Less Noise, More Green: Storing garlic

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Storing garlic

Cured garlic, preserving, urban farming, gardening

In the middle of July my garlic was looking a bit brown and droopy, which meant it was ready for harvest. After gently freeing the bulbs from the earth, I hung them in my garage to cure. It has now been several weeks and the garlic is completely dry and ready for storage.


Curing garlic, preserving, urban farming
To clean them up, I used a soft brush to remove the dirt and gave each bulb a root haircut.

Cured garlic, storing garlic, preserving, urban farming

Much more presentable! It's like getting your kids ready to go back to school after the summer break.

My plan was to braid my soft neck garlic but after several attempts I realized I just didn't have enough bulbs to make it work. That's OK, I think they look pretty just hanging in a bunch.

Cured garlic, storing garlic, preserving, urban farming


Right now the garlic is hanging with the dried herbs on the back of my kitchen door. This back entrance way is not heated and my hope is that it will be a suitable storage spot for the winter. Garlic likes it very cool.

This year, I have been freezing complete meals instead of individual vegetables and it makes sense to me to freeze the garlic in the way you intend to use it.  Roasting whole cloves? Freeze the bulb. Frying in olive oil with onions as the base of a soup or stew? Freeze the garlic in oil like you would pesto. Spreading it on a loaf with butter to make garlic bread? Finely chop the garlic, blend it with butter and freeze.

I don't think I have enough garlic to get us through the winter so I'm not that worried about my garlic spoiling. I will freeze a whole bulb to see if I like the thawed result. I am excited about having homegrown whole cloves of garlic to roast and add to mashed potatoes or roast with root vegetables. Yes, I don't think I have to worry about my supply going bad.

Saving garlic as seed garlic,  preserving, urban farming

The hardest part of storing my garlic was selecting the best bulbs and then putting them aside. In October, I'll plant them out as seed garlic for next year's crop. These are some nice looking bulbs and roasted garlic mashed potatoes sounds really good about now! The smart thing, though, is to save the best to produce more of the same quality next year.

Sometimes being smart is no fun.

See you in the garden,

Sue


3 comments:

  1. What a lovely idea Sue I might do that with some spuds I was given by a farmer I was not able to do garlic this year but will try and get some for next season thank you for sharing have a blessed day

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    Replies
    1. Garlic mashed potatoes are fabulous.I just dug up a couple of potatoes from my garden and I think they are destined for the potato masher!

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