One of our favorite parts of late October is planting garlic; it is a chance to grow something new at a time that is otherwise focusing on endings. This week we will be planting our garlic crop for the 2015 season! We purchased 3 varieties of organic hardneck garlic seed bulbs that are certified nematode free (nematodes are a soil borne pest that is very common and damaging to a garlic crop). It is important to plant the garlic somewhere that makes sense for the following year because it will be in the ground from now until July. To plant the garlic, we separate the bulbs into cloves and plant each clove 6 inches apart in the ground about 3 inches deep. We then cover the planted garlic beds with straw mulch to help suppress weeds, hold in moisture, and provide protection from the cold. Green growth will be visible next spring and by mid June we will be harvesting garlic scapes, the curly stem and bud that grow from the center of the plant. We harvest the scapes because they are great for eating and because removing them encourages growth in the bulbs. In mid July we pull the entire plant out of the ground. The garlic is then cured by hanging the bulbs still attached to the plants in a shady dry place with good air circulation for 4-6 weeks. We then clip the bulbs from the stems for storage. Most of our garlic will be available in the CSA and farm store next fall but some we will save to replant in October for a great garlic crop the following year!
In the CSA:
- Celeriac- Also known as celery root, celeriac has a great celery flavor and root vegetable texture. Peel or cut the outside of your celeriac and chop the rest for a great addition to roasted vegetables, soups and stews.
- Parsnips- Parsnips are a white root vegetable that looks much like a carrot, but unlike carrots should only be eaten when cooked. Chopping and roasting with olive oil and salt is a simple way to enjoy this sweet root vegetable.
- Watermelon Radish- Patsy brought us these radishes for the first time a few years ago and we have been growing them ever since! They get their name for their appearance when cut in half. they have a pretty red center with a white exterior.
- Cabbage- Green Storage no. 4 and Purple cabbage
- Mustard Greens
- Red Russian Kale
- Baby Bok Choy
- Daikon radish
- Butternut Squash- Great for recipes such as soups, stews, and the risotto listed below. They will store well for months so you can look forward to enjoying squash soup on a cold winter night!
- Buttercup Squash- We often just slice it up and bake it for a great side dish for any meal. The skin is edible so don't worry about peeling.
- Beets - mixed Chioggia, Red Ace and Golden
- Potatoes - Red Gold and Kennebec.
- Buttercream Sunflowers
- Herbs: Cilantro, Parsley, Thyme and Oregano
In the store:
Everything in the CSA will also be available in the store, as well as pie pumpkins, red kuri squash, acorn squash, and sugar dumplings. Happy Rich mini broccoli, salanova, radishes, salad turnips, and sweet peppers will also be available. In addition, we have Jack-O'-Lanterns grown by Bill Kenney down the road from us.
Thanks to Carmela, a store regular, we have this great recipe for a risotto without all the stirring!
Baked Barley Risotto With Butternut Squash
From: Real Simple December 2011