Why would you ever think I'm anal retentive?Why would you ever think I'm anal retentive?
200 cloves, ready to stick in the soil200 cloves, ready to stick in the soil
Planting next year's garlic cropPlanting next year's garlic crop
Our garlic sizer contraptionOur garlic sizer contraption
This is what Duganski looks like inside its outside white wrappers. And this is entirely why I'm growing it.This is what Duganski looks like inside its outside white wrappers. And this is entirely why I'm growing it.
After cleaningAfter cleaning
Drying garlic and shallots over the summer. We'd already pilfered our stock a few times, so this is a few dozen less than the total haul.Drying garlic and shallots over the summer. We'd already pilfered our stock a few times, so this is a few dozen less than the total haul.
Beauties!Beauties!
  • Why would you ever think I'm anal retentive?
  • 200 cloves, ready to stick in the soil
  • Planting next year's garlic crop
  • Our garlic sizer contraption
  • This is what Duganski looks like inside its outside white wrappers. And this is entirely why I'm growing it.
  • After cleaning
  • Drying garlic and shallots over the summer. We'd already pilfered our stock a few times, so this is a few dozen less than the total haul.
  • Beauties!

This year we grew 320 heads of garlic. For the next year we’re shooting for a new record: 400 heads.

While I don’t think we’ll ever grow thousands of heads in our relatively tiny urban backyard (we’ll leave that to the pros), it is such a reliable and enjoyable crop that we are exploring scaling up our production to the point that we can:

  1. Produce enough for ourselves to eat all year.
  2. Save enough back for planting stock for the next year.
  3. Have enough left over to sell some.

We won’t ever become wealthy selling a couple hundred heads of garlic, but I do like the idea of learning about the intricacies of gourmet garlic and being able to share that information and enjoyment with others locally.

I’m already making plans to improve our curing environment and my garlic cleaning skills. This was the first year that I really sat down and sorted, graded and cleaned (literally with a toothbrush) all of our garlic at one time. (I remember all too well those 5 hours spent on the front porch, developing sore hands and garlic wrapper slivers.) Now the garlic is pretty, clean and ready to use without having to worry about getting soil on my cutting board. In the process, though, I learned that I was a little overzealous in cleaning and probably pulled off a few too many wrappers, which could shorten the bulbs’ storage life. So I know where I can make some improvements next year.

We already have 200 cloves in the soil, and we’ll probably get the last 200 in over the weekend. We’re growing 100 heads each of:

For me, planting garlic is the official acknowledgement that fall has come. It’s also a celebration that we’ve learned how to grow at least a small portion of our own food. And that small portion is growing each year.

3 Responses to “Are we becoming garlic growers?”

  1. Eric Reuter
    3 November 2012 at 7:32 am #

    Given how frustrating our seed garlic has been this year, I’m glad to see you’re having a good year. We’ve had a couple folks contact us looking for seed garlic, since we’re not at the market any more, and had to turn them down. I’ve heard from another grower in the area, who grew around 10,000 heads this year, and also has had numerous problems. Hope yours turn out well. If you are interested in selling, there’s probably demand.

  2. CoMo Homestead
    6 November 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    Thanks, Eric. I appreciate your input. The last thing I want to do is take away business from other growers in the area. But if there is demand, I would like to be able to contribute.


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