Trimming garlic

Trimming garlic

From the long stack of garlic drying in the barn, we’ve been taking out about a bushel a week since harvest began in late July. Today, we finished preparing the rest of the harvest. Lynn, Raechelle and Mel snipped the stems and sorted at the same time. (The roots weren’t trimmed; that can be done for some as we go through the bins and baskets each week for CSA shares and the farmers’ market.) In past years, the sorting was for size: dividing the mostly medium and large bulbs, and putting aside the very few tiny and damaged ones. Garlic does best with a dry final month of growth—this time, coming out of ground that had remained quite wet all summer, the harvest wasn’t in as good shape…

Grading garlic

Sizing evened out, with most bulbs about what I call “medium” (this is the most useful size for cooking, but the big ones are so…impressive, everyone loves ’em). A little over half dried not to the usual tight, white skin, instead, to a tan color, wrinkled and split. So, we sorted into “good” and “not so good”… There was also a much higher proportion of really damaged bulbs, maybe 10% compared to a usual couple per hundred. Still, the taste is great, and the cloves themselves are fine. Only appearance and storage life are affected. We’re selling the less pretty, less storable bulbs at a couple of dollars less per pound. They’re good for immediate use (within 3-4 weeks, maybe a little longer) and as seed garlic for fall planting. Overall yield was great, although I’m not sure whether the hugely reduced number of large bulbs was due to weather, or to the more intensive 5-across planting we tried for the first time. As usual, more to observe and learn from. All in all, given the poor garlic weather, it all worked out quite well!

4 thoughts on “Trimming garlic”

  1. The post made a good read. Nice to get a feeling of how other people view/treat it. The final month of October plantings finishes during the rainy season over here. Seems everywhere to be the case whatever the month.

  2. hi ,
    interesting article
    why must the roots be trimmed?
    and if garlic is to be replanted as seed , isnt it necessary fot the roots to remain ?
    would really appreciate your thoughts

  3. Hey Masami!
    It’s so cool to be back in touch :-)
    Now you have my # and e-mail so stay in touch!


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