September 11, 2017

Garlic Harvest

It's the last two weeks of summer, but the signs of fall are everywhere.

Our grassy field is turning brown, temperatures are cooling, and the hummingbirds are almost all gone. It can only mean one thing - harvest time. 

Freshly harvested garlic. We cured it outside and in the garage for two weeks.

One of the joys of this year's harvest has been our first ever crop of garlic. Our experiment was a success. The challenge now? Could I learn to braid it?

Hey, this isn't what the nice lady's braid looked like.

Linda and I watched a video posted by a woman that had been working on a garlic farm for decades and had probably done hundreds of braids in her day. She had prepared the scapes (stems) beforehand by soaking them in water to make them more pliable, and put together a beautiful braid in no time. It was hard work, even for her.

My messy twist of cured garlic.

Having watched one video once, I gathered together our cured garlic to try my hand at a new skill. It was fun to work with, but I did not soak the scapes first and it was amazing how tough they were to manipulate. But I persevered bravely, and attempted to organize the uncooperative stems into something both functional and beautiful.

I got functional, although garlic plants are inherently beautiful, so you can't really go wrong, even if they aren't perfectly put together.

Our first homegrown garlic, ready for eating.

After I was done I downgraded my description from "braid" to "weave".  Then maybe to "twisted"? Or "mangled"? But I did end up with a structure that had a handle on top, and all the garlic together so it can be hung.

Just a few more weeks and we will be planting next year's garlic plot. It will be the first using our own cloves. It will be another opportunity to perfect my braiding technique.


  1. There are few things as satisfying as growing one's own food! Not only does it look beautiful (especially braided!), but the taste is as good as the smell of freshly laundered sheets hung on the line outside to dry. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. D

    1. Deva,

      I agree 100%. Rather than go to work doing something I don't enjoy, to make money, to buy food, I would rather just spend my time growing my own food. That is something I can get into. And the results! Food that tastes as good as it can get, and a little "garden therapy" never hurt anyone.

  2. Anonymous9/12/2017

    What a beautiful crop! Well done! Much better than the imported & irradiated stuff...
    Spring is just beginning here, i've just planted the first tomato seeds. And my sugar snap peas are tasting like lollies. Home grown is wonderful.

    1. Clara,

      Thank you. Argh! Irradiation sucks. What bugs me is that it is difficult to say what exactly has been irradiated. There is supposed to be a symbol on the package, but I have never seen one, even though I have read that most all spices have been irradiated.

      Good luck with your gardening this year. Linda and I often say that our home grown veggies are better than candy. We are winding our garden down, and you are just getting going. What a planet we have!

  3. Your photos brought back wonderful memories from a few years ago when I was the lucky recipient of two bulbs of homegrown garlic. They smelled like they had been smoked but it was just their fresh natural aroma. It was the best garlic I have ever had!

    1. Jennifer,

      I too, have been the recipient of home grown garlic, and what a gift. I figure I had never tasted garlic until I tasted the local, organic, homegrown variety. We are very happy with our first crop.

  4. I've just learned a whole lot about garlic reading this post. I just had no idea about harvesting it and braiding it (and how difficult the task could be). This makes me want to learn more and grow it. I think your braids look great!


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