We will back to Abbotsford and White Rock Farmer’s markets starting the first weekend in June 2017. We will bring fresh scapes, garlic greens and the earliest mature bulbs available. We are a little behind last year but the worst winter in 50 years has only delayed us by two weeks.
The cold weather should make this year’s crop particularly flavourful! Cold weather boosts garlic punch!
These are a few of the new garlic racks we are building. This is one of three such concrete bays and each will hold 12,000 garlic bulbs for drying. There will be a black plastic roof added to help keep the newly picked garlic cool while they wait to go to market. Each of these 8 garlic racks are 50 feet long.
All the books tell you Garlic can’t be transplanted. Not true. We do it all the time. With this brutal winter we have had survivors emerge from our compost pile. The bulbs and bulbils we tossed last fall have emerged and clusters like the one shown above did better than many planted in the field. Main reason we believe is they were sheltered from the worst of the winds.
So, we are digging up these clusters, taking as much of their rootball as possible and replanting them in a hole filled with compost. With the warming weather we will find sunny locations and hope for the best.
These bulbs will be smaller but they will be perfectly edible and could be broken up for seed next fall. The bulbils can be saved for a summer garnish or additional seed stock.
Despite the frozen crop we optimistically went ahead with putting a new roof on the drying bays. Genius John whipped these steel trusses together during a coffee break one day. Will not quite that fast but pretty darn close to it. Next step is to replace the old shelves. More pice to follow on that.
Wow! After 2 months of record snow and cold our garlic beds look ruined. All the green shoots are yellow andl ifeless. The raised beds have been frozen for most of the past 10 weeks dating back to Dec 6th 2016.
On the north field we lost 90% of our fabric covers in the howling NW gales. If any plants survive we fear the bulbs will be small. Survivors will have exceptional flavour as cold weather generally creates strong garlic.
We will see.
Summer’s end marks the start of our planting season. This fall we are planting 25,000 purple stripe and a few short rows of other early hardnecks we are playing around with (Portugese Purples and the Salt Spring Island variety.)
After hours of weeding in previous years we decided to try landscape fabric on our raised beds. John is finishing off throwing soil on the sides to help hold the fabric down in our winter storms. These rows have 15,000 slits cut into them allowing for perfect spacing.
This fall we are being very picky over which cloves we use as seed. The hope is we have our best and most consistent sized garlic ever.
More pics to follow as we will take about 2 weeks to get everything in the ground. We also hope the fabric keeps the roots warmer this winter as we expect it to be a cold and snowy one. Good luck with your planting!
Elephant garlic is not a true garlic variety (it is actually closer to the lily family or tulip) but is a distant cousin of the onion and garlic in the broad allium genus. This year our main greenhouse sprouted a volunteer plant from our failed attempt last year to produce viable bulbils from a few bulbs we bought at local nurseries.
To our surprise this rogue appeared a year late but has produced a cluster of small flowers (something uncommon in the garlic world) so we are hoping it produces viable bulbils. If so, we may be on the road to building up our own elephant garlic stock.