Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Garlic Harvest

Duck Creek Farm display
Last week I took in the Saturday morning market on Salt Spring Island in beautiful British Columbia.   It's kind of changed over the past thirty years )))) . Back then, our market product was Bon Acres Corn. We were up at a dark five o'clock, heading down to pick in the lower field....baby kiddo in stroller hugging a fresh cob to chew on. The truck loaded, we were off to the "new" Salt Spring Saturday Market and usually sold out by eleven. Heh..I was a spring chick to gardening back then and a new mom! Fond memories.......
It was great to see local produce still being sold, Garlic ('Allium Sativum'), being one of the most popular farm products. The braids went by weight...$48.00 for a wicked heavy one. Don't they look beautiful! Lots of variety..Portuguese Red, China White..
Braids from Bright Farm on Tripp Road certified organic.
While we've had a sort of nursery bed of garlic growing in our plot for about ten years, it wasn't actually until last fall, I transplanted some of the small bulblets 'in the green' to the raised bed.  Pulling them out a few days ago, was a revelation....it worked...we had proper garlic bulbs! 
Our Garlic Harvest
The only difficulty so far, is finding a dry place to cure them where their smell can't overpower. Living near the sea, and with all this rain, everything is damp.... to cure, the bulbs need good ventilation! I found a Canadian site, for buying and curing garlic and the info there has helped tremendously. Now I'm anxious to try some named varieties....success has gone right to my head!


  1. Oh my, beautiful pictures Brenda ... but guess what?? I am allergic to garlic!! Guess I should just be happy I'm not allergic to chocolate!!!!

    I didn't know you used to sell you veggies at a market!?? Pretty neat!

  2. Great results Brenda!

    Garlic was an early experiment for me. It failed to produce results and hasn't been repeated. Maybe time to give it another go, as you suggest, in a raised bed.

  3. In Perth, ON - they have a garlic festival every year. My sis went last week and had garlic ice cream - true dat! Did you ever know my pal, Anita Snell, who lived on Salt Spring around the same time as you, I think...?
    We have garlic but I'm scared to check.
    I will though.
    Want a rooster?

  4. So wonderful to have your comments!.

    Jan...Anita's name is very familiar...maybe she knows me too?

    Mal..I hope you do try it again...bet garlic like quick draining soil as that is what ours is.

    Michele...allergic to garlic..oh How could I manage if I were allergic to it...but I guess this means you will have to do without garlic ice cream heh! Yuk

    Thanks for the comments Jan, Michele and Mal. The garden is just starting to 'feel' great. I can sit in it, enjoy it and not feel too stressed. More harvest awaits but this seems to be manageable right about now.

    Many thanks for commenting.

  5. Great garlic harvest! We should try them here, as we always use garlic in our cooking.

  6. Never grown Garlic, Brenda but even I can see these are impressive! Well done :-D

    I also thought the Wedding cake was impressive in your last post. Very nice. I've made and decorated a couple myself - fun but a tad stressful too :-)

  7. a ha! now I know why you knew about the garlic farm. For the first time ever I grew proper garlic bulbs this year too but despite being in raised beds many of the bulbs are quite wet and a bit mushy. I guess all the rain did them in but I'm hoping to salvage some of them anyway.

  8. Sounds like you had a great trip Bren! Lovely photos as well.. I just got an assortment of garlic from Broadfork Farms to add to my 200+ bulbs that I'll plant this fall.. we've also been bbqing whole heads of garlic every day to go with our meals.. just love it!

  9. I am so envious. I was going to post something about our shallots (one of our few real succeses this year in the tiny veg plot) but these are so much more impressive.

  10. Excellent pictures of garlic. I enjoyed reading this post and how it evoked memories of your young mommy days.

    I love your bundles and hope they will dry well for you. I've grown garlic twice, not successfully though as the heads are weeny. Still my home would not be without it. Its an essential ingredient in most of my savoury dishes.

    PS I know what you mean about the rain :( that damp feeling.

  11. Glad you are back Brenda. Very good of you to bring the sunshine with you. Loved the wedding cake. My mom decorated all the brides' cakes in the little village where we grew up and she always used garden flowers on the summer cakes.Also very happy for the info' on garlic.We grew garlic for the first time this year and the site you suggested is just what we needed. Thank you,my friend.

  12. Wow look at all that wonderful garlic! If you haven't had much luck with fennel I had a terrible luck with garlic! Mine is always so small... and it is too wet here in the bush for most allum except for leeks :-).


  13. Your harvest looks so impressive. I am so glad that you added in the garlic link. After following your posts, I was hoping to plant garlic this fall, but was not sure where to order bulblets. Now I know. Thanks Bren!

  14. Your garlic looks great, nice sized heads....hope mine end up looking that good. Best of luck getting them to dry out, if it is wet and damp out when we dry ours I use a fan on low and they dry up properly in no time at all.

  15. Please let me know next time you are going to be on the island. I'd love to take you to lunch in Sidney and get to know you. I imagine we could talk gardening?