Howdy folks, well the garlic harvest is on and I'm going to get to that, but I would be remiss not to mention my dad Nick Whatley's 60th birthday today! We are celebrating with family here tonight, including my brother and his wife Nora, who just got back this morning from their honeymoon. We are all happy here today to be together again, and the crew is doing a great job harvesting for market, planting, and bringing in the garlic..!
This is how it comes out of the field: The tractor drives down the bed with an undercutter bar, which slices through the soil just below the roots...the soil looks like it's rolling and flowing like a river while the tractor goes through. It's a really simple tool but it works beautifully!
Then we load up the bins (above is the view from the tractor while we drive down the row filling it with garlic) into the farm trucks:
You'll always know our trucks by the "TOPSHAM" on the side! That means we can drive these rust buckets within a 20-mile radius of the farm, as long as they have working brakes, lights, and a few other things...
Next we bring the garlic into our "shade house," which is a small high tunnel covered with shade cloth...here is where we cure the garlic before processing. We build up these stacks of racks, with thins of layers of garlic and enough air flow to dry the crop down. After a month or so, we can begin trimming the necks off the garlic and grading for size. Our biggest and best bulbs go for seed garlic, both for our own replanting and for sale to gardeners and farmers like yourselves!
Lastly, we are very excited to bringing fresh Pekin duck to the market this weekend! These babies are really beautiful birds for roasting on the grill in the summer (use a drip pan to catch the fat). Come to market this weekend and talk to Logan, Samantha, or Ben about it.
Ben and the folks