A couple of weeks ago, we harvested garlic that we had planted last fall. We dried it under cover until Emily’s grandfather got sick of finding the dried out dirt from the roots on the hood of his truck. We knew it was ready based on his blood pressure.
I took down all of the garlic from where it was hanging and loaded it up in the man-van and headed for home. You see, I treat the man-van very much like most folks would treat a pickup truck. Emily, on the other hand, sees it more as a family vehichle. Of course, this causes some contention between us, but I always figure (as someone wisely said) that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Anyhow, I loaded all of the garlic into the van and brought with it a bunch of dried dirt. Emily’s blood pressure headed north as well so I knew the garlic was done.
People process and store garlic in all sorts of different ways, but I like to cut the stalk off leaving only about 1-2 inches still attached to the bulb. I knock off all of the dirt from the roots and then trim them down to 1/4 inch or so in length. I peel a few layers of the outer “paper” from the garlic and that’s it. One should not wash garlic to remove the dirt. Of course, part of the point of drying the garlic was to remove excess moisture that would cause rot. Garlic cleans up very nicely without water so I figure, there is no sense in taking a chance.
So, I did an actual count of the garlic we harvested and we have 116 heads hanging in onion sacks in our basement ready for use. Some we’ll save for seed to plant this October but the rest we’ll use. If we estimate 6 cloves per head, that means we have 696 cloves of garlic for use this year.
The really cool thing is that garlic is its own best medicine. It seems to raise the blood pressure of folks in my family, but it also, apparently, is a good way to lower blood pressure as well. Garlic is almost like a blood pressure perpetual motion device!