Monday, August 05, 2013

Still life with garlic

This is the summer garlic harvest curing --- not much, but mine. The perfect day to pull passed, it rained and I got impatient. So there's a little more dirt adhering than preferred. That all will come off in a week or two, however, along with the roots and dry foliage.

This is a hardneck variety, although I have no idea which one. The seed bulbs came last fall from Coyote Run Farm and the cloves were divided and duly planted during late October at the end of our drought summer --- then flourished under a thick coat of grass clippings.

Hardneck varieties I'm told are, like all garlics, native to central Asia --- and genetic testing (what will they think of next?) has proved that the softneck varieties --- more common in supermarkets because they store better --- derived from them.

Hardneck refers to the strong central stem, not present in softneck varieties, that terminates earlier in the season with curling "scapes," usually clipped off and sometimes eaten. Hardneck garlic tends to have fewer, but larger and easier to peel, cloves.

Purists insist hardneck is the only real garlic, but that doesn't seem to be the case at all.

I cook with garlic, so shelf life probably isn't going to be an issue with this supply. But the point of planting garlic wasn't to grow my own --- it was just to plant garlic and see what happened.

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