It didn’t take long to refresh the harvested garlic bed and prepare to plant it with a 2nd fall crop of carrots.
Earlier in the year we found that the carrots were overgrowing too fast and needed to plant more to have a continuous flow of perfect size carrots. Luckily you can plant carrots in secession a couple weeks apart from early spring to early fall since they are so cold hardy. Next year we will do exactly that. This year we decided to plant 2 crops far apart in time which didn’t work as well as we hoped.
We also put a cover over this row and kept it going into November for our customers! They last down to 28 degrees under the fabric. We didn’t hit a really hard freeze until almost Thanksgiving!
We continue to learn a little more with each issue that comes up on the farm. The following year is always a little better for the learnings.
Here is one of our fall orders just for the fun of it:
As we were clearing out the garlic to use the bed for a second crop of carrots, I came across this broken arrowhead in the dirt. It is a nice reminder that this property used to house Native Americans that were coming to town to trade at the Trading Post. They would set up camp in this area. It is nice to know this particular area was never spoiled as the Native Americans had a great deal of respect for the land.
We were lucky to find a property with naturally rich, untainted soil and rich in history. You can find a lot of petrified wood here and clearly they were made into items such as arrowheads. I hope to find more relics as we work the beds.
Since we ran out of good carrots for our customers it is time to pull up the garlic and use the bed to plant more carrots.
How do you know when garlic is ready to pull? When the leaves start to die off. At that point we carefully dig them up, shake off the dirt and take the outer papery skin off so it looks clean. This is the 3rd year of growing garlic. They are getting bigger every year which is a great sign.
We bring the garlic inside and hang it in the window that gets hot afternoon sunshine. This dries the outside of the garlic to cure it. The papery outside turns fine and easy to peel. The garlic itself maintains its moisture.
We plant the garlic in October or November. It’s one of the first plants to come up in the spring.
This is what the bed looks like in prep. Holes a couple inches apart and 4 inches deep. A single garlic clove is planted with the root section facing down. You can see all the paper from breaking apart the garlic into individual cloves.
Although we grow a lot of vegetables we also have 3 apple trees, 1 pear tree and concord grapes that were already on our property. Due to the short growing season and late snow storms that are common here we have only gotten fruit off our trees half of the years we’ve lived here. In the spring the trees start to bud out and if it snows after the flowers open we lose any chance of fruiting. This year we were lucky and managed to have the trees fruit.
We are also working on a potential raspberry patch, rhubarb and strawberries. The birds will be our biggest issue as they have been tasting almost every apple on the tree. We’ll see how it goes.
It’s July and prime season for the crops. Even the pumpkins have quickly regrown and proving to be a bumper this year! The fabric row covers have been a blessing, especially since it’s been so hot and dry. Limiting the sunshine on plants like the lettuce has encouraged better growth.The carrots are growing so big so fast we actually have to reseed for an additional crop.The broccoli continues to grow a number of small heads even after first harvest. More peppers are growing in previous years and they are much larger. As usual the tomatoes have been a challenge as they always are, but we still had enough to meet demand. Our first try at butternut squash and acorn squash is successful. The beans, in the end managed to perk up and give us a good crop. All in all it’s been a good year.
See the 2018 Garden Tour on the Farm’s YouTube Channel: