Monthly Archives: April 2016

Bulbs are Growing as Are the Weeds

20160427_151946

Here is a typical Purple Stripe bulb as of April 27th.  Most have very thick stems (around an inch in diameter) with the plants stretched out to 35 inches tall.  We are about 4-5 weeks from harvest.

20160427_151933

Since the beds are covered in paper and compost the weeds aren’t much of an issue among the garlic plants.  The paths between the rows are another matter.  Here is John weed-whacking the paths.  This not only limits the weeds creeping into the beds it also makes life difficult for beetles and other insects that need weed cover to flourish.  The Guinea Fowl patrol these mowed paths and gobble up unsuspecting bugs that produce crop damaging larva (wireworm for instance).

Right now we are spending several hours a days trimming the 40 odd paths, most about 300 feet long.

Published: April 30, 2016 | Comments: 0

Purple Scapes Are Growing!

20160427_152025

Hard to believe, but the Purple Stripes starting showing Scapes on April 25th!  They are growing rapidly and we will tag many of the earliest and save their bulbils for next fall’s planting.  We are slowing developing a very early hardneck variety with a late May harvest.

Published: April 30, 2016 | Comments: 0

Red Onions for 2016

We have just started planting red onion sets (a little late this year). We had so many requests for red onions we switched from last year’s Spanish.  We generally only grow a few thousand onions as it isn’t our main crop but since it is another allium we like them as a companion to our main garlic crop.

Published: April 9, 2016 | Comments: 0

No Spuds in 2016

We could not find proper seed potatoes for our favoured Swedish variety this year so we are not planting any spuds at all.  That may change in the future.

Published: April 9, 2016 | Comments: 0

Main Field April 9th, 2016

20160409_082843

Here’s a nice shot of our main garlic field as of April 9th, 2016.  Keep checking back as we count down to the early purple harvest.  Barely 6 weeks to go!!

This year we will be selling local farmer’s markets and we will be selling bulk bags/boxes of garlic this year as well as loose bulbs.  We will have prices and points of sale posted by the end of May.

Published: April 9, 2016 | Comments: 0

30,000 plants weed free (almost)

20160402_164702

Here is our 5,500 plants in the north field.  The paler green rows in the foreground are the early purples.  The water logged soil has drained away and the raised beds did their job.  Most plants are 24″ ground to tip with some nearing 30″.  In the background are the darker porcelains, red rojas, music and Salt Spring Island variety.

20160402_164400

Here’s a shot of our 25,000 plant main field.  Those tall plants in the foreground are some white mustards growing along the paths.  We are harvesting the leaves.  A south asian chef is making Saag (a fabulous dish with garlic, onions and spices).  She generously shares her divine cooking with us.  White mustard is extraordinarily high in minerals.

The garlic beds in the foreground are porcelains, with the purples off in the distance.  The porcelians are growing rapidly and will soon catch up and pass the purples.  As of today, (April 7th, 2016) our porcelains are 15-18 inches tall, with the purples mainly 22-30 inches high.  The stems on both plants are thickening nicely. Al,l the beds are now covered in paper strips with a compost mulch.  This will be the last weeding we will do on the beds themselves.  It is also the last feeding.  We still anticipate the purple harvest to start in the last week in May, with the other varieties coming out of the ground 4-6 weeks later.

Published: April 7, 2016 | Comments: 0