Sunday, November 05, 2006

Garlic Galore

I went to visit Walatoola Farm this week. Part of the plan was to plant garlic and figure out good ways to preserve this year’s enormous garlic harvest.

First I have to say that I have never seen such extraordinary garlic! Their prize winners are huge and ALL of their reserved seed garlic was top quality. I am quite humbled.

We planted 700 cloves of garlic in five beds! I have one very sore right thumb. First we cross hatched the beds with a combination of string and bamboo to set out the grid for the planting holes. The ground is perfectly moist. It was near perfect conditions for putting garlic in the ground. Jim had previously graded his seed garlic into first, second, and in some cases third quality seed stock. We abandoned varieties that did not do well last year and emphasized those
that had really done well.

Satisfied that next year’s crop is off to a good start, we went to work on making garlic jelly and pickled garlic. I had never made jelly before and didn’t realize how elaborate the filtering process is, but Jim is a good teacher, and I got the hang of it. It is a powerful jelly which I think I will rename “garlic cooking glaze.” It is the sort of glaze that would go well on pork or chicken.

Then we canned pickled cloves. Peeling individual cloves of garlic can take an awfully long time. But the preserved garlic will last much longer than fresh will.

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