This past Saturday was our annual open house and barbecue and it was great having members out to see the farm and get a glimpse of how we grow your food. Thank you for coming! One of the things that seemed to make a big impression on members who were here was our barn full of garlic. And indeed, going up there to take some photos I could see why, if nothing else because of the smell! A barn full of garlic does make you want to run home and make pasta al aglio e olio (pasta with garlic and olive oil) but also it is just beautiful and impressive to see that much garlic in one spot. And oh the garlic! We are so happy with this season’s harvest – a beautiful haul of large, flawless bulbs. Garlic is a staple in our summer and winter shares and certainly in our kitchen. It is a fall-planted crop and is harvested in bulk around this time and must cure for several weeks before being put into storage.
Curing is what is happening in our barn full of garlic right now. The fresh, beginning-to-dry bulbs are taken from the field and sent up a hay elevator to be arranged in our airy barn with fans running so that the paper surrounding the cloves dries completely and the neck of the bulb does too. Properly cured garlic will store for many months (and does not have to be put in your fridge, by the way!) and we take it out of cold storage to put in your shares all winter long and even into the next spring.
This is the beginning of fall harvests (though we are not quite in fall yet!). In a few weeks we will do the same thing to our storage onions – pull them from the field and send them up to the barn to cure. Then will be the squash, which also needs curing to store. And when fall proper comes big hauls of roots veggies will be upon us.
But for now, it’s just the beginning and we’re actually just getting excited about the summer veggies that are starting to come in for real – tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, beans. It’s a short-lived period in Ontario so enjoy it while it lasts!