The stars have aligned and today we pull out our 5th crop of garlic! Always a momentous occasion! This time we celebrate with a special treat of mint slices and pub squash! We consulted our oracle–the Brian Keats Astro Calendar–to find the best day for harvesting garlic in November. We look at the three moon rhythms of ascending-descending, waxing-waning and also what constellation and its corresponding element the moon is in to find the perfect day. November 22 is it this year. The moon is descending, waning and in the earth sign of Virgo.
This year we planted our usual Italian Purple variety, which we have been saving seed stock off for 6 years now and growing in the Harcourt soil for 5 years, so it has adapted beautifully to its home. We’re also trialing a variety called ‘Spanish Roja’, which our lovely friend Darren Rose from ‘Two good Acres’ kindly supplied us with. We’ve also got a small amount of Melbourne Market and Early Purple in the ground, which Sas saved from her home garden, but it will take these new varieties a few years to fully adapt to our soil.
The few weeks before we harvest is always a bit nail biting. If we get a lot of rain, the garlic can rot really quickly in the ground. So even though we want rain at this time of year, we don’t want too much that will muck our garlic crop up. Also, once we pull it out, drying the crop can be a challenge. If the weather suddenly goes humid and you don’t have enough air flow around the garlic where you’re drying it, rot and mould can quickly become an issue.
This last hot dry week has been good for our garlic, but not much else! Yesterdays Code Red day with crazy winds, dust, smoke and extreme heat, really messed around with some of our little green babies. Here’s some pics of our new lettuce crop before and after it got watered. Fingers crossed it doesn’t just bolt to seed after that amount of stress!
Once we’re finished pulling our garlic today, we’ll have a better idea of how much we have to sell. As with other years we’ll be selling it as 15-head and 30-head plaits through the Open Food Network. So stay tuned and we’ll let you know when its dry and ready for sale. Makes a beautiful Christmas gift….
Grow well, stay cool,
Sas and Mel