This week in the veggie share we are sending along some fresh garlic, which you can use up within a few weeks, OR you can choose to cure it yourself at home. There is so much in the field that we worry about having enough space and resources to cure it all, so we thought in true CSA fashion this would be an opportunity for members to learn more about garlic and share some of the task of curing with the farm.
The garlic in your share this week has not been washed, which is an important step in terms of you having the option to cure it at home. Basically, all you need to do is tie and hang the heads in a dry, shady, well-ventilated area (OR, you can even lay them out one by one) The kitchen is not an ideal place, but a well-ventilated porch or garage or shady area outside will do (& bonus if you are trying to keep stray vampires out of your yard!).
After a month (up to two months if it is very humid), the roots of the garlic will be stiff and the stem and head completely dry, and the garlic can be moved to a garlic keeping crock (if you have one), or a cool, dry, dark place, for winter use. Depending on how well it is cured, the garlic can keep up to six months.
Make sure the heads are separated like in the photo to the right of the one below, to allow the most airflow possible.
Here's more info and a link with more detailed instructions and explanations, for those of you who are interested:
Curing is the process of letting your garlic dry down in preparation for long-term storage. Curing your garlic allows you to enjoy the flavor of your summer harvest well into winter… and one of my favorite things about garlic is that it still stays fresh long after it’s been plucked from the ground. No pickling, no canning. Just a simple head of garlic that looks and tastes the same as the day you pulled it.
Garlic that you want to eat right away can be used right away, straight from the garden.
Garlic that you want to cure should be moved to a dry, shady, airy place — this can be under a tree, on a covered porch, or in a well-ventilated garage. Lay the bulbs out one by one to provide good air circulation. Garlic is susceptible to sunburn (it can literally cook under the sun, which deteriorates the flavor), so you want to minimize the amount of direct sunlight it gets during the curing process.
No need to clean off all that dirt for now — you’ll tidy them up when you trim them. Don’t wash your garlic either… after all, the point is to dry them out!
The ideas have been rumbling around in our heads and we've finally made it to a plan.This coming week Amy, Patrick and Steve are planning to harvest the garlic and we've asked they leave some for us for a Garlic Harvest Weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Yahoo!
Garlic Harvest Farm Tour- Saturday
3 PM meet up with Patricia at 451 Canard Street. (Park in the farm yard, we will walk to the garlic and please try to be on-time.)
Bring a garden fork if you have one and a bag to take your garlic home in.
Cost: pay as you can, suggested $12 for tour and 1lb of garlic
(If you wish to harvest more garlic for your kitchens you are welcome to do so. We ask you pay $8 per lb)
I finally rented Walden Camp and stayed for a night at Taproot Farms. I say “finally” because part of my job is to promote the farm stay, and assist guests who come. I was recommending an experience without having done it myself. Shame on me.
On a recent Saturday afternoon (the night we had the Supermoon), Jason and I packed up the dog and a few personal effects. The idea was to book the camp and show up as if we were new guests. But the truth is I have a real affection for the Walden Camp, and everything else on the farm. I have also known farm owners, Josh and Trish for years, so my biases, and the likelihood I would enjoy myself were pretty apparent.
After a quick visit to the driveway market for veggies (and a peanut butter gelato from Fox Hill next door) we arrived at the camp. Jason pointed out a problem. “How do people find it when they get to the farm?” Hmm. Good question. Walden Camp is very private, not all that far, just secret. Future guests can now grab a property map at the driveway market and use it to find just about anything.
Our high maintenance beagle was over the moon. He and the farm’s Jack Russell Terrier, Jack, immediately went for a swim in the large pond. We unpacked, but hadn’t brought much stuff. The camp is equipped with a fire pit, gas stove, indoor woodstove, firewood, drinking water, soap, dishes, pots, etc. Not to mention the bed, a bit of furniture and comfy chairs. We tossed our toiletry bag and bedding on a chair, set the cooler on the picnic table and rounded up our dog.
We spent the evening walking the trails and visiting the pigs, chickens and geese. We ambled through the cut flower gardens, the blueberry orchard and row upon row of too many vegetables to name. Then we cooked a meal of food entirely from the farm we were visiting. We even happened upon Josh and Trish, with kids in tow, spending their Saturday night weeding green onions. How romantic!
Jason and Scooter enjoyed everything about the stay on the farm. And, predictably, so did I. We were so tired by the end of the night we never did manage to play that game of Yahtzee.
Now that I have experienced Walden Camp, I can recommend it. It’s a perfect spot for a couple, or a small family if a tent were pitched. Guests have access to the farm and are treated like royalty by staff. The team at Taproot enjoy having people around, but at the same time you have absolute privacy. It’s kind of like having a campground to yourself. Sounds of nature everywhere, and at times a chorus of frogs so loud you think they’re coming for you!
For more info about Walden Camp, check it out under the Farm Stay tab on our website. www.taprootfarms.ca
Raspberries are starting to recover from Hurricane Arthur. It isn't going to be the best year for Raspberries but they are starting to come along and have nice colour.
We are just coming out of the last few days of peach thinning. We have to create enough space between all the peaches so that can size up to a really good size. They try to give each peach enough space about the size of a fist all around it.
Sweet cherries are in full swing and absolutely gorgeous.... So juicy and delicious.
As soon as we are done with thinning peaches we are going to start thinning apples. The apples did get banged around a bit in the hurricane so hopefully they will be alright but we won't know until they grow larger.
The hurricane was pretty detrimental to the farm we are still in the process of cleaning up limbs and broken trees. We are going to have to put extra support systems around the pear trees, give them posts to aid growing. Thing are busy on the farm with hurricane clean up and getting the orchards ready. Peaches and plums are just around the corner for us. We need to get all the apples thinned before we can start picking plums and peaches because once we start picking in the orchard it won't stop until well into the fall.