My garlic haiku…ahem…

The dream of garlic

Fragrancing my dinner plate

The smell of comfort

It is time to harvest the garlic. How do I know? They told me. Well, not in words, although, I am sure you, gentle reader,¬†(if you have been reading this little site) would not be surprised if I confessed the vegetables spoke to me. Once 1/3 of the tops of the greens are yellow, pull ’em out baby.

Here’s the process.

1. Notice the yellowed, droopy tops.

2. Holding your hand at the base of the greens, gently pull the greens upward. If it is holding firm, you might need to loosen the soil around the bulb. I use a gloved finger, not wanting to spear the bulb with my trowel. This is easier on a dry day.

3. Gently lay all the bulbs, with their tops, in a cool, dry place, preferably up off the ground. We have a hammock that is strung between 2 trees and I have found that to be the perfect location. Don’t bounce them around a lot. They’re easily bruised at this stage.

4. Let them set. I leave them on the hammock overnight (as long as it doesn’t rain). This setting will get the papery husks to dry a bit. Don’t peel them! That will protect the bulbs. Peel them when you are ready to eat.

5. Carefully brush the dirt from the bulbs. A paint brush easily does the trick. It is ok if they still have a bit of dirt on them. You don’t want to fuss too much.

6. Braid them up. Tie at the top of the braid and hang them from the ceiling in a cool, dark place.

7. To use them, snip from the braid.