Harvest time is soon approaching and we are busy with chores for preparation for this event. It has been unusually hot this past week, well into the 90 degree mark, and we try to work early and late in the day and avoid the sun beating down on us. It seems like we've been cutting scapes for months but in actuality it has only been 2 weeks and I believe we've finally finished for the 2016 season. We were able to share our scapes with several local restaurants and I love seeing their menus and what creations they come up with.
Jeff and Aaron have been busy getting the new drying shed ready. As the operation grows so was the need for a larger curing space. We finally got some long needed rain from a severe storm the other night and I was getting a bit concerned that the predictions for the storm could beat on the garlic but all did well thank goodness. The lower leaves are browning on the garlic plants and we patiently wait for the maturing process to finish so we can start our harvest.
Jeff is welding a new harvesting tool tomorrow and we might even be ready to harvest the Asiatic Korean Mountain variety and maybe even the Turbans. This weekend our weather looks good and gladly so as the chores are numerous and the short weekend time frame to finish them slips away before we return to our other jobs on Monday morning.
We also need to tend to some tilling in our own veggie patch as the weeds are returning with a vengeance. We hurry to till them back before they get strong and rooted or seed. Since we are organic our weed control methods are alternative to those that come from an herbicide bottle but we may resort to plain old fashioned hand weeding too. We've planted numerous peppers hot and sweet, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, eggplants, potatoes, greens, carrots, melons and cabbage. I hope to get a couple long rows of bush beans in but I usually wait until after 4th of July to bypass the Japanese Beatles that tend to devour those plants. We've had some tremendous sunsets thus far this Summer and I can't believe it's already almost July 4th which is my favorite holiday.
Today is a big day for us here at the farm. Ok, No it's not. We had planned to weed all day but it started raining last evening here in Yellow Springs so I'm finishing updating our website and listing some of our variety packages. Boring. I know, right?
We actually needed the rain but we also needed to be weeding. Ah, such is farming. Unpredictable, Out of control, but a place that I hold true passion. We strive to do everything possible to provide the garlic with everything to make it strong and beautiful and a product our customers will be glad they purchased and planted.
Yesterday I went to Home Depot and purchased an assortment of hand tools to use while I ride on the planter so I can be fast and efficient to yank and hack away at any wild green monster weed. So I placed a pile of metal tools on the counter, and I must confess I felt a little self conscious that I might look like I was making a nefarious purchase. The cashier lady looked at the counter then at me and exclaimed, "Wow!" I didn't exactly feel friendly at first since I really felt embarrassed. Her eyebrows raised while I said nothing and she just stood there. Ok ok. I lowered my eyebrows which I had raised like a dog in a stand off. We farm garlic, I said. She looked at me like I was insane because who would farm or proclaim to farm anything and use hand tools? Right? I continued to tell her we are an organic farm and we use sustainable practices and are chemical free. She grinned and said "I grew up on a farm. A tobacco farm. I well remember all those field chores." She continued as I relaxed now feeling she was on my side. "When we had to plant or weed or harvest we just took off our shoes and got down in the mud. When it came to harvest it didn't matter the weather. We were just out there, come hell or high water" I felt a instant kinship to her at this moment. She knew hell or high water farming deadlines. She laughed exuberantly and it felt great to share with her a fond moment from another time of her life. The topic of garlic farming seems to do that. People seem interested about the why's and what's of growing garlic. I absolutely love visiting with people and sharing my experiences and listening to theirs as well.
Last season we had such a rainy Spring that early on it became apparent that the season would be a challenge to have dry enough weather to spray our fishy foliar feeds and cut scapes, let alone harvest in downpours, but we managed. And our harvest was a successful one. Now I look back and laugh at how sweaty and hot we were while out there in the rain. But I can tell you first hand that garlic repels mosquitoes. While we would often cut scapes in the cooler part of the evening when the mosquitoes were already out ( that's about 5 o'clock here), the scapes would drip their garlicky juice on my hands and of course I'd wipe my face but nary one mosquito would bite. I'd stay out there weeding my own vegetable garden til nearly 10 pm. I could hear those buggers buzzing my head but they stayed away. We should be wise and come up with a garlic bug spray for this year as the scapes will be coming on in just a few weeks. I'll keep you posted to our farm tasks in the near future. Well the sun is finally lurking and I have a date with a wild weed.
I have lived in Southwest Ohio my entire life. I grew up in what today is suburbia but back then the farmer lived across the street and others close by. It was common to have large gardens that your family lived off of and country style lives. We always had a large garden and there was always garden work but that was just the way of life. Those are happy memories. I would often sit and snap beans as a little girl or help pull weeds. Our chores became more involved as we grew up. We ate well and we ate healthy. My mom was ahead of her years as she seldom allowed us to binge on sugar snacks and she always controlled our fat intake. No mistake we were a normal sixties family but we ate what was made by our mother who did not like greasy food and felt excess sugar was not healthy. My mother is still with us and now 93 years young and still does her own cooking.
In the latter 1960's life started to change. Convenience foods became the rage. TV dinners, canned lasagna, fruit juice from a can that I'm pretty sure was all flavorings and sugar. And of course those famous cream filled sponge cakes. Fast food soon became popular and affordable. As a younger child we never ate out. Well very seldom. I think once or twice a year we'd all get dressed up and go for fried chicken or an Italian dinner. Fast forward to today and that all seems so funny.
Today however I think there comes a realization that the fast and convenient may not be the fuel for good health. When you think of European farmers they eat simply but well. Many of those foods became desired and sought after by non farm people. So we know now that although the fertilizers grew enormous produce and the pesticides allowed them to be blemishe free that they were not good to our human bodies and now we pedal back to a more sustainable time.
My husband grew up in the same kind of setting that I did but even more so a country environment among larger farms. He worked on those farms in the summers bailing hay and knew he loved that lifestyle. We were fortunate 20 years ago to have made our home where we still live today. We of course have always had a large garden, and an orchard which expanded to add a garlic patch which then became our garlic farm.
We have never used pesticides or unnatural fertilizers on our gardens so it made complete sence that when we started our garlic project which turned into a garlic farm that it would naturally be an organic farm.
Hi I'm Joanne. My husband and I live on our 10 acre farm in Southwestern Ohio. I have been a nurse for over 30 years and know the benefit of growing and eating your own food, so it was an easy choice when we decided to go from hobby to business that we would pursue an organic certification. We go the extra steps so that we provide to you and your families ,the same quality that we would share with ours. We are honored you have visited our website and garlic store and hope you will make your garlic purchase with us.