October, 2013

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Patience is a virtue

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

… and one required of those growing food.

Over three years ago, we planted some pomegranates. This year, we harvested the first two fruit. They were delicious. (I used them for a Persian pomegranate braised eggplant dish.)

Garlic 2014

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Next year’s harvest is in the ground. (October  23) We planted 308 garlic. Almost all the garlic are the Purple Maiskij variety. There are also 21 of the Music variety.

We’ve been eating and sharing (and planting) our garlic since June and still have several pounds left. So, we’re growing about the same amount as we did last year again this year. It takes two beds to hold it all.

The beds the garlic are growing in spent most of the year growing rye as a cover crop. The rye did amazingly well. So well, that we are a little concerned we’ll never get it out of these beds. To that end, we started watering the beds several weeks ago, periodically hoeing up anything that started to grow. Hopefully a few weeks of diligent weeding and we’ll be done with the rye. We did not till the beds this year. We used a hula-hoe to scrape off the rye and weeds; otherwise the soil was left alone.

Every year seems worth a little experimentation. This year we planted cloves from large bulbs and from small bulbs — in alternating rows. I’ve read a lot of theories on whether or not it’s best to plant large or small cloves, but nothing on planting the cloves from large or small bulbs. (That said, cloves from large bulbs tend to be larger.) We also planted some odd bulbs that had no (or one) cloves. Basically they are small bulbs or quite large cloves. I can’t wait to see what comes from them. We also planted on the *moon cycle.

* “From full Moon through the last quarter, or the dark of the Moon, is the best time for killing weeds, thinning, pruning, mowing, cutting timber, and planting below-ground crops.”

The plan is for a little (tiny bit) more water during the winter than in the past and a fair amount more water in the spring. Until spring we will flood the beds to an inch every week to ten day. Once spring comes we will switch to sprinklers and water everyday.

We’re leaving the garlic beds uncovered until they are a couple of inches high. We’re more likely to stay on top of the weeds if it’s easy. Once the garlic are a few inches high, the insect (and quail) netting will go back on for the duration. The quail are the biggest problem for us in the early stages of our garlic crop. There aren’t many things interested in garlic, but the quail are quite fond of it. :)




Coming soon — pickles

Thursday, October 17th, 2013



Sunday, October 6th, 2013