We had enough help this week to start getting some real garlic cleaning done. The garlic has been curing for three weeks, and it has dried down really well. Now it is ready to be trimmed, cleaned, and sorted. We trim off the stems and roots, and then we rub the dirt and loose paper from each garlic bulb. When they are clean, we use a nifty tool Ben made to separate the garlic by size - small for culinary and large for seed (below). If the garlic passes through the opening then it is small enough to be culinary; if not, we save it for seed. The reason we save the larger pieces for seed is to selecting for the genetics that produce larger garlic, even in a dry season such as this one.
Then, after cleaning, we box them up for storage. This week we will start selling a little culinary garlic of this first variety, Inchelium Red, that we are cleaning, but we actually have to clean and sort ALL of the garlic so that we know how much seed to keep for ourselves and how much we can sell at market. See pretty, cleaned garlic below:
I got some questions about our irrigation tank setup a couple of weeks ago and finally remembered to take a picture this week. Below you can see the tank, and the hose coming off of it and running into the field (between a bed of swiss chard and a bed of kale). You can just barely see them in this photo, but every twenty feet or so we plug little sprinklers into the hose. The sprinklers rest on three-foot-high green metal poles, and they are pretty good at covering a circle about twenty feet in diameter.
See you at market!