Garlic Under Snow

Siberian Purple Stripe garlic sprout in mid-February

One day, we go from this...

Bed of Siberian Purple Stripe garlic bulbs in mid-February

…and this...

Garlic Sprout Under Snow

…to this (yikes!)

Garlic Bed Under Snow

("Garlic? Are you still there?" "Yes!" come the muffled replies)

Garlic Bed in a Snowstorm

…and even to this! No, there is nothing wrong with your monitor. This is an official picture of a garlic bed in a snowstorm.

HA HA HA! Says Mother Nature!
(Just proving that the moment we anticipate spring, we are bluntly told it is still winter!)

Mother knows best, I say.

The temperatures are predicted to drop into the teens tomorrow and Saturday. If so, this blanket of snow will be just the thing the garlic and other plants need for survival.

Birds flock to the feeders during the snowstorm

So many little birds! I couldn't capture them all! (picture taken through a window)

The little backyard birds have flocked in great numbers to the bird feeder. We created little makeshift shelters to keep the ground seed from getting completely buried and, based on a simple recipe suggested by a birdwatching friend, filled up the log feeders with a lard-oatmeal mix (recipe below). Much easier than the ideas I posted in my previous post, New Year’s for the Birds – and easier to smear into the feeder. Definitely a big hit with the feathered friends.

Also – don’t forget to fill up a water bowl – they SO appreciate a little thawed-out water!

High-Energy Mix for Birds:
1/2 part lard (not suet), melted
1/2 part quick oats
Mix together.
How simple does it get? I added a little peanut butter for good measure.

Time to take a break from pruning the apple trees

Brrrr! Pruning apple trees can wait!

And the good thing is, I can take a break from pruning the apple trees!

Warmer days ahead!

Dare I say? Tropical days ahead!


Comments

Garlic Under Snow — 4 Comments

  1. Hello

    Thanks for posting your pictures of that new garlic coming up! Our beds look just like yours…. We didn’t plant as much this last fall as we wanted to, but we are banking on a great harvest in July 2011. We plan on feeding our garlic this next month with a foliage spray. It will either be a fish emulsion or simply a stocking filled with horse manure soaked in a 5 gallon bucket, then sprayed onto the plants. All of our beds are covered with “timothy hay” currently, and we hope this will protect them enough to get through all the crazy weather here in the Pac NW.

    Question for you… Have you ever dehydrated your garlic and made powders and/or garlic salts? If so, did you have any problems with “caking” in the containers? I’ve heard silica packets can be added, but we don’t like that idea. Also, you do not see packets in current store shelf type containers (like lawry’s garlic salt), so there must be a way to keep it from doing this. maybe we are milling it down to fine at times, but not quite sure.

    No worries… Good luck on your garlic crop this year!

    • Hi Greg! Thanks for stopping back in! I didn’t find your website – but I did find you on Facebook – and had fun looking at your pictures. Great garlic!

      The idea of putting the manure in a “teabag” sock in a bucket of water is a great one. I usually do a fish emulsion foliar spray, worm tea watering, and a little blood meal worked lightly into the soil in March & April, but I might look around for a local supply of manure this year. Seems like you’d get multiple nutrients & enzymes with manure.

      Yes – I have dehydrated a lot of garlic, but I have not sold it commercially. A few years ago, when I had grown more than I was set up to sell, I ended up buying a decent dehydrator & I put a lot away. I was having difficulty at the time in finding store outlets that were set up to carry fresh local produce; gourmet garlic powder seemed like a good marketable product that would have an extended shelf life. I spent a lot of time, however, peeling & slicing the cloves – after dehydrating, I vacuum-packed them & put them in the freezer for later use. I roasted the cloves of a bumper crop of elephant garlic, ground them to a smooth consistency in the blender, and then dehydrated them. That worked very well also. Dehydrating without cooking preserves the allicin content, so that is good.

      My main problem was finding a commercial kitchen to do all this so I could sell it. Renting the Grange over several days (and perfuming the neighborhood) was not an option. I figured if people can set up a cooking stand at the Farmer’s Market, how hard can it be to set up my own place? But fixing up my shop to meet Health Dept. standards proved to be more difficult than I realized (I put a lot of work into drywalling, painting ceilings & walls, & sealing concrete, etc. – so you know I was serious – but water sources/septic, ventilation, multi-use issues, etc. proved to be rather spendy to fix). Pickling was another idea I explored – a little easier to accomplish in a single day in a commercial kitchen. I just got overwhelmed with the whole need to send the product to a lab for testing & other requirements. I mean, there’s weeding to be done!

      So – I can’t really answer your question. You can vacuum-pack or seal the garlic to eliminate air, but once it’s opened, pure garlic without additives will always have caking problems, I would think. My problem with salts is that I don’t know how much I’m applying with the shaker. I almost always want less salt and more garlic!

      My personal solution has been to keep them separate and grind my own frozen dehydrated stuff in small batches as I need it. Commercial stuff will sometimes say something like “less than 2% silicon dioxide added to prevent caking” – so people are eating this stuff – and it still cakes in the jar – plus, it’s basically flavorless. All good reasons to make your own! I think the vacuum-packing is the key and packaging in small quantities. Also using minimal heat to preserve chemical properties and flavors. I keep thinking I will pursue this venture again when I’m better set up, but so far, I haven’t. If people could taste dehydrated & ground gourmet garlic, they would be blown away by the difference!

      I hear it got really really cold down your way, so hope your garlic pulls through. Keep me posted!

  2. We also understand about all the “prep-work” needed to get your products for commercial sales, and yes it can get pricey. What type of strains have you dehydrated? I know the classic silver skins are used from California, and I also heard they not only mill the cloves, but the entire internal stock as well, as it provides more “filler” and obviously stretches out each bottle for them. We are planning on testing dehydration on a good dozen different strains and will be asking multiple people when they think is the tastiest of the 12. I love Zemo, and even raw it’s like a buttery garlic snack straight off the bulb. 🙂

    Good day.

    • I can see how a large-scale operation might just toss in the whole bulb, stems, skins, and all. One more reason why the quality on artisan products is so much better!

      In answer to your question – I dehydrated those I grew in largest quantities: Siberian, Chesnok Red, Romanian, Russian Giant, Juan de Fuca Wonder, Inchelium, Polish White, Sicilian. They were all good and I can’t say that one jumped out at me as the very best. The thing about dehydrated garlic is that it’s very easy to use a lot. It’s just so convenient to sprinkle it on toast or on top of just about anything – whereas, if you’re chopping up cloves, you get that fresh taste, but you’re also much more aware of how many cloves you’re using!

      I have not tried Zemo yet; several people have told me it’s really good – it’s definitely on my “get next” list.

      Good luck with the dehydrating operation, Greg. Sounds like you will have a lot of fun with that. Keep me posted!

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