Monday, November 23, 2009

6,255 garlic cloves in the ground!

It is said that farmers' work is never done, but we have reached our goal and a time to rest for a little bit. Today, during Thanksgiving Week, Dick and I finally finished all of our garlic planting and the mulching of all the beds. Whew! We are both tired tonight, but I am so excited to have come this far that I am making this photo post entry before I fill up the tub for a good hot soak tonight. :-)

We look forward to our harvest next year and meeting so many new people while selling our garlic. Dick has already been told he is the "Garlic Czar" of Washtenaw County, just based on the variety and number of garlic bulbs we have grown in our community garden. Our total in the ground as of today is well over 10x that number. We gave all the help and effort to get this job done a toast and a big sigh filled with gratitude and contentment at dinner tonight. :-)

(Photo: Garlic shoots starting to come up from the very first bulbs planted at the end of October. Dick pulled one or two up to check their roots and saw strong, healthy 3-5" roots already! They got replanted and all these will be just fine during the winter.)

(Photo: Hmmmm, deer or Kaya? Lots of deer wandering through our garden, but these footprints are from Kaya. No damage from Kaya or the deer.)

(Photo: Here you can see stakes marking the very short sections where we have planted new garlic varieties that are "auditioning" for a permanent place in the show next year.)

(Photo: This is the end of the planting of our 500+ cloves that will be harvested as green garlic. These are harvested first in the spring, very small, as if they are garlic scallions. They are planted much closer together than cloves planted to become bulbs, thus we tried the trenching technique, which made the planting go fast, fast, fast!)

(Photo: Garlic all planted, rows all raked, ready to mulch.)

(Photo: Love those tractors! and the wagon used to haul the straw bales to the end of each row.)

(Photo: Starting to mulch the 12-1/2 rows of our garlic. As with everything, there is considerable "debate" about the best way to mulch. Dick and I were talking about other strategies to try next year while doing this.)

(Photo: Diana spreading mulch. Kaya is sleeping (I mean supervising) at the end of the row.)

(Photo: Yes, I'm supervising, not sleeping! I love sleeping - oh, I mean supervising - while lying in the straw - grin!)

(Photo: Sunset - thank goodness I looked up from spreading straw to notice the beautiful sky!)

(Photo: Victory! All done before dark.)

(Photo: Sunset - all planted and mulched and inspected by Kaya.)

(Photo: Sunset over our farm. Time to clean up, put the tractor away, and head home.)

(Photo: The Dixboro General Store - in our new hometown - just to show all my friends in New England that they do not have the market cornered on old, cute and quaint - grin!)

(Photo: Garlic planting celebration dinner - good thing we had food ready to heat up - we were way too tired to go out to eat and also too tired to really even clear off the table for a "photo shoot". In fact, as I was putting my camera away, I saw my napkin on the floor! Most of the ingredients for this meal came from our local farmers. I'll post the recipe for the Sweet Potato and Kale Soup on my kale blog later.)

Twenty-five years ago this week, I was admitted to Evanston General Hospital (IL) for surgery to treat my first breast cancer (diagnosed when I was only 34 years old in 1984) on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. How thankful I am that I am "still here", celebrating these 25 years by finishing our garlic planting for the year.

Off to soak in the tub and to sleep well tonight. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Grandma Honey said...

And you are going to be here for many years to come because you take such good care of yourself, and teach the rest of us likewise.

Dianne K said...

And you will have many more plantings of garlic to come.....Happy Thanksgiving, Diana & family!

Jen said...

I echo Jill. And can the world EVER have too much garlic? Congratulations! I can't wait to sample your harvest.

Kateri said...

Looks beautiful. I am most definitely buying garlic from you next year. Can't wait to hear what the best varieties are. Happy Thanksgiving! =)

Unknown said...

Looks great, Mom! Can't wait to get home and see the changes around the farm in person.

Debra said...

Just discovered your blog and love it already. I found it searching on kale- made some for the first time last night and discovered my dog loves it! Thank you!

Diana Dyer said...

Thanks for finding my dianadyer blog. Since you and your dog are now enjoying kale, you may also like my other blog that is focused just on kale,, where kale is more than decoration on my plate!
PS - my dog enjoys kale, too. :-)