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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Garlic Raising Project at Home!

While we were in Maine (Rangeley Lakes) in October for a vacation week, I was able to attend a garlic-raising lecture at the local library.  It was very interesting and encouraging. I love garlic!  The thought of raising it ourselves had never previously occurred to me.  As a byproduct of the lecture, all participants (nearly 20 people, many of which were garlic growers already!) received a bag with four or five garlic bulbs to plant in our own gardens!

When we got home from Maine I still had work to do to clean up the kitchen garden, which I finally did.  It was now ready to prepare for spring, AND ready to plant garlic which is supposed to be planted in October or November in this area.  That was good news as we had not passed the garlic-planting deadline.

Earlier in the fall there had been a note on our town's ListServe with someone offering $10 loads of composted goat manure.  I dredged into the recesses of my brain and remembered the name so I was able to go back into the ListServe archives and find that message.  Contacting the goat farmer was an easy thing and he agreed that he still had a pile of "compost" so I headed out in the truck.

The trip was a nice trip though the final trip up a steep and VERY narrow driveway was a bit nerve-wracking for this gutless driver.  When I got to the top into the yard the farmer told me to turn the truck around and drive it up to the compost pile cross-ways of the road.  This entailed getting VERY CLOSE to the edge of the road and a very very steep drop-off.  My heart was fluttering and my stomach was clenching, and that was before the farmer got there with his tractor and bucket to load the truck.  Well, he did a good job and gave us a nice load on top of that tarp that I had so smartly put into the bottom of the truck bed so we would not have compost forever impaled in the ridges of the truck liner.

Once home Dear One and Dear Daughter-in-law unloaded the compost (which was much LESS compost-y that I had envisioned, but which will still add good stuff to the garden) onto the garden. I was worn out from the stress of the loading up so I put off shoveling it around (with our new square-pointed shovel!) until the next day.

Finally we were ready to plant the garlic.  I gave three of the bulbs to Dear Daughter-in-law to plant in their garden, along with about a third of a bale of straw for covering it to protect it over the winter.  It was so great to get that garlic in the ground.

Heavenly Father helped things along nicely by giving us wonderful gentle fall weather, unusually warm for an extended period.  Here in mid-December the ground is still not frozen, though I think that is coming soon.

Here is the kitchen garden with a straw-covered garlic patch...with a straw-covered chive clump as well!
Straw-covered garlic, and chives, too!
Without the extended mild fall weather this would not have happened.  Now we get to wait until spring to see if anything is actually happening under the straw.  If all is well with the garlic, we should have some nice bulbs come July next year!  That would be wonderful.  These are German Extra Hardy Hardnecks.

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