Spring Garlic Woes

Are your garlic plants looking a little yellow? Will a cold, damp spring bring molds? What can you do if there are problems? What are the signs to look for? Let's weigh our options and figure out the best ways to prevent diseases.

Continue Reading Spring Garlic Woes

Crocus, Frogs, and Bees! Oh My!

LOVE the "firsts" that happen in January! First crocus, alder catkins, croaking frogs! This warm weather has brought out the bees, and they are returning with pollen! And look! The garlic shoots are up! Farewell January. Bring on Spring!

Continue Reading Crocus, Frogs, and Bees! Oh My!

Garlic Planting Conundrums – Part 3

How much garlic you should grow? How much space do you need? Mulch? Till? Tools? How do you build beds? A few practical things about answering these important garlic-planting questions and preparing ground, particularly under less-than-ideal conditions.

Continue Reading Garlic Planting Conundrums – Part 3

Garlic Planting Conundrums, Part 2

Garlic Planting Conundrums, Part 2, in which we ask, where can you fit garlic in a permaculture landscape, what about companion planting with garlic, and what is the most efficient way to grow really great garlic?

Continue Reading Garlic Planting Conundrums, Part 2

Garlic for Barter and Trade

What do 3 dozen eggs, 3 bottles of honey, and a beautiful handcrafted dish have to do with garlic? Barter Fare! A new economy is emerging - one that is deeply connected to the earth, self-sufficiency, living simply - one that places more value on human connection than on the almighty dollar - one in which trust, friendship, and the trade of goods and skills can strengthen local communities. And hey, this stuff is just so cool!

Continue Reading Garlic for Barter and Trade

2013 Garlic Crop Is In!

The 2013 garlic harvest is IN and lookin' good! However (and this is a big however), quantities are limited. I cut back on both the number and varieties of bulbs this year. This blogpost givesa few reasons why. If you are in the Sequim, WA area, we still have some for sale, while they last!

Continue Reading 2013 Garlic Crop Is In!

Yellow Tips on Garlic and Other Growing Dilemmas

Critical time in the garlic patch! Yellow tips? Yellowing leaves? How much to water? Fertilizer? Cut the scapes or not? When to harvest? Part science; part experience; part juju. I hope we can answer your questions.

Continue Reading Yellow Tips on Garlic and Other Growing Dilemmas

Urgent: Weed Your Garlic!

It’s officially spring and that means the beginning of Panic Season! So much to DO! Here is one more urgent task on your to-do list: WEED YOUR GARLIC. Early Spring is the most important weeding you will EVER DO in your garlic bed - and here is why.

Continue Reading Urgent: Weed Your Garlic!

Time to Plant Garlic!

Time to get that garlic in the ground if you haven't already! Need garlic? We still have some! Want a tool to make the planting easier, faster, & more uniform? We have just the thing! Need planting tips? Look no further!

Continue Reading Time to Plant Garlic!

What’s Wrong with My Garlic?

What's Wrong with My Garlic? Does your garlic have yellow-tipped leaves, signs of mold and rot, falling over stems, thirsty insects sucking the living juice right out of the plants? If you don't think you have problems, after reading this, you might change your mind.

Continue Reading What’s Wrong with My Garlic?

Garlic Status: Mid-July

I am getting lots of questions about where we're at with the garlic - when we'll have bulbs for sale - and how about the bulbils? Here's my final, not-so-final, wishy-washy answer to predicting the future.

Continue Reading Garlic Status: Mid-July

Nettle Soup

Looking for a good recipe for Nettle Soup? Look no farther! All these nutrient-dense weeds growing out there wild and free - and free for the taking! Indulge in one of nature's superfoods!

Continue Reading Nettle Soup

Is Your Garden Boring? (The Food-Forest Solution)

Has winter exposed your garden as a bunch of boring rectangles and squares? Do you wish it more replicated real life, running in circles? There is help for people like us. Work WITH nature to transform your labor-intensive squares into a self-supporting food forest.

Continue Reading Is Your Garden Boring? (The Food-Forest Solution)

First Sprouts of Garlic!

Mid-February and the garlic is UP! Tallest in the patch is the Chinese Pink, a Turban variety, but all varieties are making a showing. These hardy little bulbs can handle the rough weather ahead. Just be careful with the mulch!

Continue Reading First Sprouts of Garlic!

Death by Garlic, Revived by Kale

February is a weird month - we get a little bit of everything in the weather department. We do a lot of fantasizing through seed catalogs and are anxious to get our hands back in the dirt. When the winter blues & blahs get you down, our latest kale recipe, "Death by Garlic, Revived by Kale," is sure to bring you around.

Continue Reading Death by Garlic, Revived by Kale

For the Love of Kale (and Garlic and Cauliflower)

What's to salvage out of a garden hammered by winter storms? Italian Lacinato (or Tuscan) Kale stands strong! Here's a great recipe for Chicken-Kale-Cauliflower casserole (with a fair amount of garlic, of course!)

Continue Reading For the Love of Kale (and Garlic and Cauliflower)

‘Tis the Season for Transylvanian

Halloween Night! What a fright! Protect yourself with Transylvanian Garlic! Special sale on braids - while supplies last. Warning! It packs more than just a little bite. Seriously. I warned you. Vampires need not apply.

Continue Reading ‘Tis the Season for Transylvanian

A Somewhat Unconventional Garlic Garden

I tried a little unconventional approach to this year's garlic garden. I built the beds in a series of circles around nitrogen-fixing shrubs and a meandering form that looks a lot like my life - er, I mean, a whirligig. Whatever. I was lost.

Continue Reading A Somewhat Unconventional Garlic Garden

Got Garlic???? YES we DO!

We still have lots of garlic! In trying to set up a storefront, I wiped out my page that lists them. If you're looking for great garlic to plant or to eat, shoot me an email and I'll get back to you. It might take me awhile to find a fix!

Continue Reading Got Garlic???? YES we DO!

Garlic Planting Planner

Having trouble figuring out how much garlic you can plant in your garden? Or maybe how much garden you need to plant all your garlic? I've created a little tool in Excel that will do all the math for you - leaving you more time to get down and get dirty in the garden! Check out the Barbolian Fields Garlic Planting Planner.

Continue Reading Garlic Planting Planner

Surrounded by Garlic!

Got garlic? One can never have too much. See what it's like to be surrounded by about 1000 bulbs and over 130 pounds of this fragrant stuff -- swooooon...

Continue Reading Surrounded by Garlic!

Barbolian Garlic Harvest 2011

Our garlic harvest was a full month later than in some years, but yes – the garlic is in and hanging in the shed – AND THE GOOD NEWS IS: IT LOOKS FANTASTIC!

Continue Reading Barbolian Garlic Harvest 2011

Self-Imposed Limitations, Sustainability, and Creatively Breaking Rules

I’ve hit a turning point. Actually, several of them. In the process, I've been examining my self-imposed limitations, my concept of sustainability, and why now is the best time to break a few rules. Another lengthy psycho-analysis post of how our gardens teach us much about life and visa versa - and what to do about it.

Continue Reading Self-Imposed Limitations, Sustainability, and Creatively Breaking Rules

Garlic Under Snow

Snowstorm in the PNW! The garlic is under a blanket. Here's a good recipe for a simple high-energy food mix for the birds.

Continue Reading Garlic Under Snow

How to Plant Garlic Bulbils

Here's how I recently planted garlic bulbils - those little seed-like clusters in the scapes. Planting scapes is a great way to increase your crop at a low price. Can you still plant them? Yes, I think so, but you may want to wait for the snow to melt if you're on the Olympic Peninsula! I am sure there will be warmer days ahead if you still need to get them in the ground.

Continue Reading How to Plant Garlic Bulbils

Time Again to Plant Garlic

Frost is on the pumpkin and it's time to plant garlic! I am going back to basics this year - keeping it simple. This post is all about planting garlic: planning, building beds, enriching the soil, planting, and mulching.

Continue Reading Time Again to Plant Garlic

Artichoke Beauty and the Art of Aioli

We have artichokes! Celebrate by making your own aioli - basically garlic, lemon juice, egg yolks, and olive oil blended together in a smooth mass - to transport yourself into some other realm. It is a night and day difference from the stuff you buy in a jar called mayonnaise. Artichokes - extraordinary thistle that they are - are the perfect partner to this excursion into a gastronomic swoon.

Continue Reading Artichoke Beauty and the Art of Aioli

Every Soil Tells a Story

We delve deeper into the whys of a poor garlic crop this year, and although I highly suspect it was a combination of a long wet winter and spring, incessant strong winds, and too thick a mulch, I thought it might be a good idea to buy an NPK soil-test kit and see what the soil could tell me.

Continue Reading Every Soil Tells a Story

When All Else Fails, Buy Plants

A little retail therapy helped offset the dreary weather and having to face a very poor garlic crop. Sad day. Looking for some bright spots amidst a lot of bulbs that rotted in the ground. Looking for reasons why. Even after over 30 years of growing this stuff, gardening is always such a learning process, huh.

Continue Reading When All Else Fails, Buy Plants

Scapes, Scallions, and the Scarcity of Spring

In this post, I confess to having a serious case of scape envy, based on reports I am getting from others whose garlic plants are already producing those delectable scapes. Want to know the difference between scapes, scallions, and "green garlic" and how elephant garlic fits in to this picture? I'll try to unravel some of that for you. And if you're wondering what to do with your scapes, stay tuned for my upcoming cookbook!

Continue Reading Scapes, Scallions, and the Scarcity of Spring

Pull Back the Mulch and Feed the Garlic!

If you've tucked your garlic in under mulch for the winter, now is the time to pull back the blanket and let the sun shine in. Early spring is a time of intense change for the garlic plants, and when they first come up, they are hungry! Have pity and don't make them search for food! This post is about the special needs of garlic in early spring and how to care for them.

Continue Reading Pull Back the Mulch and Feed the Garlic!