Sunday, July 17, 2011

Time to Braid the Softneck

We harvested the garlic and it has been drying in the tool shed for the past week.  I got up early this morning with our puppy, Kaya.  It was nice and cool on the back deck so I decided to try my hand at braiding garlic.  I looked online and found a myriad of directions but the one that made the most sense was this one from Organic Gardening.  With directions in hand, I made my first attempt - not bad!  Each time I braided, it got a bit tighter and neater.  While doing this creative chore it also allowed me to sort our garlic for seed stock for planting in the Fall and what we will consume in our kitchen, and what we will sell.  For seed stock we want large uniform heads of garlic.  So I selected out the largest, perfect shaped heads for seed which we will then plant in the garden in October.  I find this whole process exciting - to decide what traits you want your garlic to have and work towards the "ideal" garlic head in your mind.  We are also weeding out varieties that don't meet our standards of appearance and taste.  We are not so much narrowing our selection to a certain variety of garlic but narrowing our selection to what kinds of garlic we want to be representative of our farm.   My favorite will be the kitchen stock that we will cook with through this Fall and Winter until we can harvest the garlic for Purple Dog Farm next July.

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