Our garlic braids turned out great, and have been popular with our "pre-sale" so far this spring and summer! We use our New York (Polish) White garlic for making braids. Of our 11 varieties, this is our only softneck, which is obviously more pliable and soft in the neck of the plant, making it easier for the braiding process. Not only does each braid contain 13 heads of garlic, each bulb has at least 12 per bulbs (some may have upwards of 20!) You're looking at least 156 cloves of garlic with each braid! How 'bout them apples? Er... I mean garlic?...
We are half way finished with our garlic harvest! Up to this point the weather has been great getting about 14,000 plants from the field to the drying barn. We got quite a bit of rain this afternoon, so we'll likely take it easy on Friday while the field dries out. Saturday will be the big day with the "Big Crew". We're optimistic that with a extra dozen helpers we could every close to harvest all the remaining crop (or even finish)! Lots of Chesnok Red, Persian Star, and German Red left in the field, but many hands make light work. Can't thank our helpers enough for al their hard work!
Garlic for sale now at www.tamarackgarlicfarm.com!
We added some dairy compost, but found it too much work to spread by hand. We'll have to go to the drawing board and come up with a better way for this fall. So it's going to be a lot of hand weeding this spring and early summer....but we get to know the crop a little better this way, too. The crop is now weeded a 2nd time, and looks great after the rain the past week!
We have finished up with the first round of weeding this spring. Unfortunately for us, the majority of "weeds" we were pulling was the result of the rye seed found within the rye mulch we used last fall. About 50 man hours was needed to weed the field over the past week.
With the weeds gone, the garlic has really stretched out the past few days with the rain and sun in alternating fashion. Next week we are going to have a couple quad axle trucks drop off 80 cubic yards of dairy compost from another local business, Cowsmo Compost of Waumandee. We're thinking that a solid 2" layer of compost around the plants on the beds will suppress the majority of weeds in May and June. We are hoping on preventing another 200+ hours of weeding later this spring and be able to have a bit more family time before harvest. If the compost idea works, we're thinking about changing to a 3 rows/bed planting scheme for next year and compost immediately after planting.
Thanks to are friends and family that have helped weed in the "garlic patch" this past week. We appreciate it!
The garlic is just starting to emerge here in Trempealeau as of March 7th this year. This is about 3 days ahead of last year (including the extra leap day), and about 2-3 weeks ahead of what some other veteran garlic growers in Wisconsin typically see with their mulched garlics emerge 2-3 weeks later than this. I'm sure winter isn't done yet, but hope a late freeze in May doesn't happen!
We also opened up our web store this week at www.TamarackGarlicFarm.com!
Today Jason had the day off of school, and visited the field around noon. Temperature was 36 F, which is also the high for the day predicted, but the wind made if feel cool. They are predicting a High temp of 54 F tomorrow, and then 45 F and rain the following day, then have highs in the 31-39 F range, and low temps of 21-28 the rest of the week.
The field had 2-3 inches of snow in the furrows between the beds, but the beds had all straw exposed. I would summarize the field’s condition by saying the majority of all beds were still well-frozen in the parts that were covered with straw. Parts where straw may have been applied too thin, was wind-blown, and had soil exposed, were a little soupy- about an inch of mud before I would hit hard ground again.
As I walked through the field I noticed an area where an animal walked through the edge of the field where their feet had uncovered two cloves. Both were well rooted, and plump looking, and had terrific root structure, and both had little nubs of green swelling at the tops, which I took as meaning that being fulling exposed for most of the winter with the mild winter we had didn’t affect them, and the should grow just fine...but I covered them both back up like the rest of their friends.
Overall, I was happy to see that the crop was still dormant, and feel 100% sure that having the mulch on right now is a good thing, so the plants sleep just a bit longer, as we will have a little bit of winter to get through yet!
For the most part, it's been a pretty mild winter. We have had just enough snow cover on the field this winter, and are expecting the temperature to his clse to 50*F this weekend, and hope some snow sticks around.
We've been working on learning the process of making garlic powder and garlic salts with the last couple crates of garlic we had left, and look forward to having our garlic crew that helped us during planting be the first to try it out. Looking forward to seeing our harvest crew at our upcoming Harvest Appreciation party this weekend! Below are a couple pictures of the garlic powder and minced garlic. Hope to have the garlic salt ready for labeling this weekend!
"What do you guys do in the winter?" is a question we get asked quite a bit, and answer "work our day-job" of 40+ hours/week. But in all seriousness, its been great having some downtime with the family, spend a couple evenings/week at the local curling club, and make plans for the upcoming year on the farm.
We spent some time the past couple weeks experimenting with making garlic powder and granulated garlic withe the remaining garlic we garlic, and recently sat down for another magazine article, most recently "Farm Show Magazine", in which the article will run later this winter.
Also if you didn't see our Country Today article that got picked up by the AP(American Press), here is another link to it:
We've been waiting weeks for some snow cover on our garlic field! We are getting hit with a big snow fall! Some weather stations are predicting 6 inches...others up to 12 inches for our area... we'll see what Mother Nature brings!
The snow cover and cold temperature is important for our crop's well-being, and we're thankful it's finally here! Little garlics are now nestled under their mulch and snow blankets...until we meet again in Mid-March!
Today we dug up two random garlic plants- a German Red and a Georgian Fire to check out if there has been any root growth development the past 14 days since planting... and there sure was! We use an organic mycorrhizal fungi to help "jump-start" root growth prior to winter setting in, and does that stuff sure work! Check out the pictures below!
We then got to work and "fluffed" the mulch on the bottom half of the garlic field- the high winds last week took some of the mulch away, and moved it either down the row or to the next row... Worked hard to get down to watch the Packer game!
About our blog...
This blog serves as a place to highlight the events that happen at Tamarack Garlic Farm through the year.