Monthly Archives: May 2015

Purple Hardneck harvest has begun!

20150531_165129May 31st: We started to harvest our Purple Stripe hardnecks today.  This is the earliest harvest ever.  Much of this year’s crop is Jumbo sized with many 2.5 inches to well over 3 inches in diameter.  Within an hour of being picked these garlics were hanging in bundles so the 2-3 week initial drying down stage can begin.

John’s genius for construction means we will have a spacious tented area for all our garlic storage needs.  The picture below shows him ready to weld the metal frame together on the west end.  The panda plastic (black and white plastic that does not let light through) will cover an area 60′ by 24′ allowing us plenty of room to house the nearly 14,000 garlic and 10K garlic rounds we will be harvesting over the next 3 weeks.

Many of these will be on sale July 4th and 5th in front of Hemingways Books Store (33765 Essendene Ave in Abbotsford) during the Berry Beat Festival.  The following Saturday (July 11th) we will have a booth at the Abbotsford Farmer’s Market at the north end of Montrose and we will be there all summer until October.

Published: May 31, 2015 | Comments: 0

Garlic Drying Tent Going Up

Published: May 30, 2015 | Comments: 0

Jumbo Garlic: A Sneak Peek

20150521_18383220150521_184041With a few weeks to go before the harvest we pulled a purple just so see how it’s progressing.  Over 3″ in diameter with many large cloves, it looks like this crop have its share of monsters. The cloves will grow a bit more yet  and their colour will darken. I’m guessing the Purple harvest will start around June 7-10 this year.

The Porcelains are 10-14 days behind and they are usually even bigger and hotter!

Published: May 22, 2015 | Comments: 0

Scapes removed from the Purples

20150521_192028The last of the Purples had their scapes removed.  A select few were left to mature into bulbil sacs later this summer. Those we will plant to start the whole garlic breeding process over again.

Bit sad to see all those tender scapes thrown out.  I managed to freeze some and we ate a mountain of them.  Maybe next year  we can offer them for sale.

Next week to 10 days the Porcelain scapes wil need cutting.  Thousands more than we could possibly eat or store.

Published: May 22, 2015 | Comments: 0

New Potatoes in May!

20150517_090442Here are the early Swedish finger potatoes, picked May 15th!  Lots more are on their way. We will be harvesting staggered plantings right through to October. They will be on sale at the Farmer’s market beginning July 11th., 2015.

Published: May 20, 2015 | Comments: 0

Scapes are ready to Eat!

20150520_085614The Purples are early and the scapes need to be harvested.  Here’s a half hour’s work.  500 scapes ready to be blanched and bagged, then frozen for later enjoyment.  Scapes make a great seasonal side-dish when steamed fresh or roasted.  Raw they have a sharp garlic flavour but that dissipates when cooked.  They still are a nutritious spring garden green and for a few weeks every year they are a seasonal favourite.

We don’t harvest all scapes.  A select few will be allowed to mature into top-sets.  Just before the bulb harvest we cut off these tops and save the bulbils for planting the next generation of garlics.  We hope to double our purple crop for next year and the bulbils keep the next generation of garlic vigorous and BIG!


Published: May 20, 2015 | Comments: 0

An Early Feast

20150517_191605May Long Weekend is when most people start planting their West Coast vegetable gardens, but in fact you can start much earlier.  This photo is of a meal I made from fresh produce pulled May 16th: Two types of green onions, two early potato varieties and garlic scapes. We also have kale, lettuce and numerous herbs available.

Published: May 18, 2015 | Comments: 0

First Spuds

20150517_081716May 15th, exactly 90 days after we planted these Swedish finger potatoes, the plants died down and were ready to harvest.  We plant the Swedes continuously from March to July allowing for new potatoes nearly six months a year.  Keep checking in as we post more pics as the season progresses.  We will be selling these delicious yellow spuds at the Farmer’s Market starting July 11th.

Published: May 15, 2015 | Comments: 0

Giant Pumpkins in the Ground


Here’s John transplanting one of his two Giant pumpkin seeds.  (He is only sent two and the contest is help country-wide every year.) That’s a small pile of potting soil and compost. Note the burlap bag he buries along with the plant.  Planting the bag reduces shock and root damage while giving the plant plenty of room to grow before the burlap rots away.

The wire cages keep the chickens from flattening the piles as they scratch for worms.  If we didn’t protect the plants these piles would be gone in 2-3 days.

We will keep you posted all season as we track the progress of our giant pumpkin entries!

Published: May 10, 2015 | Comments: 0

Bulbils gaining size


Our tiny bulbils are now plants, most nearly a foot high.  The bulbs are starting to grow and in 2 months will produce a small round (much like an onion set).  We will trim the tops off and dry the rounds down until the fall when we will plant most in late October.  Some we will save for a late February plant.

It is our patient use of bulbils, rounds and finally cloved bulbs that has kept our garlic crops disease-free and robust.  Garlic strains tire and lose vigour without regular renewel by introducing fresh stock from bulbils.

We grow a batch of bulbils every year.  This year we will be selling viable bulbils for both the Purple Stripes and the Porcelains.  Watch for prices and availability by mid-june on this website.

Published: May 8, 2015 | Comments: 0