Did you know the story behind garlic?

How garlic comes to be – from Poplar Wood Farm

yummy clovesWe’re big fans of the Jersey Farmers at Poplar Wood Farm over in Port Murray.

Not only are they participants of the great Family Farmers Market uptown each Saturday, they also have a great Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) that we partake in. A fantastic way to bring affordable, non-GMO, local produce to your table.

And courtesy of Farmer Al – here’s an interesting story about how garlic is actually grown.

I never knew they planted them much like tulips – the fall before!

How does garlic make it to your table?

By Farmer Al

Garlic seed is actually individual cloves of garlic so we start by ‘cracking’ full bulbs into cloves; clove size is an indicator of future bulb size. Trenches are dug a few inches deep and the seed is set in the soil, pointed end up, about six inches apart. Garlic is typically planted in the fall, a few weeks before the ground freezes. It is then mulched with straw to for frost protection and future weed suppression and moisture conservation.

garlic cloves planted in the fall

When the ground begins to thaw towards the end of winter/beginning of spring, the garlic will emerge.

The central stalk of the garlic will eventually start to curl and loop around; this is referred to as the scape. You all enjoyed some of these earlier in the season. The end of the scape is the garlic flower. (411 Note: Garlic scapes are an amazing addition to salads!)

Garlic scapes

A few weeks before the garlic is to be harvested, we stop watering it. This makes for garlic that cures better and will keep longer. Then we pull it out of the ground, bundle it together, and hang it up to cure. We have been harvesting over the past couple of weeks.


curing garlic

Thanks again, Farmer Al for your great mini-education!

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