Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall Chores & Harvest Report 11/1

I hope that everyone had a great Halloween. I was disappointed not to have a pumpkin from my garden to carve and ended up not doing anything very festive. I attended a concert last night by one of my all time favorite bands, Guster! Walking around Boston, there were a lot of great costumes, but I also found it amusing to see what the more 'popular' costumes were this year. I saw many people dressed up as Peter Pan, Minnie Mouse, a Pirate, Where's Waldo, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. My favorite costume was probably "the swine flu" (a pig with a face mask).

Anyway, back to gardening...finding time to get into the garden is becoming increasingly difficult as the days get shorter. Now that we turned the clocks back, weekends are going to be the only time I can really attend to the garden (since early mornings are not my thing). So, in addition to planting garlic, I took the opportunity to do a few fall chores:
  • dug up my impressive marigolds that added color and bug protection to my plot
  • spread two wheelbarrows of wood chips in the path
I also harvested my remaining radishes and mache*:

*A side note about my background with mache (i.e. corn salad, lamb's lettuce). I first discovered mache while in Switzerland. With a simple vinaigrette, it was delicious by itself. While shopping at my local Trader Joe's in Cambridge, MA shortly after my Swiss trip, I came across a bag of mache. I could hardly contain my shock and excitement. I now purchase bags of mache several times a month (partly because I want to make sure that they continue to stock it and feel that i alone purchase enough to keep the sales up!) Unfortunately, I have not found it at all TJ locations, but if you can find it I highly recommend it. Again, all it needs is a simple vinaigrette, but is also delicious with avocado, tomato and eggs! Bon appetit!

Garlic Planting Day

My goal of planting my garlic this weekend was accomplished as my order arrived on Friday. However, although it was incredibly warm on Saturday (70 degrees), it was unbelievably windy! The winds were blowing everything around like crazy so I decided not to attempt planting on Saturday. Fortunately, today was a beautiful day, sunny & 60 with less wind!

A little bit more about my garlic. After checking the garlic inventory of the more popular sites, I decided to order from The Garlic Store. They are a small company based in Fort Collins, CO. (I only bring up that they are in Ft. Collins because I lived there for a short time after college and absolutely loved it!!) Anyway, my 1/2 lb. order of Organic German White Garlic (a hardneck variety) gave me 3 bulbs/heads.

It looked great...especially once I broke the bulbs open to find out how many cloves were in each! The cloves were very easy to break apart, fragrant, and although I did not try, also easy to peel.
Each bulb had 7-8 large cloves, giving me 21 to plant. (I held back one on the smaller side to eat!) I have heard of a few variations on how to plant garlic and was very impressed with Daphne's method. However, I decided to start with the most basic and easiest way of naturel! I was going to leave the skin on each clove and just plop them into the ground.

After loosening up the existing soil and adding a bag of compost to the bed I created to plant the garlic, I made 21 holes, about 2 inches deep and 4-6 inches apart. I put one clove in each hole, "tip" up.

Next, I covered the holes back up with the soil. To protect the garlic from the upcoming New England winter, I used what I had around me as mulch...leaves and grass! I covered the bed with about 6" of leaves and added pieces of the 20' reeds from the surrounding Muddy River bank.

The final result after placing a plastic netting over it so the wind wouldn't blow everything away...

I can't wait until next year and hope that I have all 21 heads of garlic!!