Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Garlic coming August 7th to Market!

 August 7th will be the first garlic sales date at Boulder Farmer's Market.  

I can't wait to see you there!

We have a LOT of garlic this year. The first market will feature German Extra Hardy, Chesnok Red, Inchelium Red and a few surprises....


Saturday, July 17, 2021

How to clean and "cure" your garlic after harvest

After digging/pulling the garlic at WeeBee Farms

At the time I pull garlic I shake the extra soil off of each bulb by "whapping" the bulb on my palm. With big clods of soil I give the clod a little twist and then shake it or whap it. I don't use water to wash the dirt off the garlic as it could affect the curing process and storage life. Some people do wash their garlic, however, especially if they plan to sell or eat it right away.

After pulling and doing the rough cleaning I lay my garlic on racks to dry, giving them plenty of space at first, then condensing them into piles after a week or so. I give the garlic 3 weeks to fully dry, with the roots and stems on. They plump up while curing as the stems dry. It's fun to see the garlic get bigger!

Some of the 2021 Harvest drying in the barn

Here is a link to a video of me cleaning garlic after 3 weeks of curing.  WeeBee Farms garlic cleaning

 The bulbs weren't too dirty and were very dry in this video so it was pretty easy. Some garlic comes out much dirtier and can take more time to clean, but usually the outside layer of skin can be rubbed off with a little effort. Try not to take of more than one layer of skin.

Here's a link to a youtube video put out by a guy named Ned Cooke about his method of garlic cleaning: "How to Clean Harvested Garlic After Drying"  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rHaYI8RDgs

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Time to Harvest Your Garlic?

 Here at WeeBee Farms the garlic is late due to a cooler than usual Late Winter and Spring. July 1st is usually the magic day, but not this year. As of July 5th we have just picked the softnecks, and a couple other types, but a lot of it won't be harvested til July 10th or later.

So how can you tell when it's ready?

The general rule of thumb is to pick when half the leaves are brown, but 40% brown is actually ideal, for longer storage of your garlic. (Each leaf represents one layer of wrapper on the bulb). The trick is to make sure to count the leaves at the bottom that have already dried up and may have fallen off.

3 brown leaves at the bottom

See the photo of this garlic with 3 dried up leaves at the bottom. 

Smaller garlic dries up faster so gets picked earlier. If yours is still all green and has big thick stems, it may turn out to be huge! We have some huge garlic here too.

You may gain a bit more size by leaving your garlic in the ground  longer, but I've found that it also gains considerable size on the drying racks if you leave the stems on while they dry. 

If you leave it in the ground too long the wrappers will deteriorate and your garlic won't store long and may start to spread open.

Picked these softnecks already

Softneck garlics will start to fall over if you wait too long, so I pick those  earlier. This Inchelium Red softneck is long-storing and I want to keep it that way! I picked it with 3 brown leaves, 2 yellow leaves and 4 green leaves.

Watering before harvest- We generally don't water much in the week before harvest so the soil won't be too wet. If the soil is very hard and dry we water lightly a couple of days before harvest unless significant rain is predicted.

A special note- the "Turban" garlics mature 2-3 weeks earlier and were fully ripe and harvested on June 16th.

All in all it is a fantastic garlic year at WeeBee Farms, and we are SO grateful. We will be back at the Boulder Farmers Markt selling garlic soon. And we'll be in Longmont in September for a market too, so Stay Tuned!

To be picked tomorrow