Putting Up Garlic

We harvested the last of our garlic back in July, and it has been curing out in the workshop ever since. It's been ready to store for several weeks, but I finally got around to it today.

A few steps of cleaning it up. First, I snipped them off the braids and dropped them into a basket. When the basket was full, I took them out on the porch of the workshop (in the shade!) to snip off the roots and give them a good once-over with a stiff brush to get rid of the dirt that was still on them. I was fairly gentle, but sometimes the outermost layer of skin came off as well. Once they were clean, I sorted them by variety and bagged them up in these mesh bags I got. (They are made of recycled plastic and are nice and sturdy, so we expect to be able to reuse them for several seasons. They are less than $1 apiece on amazon.com.)

So here we have it. The bags in the back are for eating. From left to right, there is a bag of late Italian, Spanish rosa, and early Italian. In the front are our small bags of the heads we saved for seed. These are the biggest 5 bulbs of each variety, and we'll plant them closer to Halloween. I think we have plenty to spare for planting, and doing so saves us almost $40 on seed for this crop. Some day we'll be saving seeds for everything, but this is a good start.

Anyway, the bag of early Italian is in the kitchen cupboard to be used first; the rest will hang from a shelf in the basement, where it will be cool and dark, and hopefully appropriately humid so they don't dry out too much over the course of the winter.


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