by Cristina Airado, Harvest Table Farm in Meadowview
Last Thursday, Harvest Table Farm interns Molly, Sarah, and I finished harvesting the remaining garlic from the upper field. An hour or so of cooperative work yielded an additional 958 garlic bulbs to our harvest, making for a grand total of about 1400 garlic bulbs!
Garlic is known to be distinguished in two ways: hardneck and softneck. While the hardneck varieties tend to produce larger bulbs, the softneck variety is said to keep longer. This year, we planted three hardneck varieties dubbed Music, Turkish Red, and German Red, which we anticipate will provide garlic for the Harvest Table Restaurant through the winter season. Next year’s aspiration is to grow softneck varieties in order to meet the demands of garlic throughout winter and spring, up ’til the next growing season.
The combination of clayish earth and a dry spell meant working with firm, stubborn soil. The bulbs required some intensive labor for harvest, particularly a lot of stomping — and, in some cases, jumping — on a shovel for deep ground penetration, then careful lifting of the surrounding soil and plant. With loose roots and soil, the plants could be more carefully collected. Immediately after our harvest, the garlic has roughly 15 minutes of allowance to sit in the sun. For proper curing purposes, however, it should be moved to the shade as soon as possible. We then moved all of the garlic into our barn, where it sits and cures for about a week.
Matt suggested a roasted garlic bulb recipe, which we enthusiastically tried that very day. It was fantastic!
Cristina Airado is a rising senior in environmental studies at Emory & Henry College. She is currently an intern in residence at Harvest Table Farm in Meadowview, Virginia.
Hear more about their work from Harvest Table Farm Manager, Matt Sanders, on tomorrow’s broadcast of The Cultural Heart of Southwest Virginia: Authentic, Distinctive, Alive. The program airs at 1:30 p.m. ET on WEHC 90.7 in Emory and can be streamed online at www.ehc.edu/wehc, “Listen Live”. You will also find Matt at today’s Abingdon Farmers’ Market from 3-6 p.m.
Want to learn more about Harvest Table Farm? Their next farm tour is scheduled for Saturday, July 28. Call (276) 944-5142 for details.
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