hot peppers we are growing Jalapeno, Anaheim, Ancho (Poblano), Serrano, Hungarian hot wax, Bulgarian Carrot chile, Santaka hot Asian. The Sweet Italians are our favorites and we have Oranos, Belcanto and Jimmy Nardello. For Bell Peppers we have King Crimson and  Jupiter. Also look for Lunchbox mini-peppers and a few more kinds. These are all varieties that we have grown here and have produced well for us.
The only ones we could not find organic seeds for are the Serrano, Hot Asian and Bulgarian Carrot Chiles. The rest are grown from Certified Organic seed.

Belcanto- A favorite in our gardens for 4 years.  In our search for good organic pepper seeds we found this one that turned out to be amazing. These huge red Italian peppers taste SO sweet, and the plants are really productive! We got lots of these last year and used them for salads, stir-frying, stuffing and eating fresh off the vine. These are definitely worth growing. The Oranos is the orange version of the same pepper. It's just as good and gorgeous in salads. (The Belcanto are almost identical to the "Atris" pepper we sold in the past.)

Friday, May 22, 2015


Ask before you buy!
It's especially important with the challenging weather we've had.
Read below, or the "page" at top right for more info.
  • Hardening Off" (Acclimating your plants before planting)
  • WeeBee Farms takes pride in selling you plants that are ready for planting today. However, during periods of extreme weather, we need to protect the plants in the greenhouse and they may need re-acclimated to the outdoors. Or you may have kept your plants indoors or in the shade for a few days and will need to harden them off yourself before planting.
  • How to get your plants ready for planting