Farm Happenings at Urban Teaching Farm
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Star of the season... Garlic!

Posted on July 3rd, 2020 by Lilly Emendy

I’m a fairly tough critique of the food we grow out here. Somehow I always feel like we could have done more to make sure it was healthier, lasted longer, gotten bigger, etc... but this year’s softneck garlic variety blew me away.

Garlic is a wonder. We plant the cloves in late October/early November, often after we’ve had our first frost. Generally I’m in wool head to toe, and we gently place each clove, roots down, pointy end up, 3” deep, 4-6” apart, 2 rows per 75’ long bed. It’s a lot of garlic. We then mulch, water, weed, mulch some more, cover when it’s young in the deep freezes, watch the greens pop up in the warming spring, wait for months patiently topping with compost and checking the weather forecast for the right dry window to pull them up in early June. 7 1/2 months in the ground. 

This year we grew both softneck and hardneck. The hardneck types produce scapes and generally larger bulbs with fewer cloves and stronger flavor. They last a couple of months on your counter then start to green and sprout. Softneck varieties however, last 6-9 months in your pantry. They are amazing for storage and have delicate, sweet flavor that sharpens over time. They are also called an artichoke type as the cloves cluster like the armor of the artichoke flower. The variety we grew of soft neck garlic, is called Inchelium Red. It is an heirloom variety whose genetics trace back to at least the late 1700’s, pre-colonialism and originally grown by the people of the Colville Indian Reservation in Inchelium, Washington.  It’s listed on Slow Food’s Ark of Taste collection and it’s amazing for braiding. 

Each braid has 9 cloves and weighs close to 4lbs. They romantically hang in your kitchen or can be tucked away in the pantry and will last until March. Although I’m my house we go through a bulb a week so maybe not! $27 for each braid And they will be available until they are gone. 

Enjoy the season friends,


Lilly, Nallah, and Ano