from Kotomi's Blog for August
through an intern's eyes
Here at Windward we have chosen to grow a variety of new heritage garlics; including Chinook Red, Transylvanian, Early Italian Red and Susanville.
cured garlic ready for braiding!!
I have never seen so much garlic in my life. Lindsay explained to me that the indicator that garlic is ready to be harvested is when there are 3 dead leaves to 6 green. Garlic is very picky and will not cure correctly if harvested to early or too late.
The curing process allows the garlic to dry and adjust to conditions outside of the garden for storage. It draws nutrients and sugars from the leaves and aids in the control of growth of mold and mildew.
Some hang garlic from the ceiling or rafters to cure. But any location that offers shade, excellent air circulation, and that will keep the bulbs sheltered and dry in the event of rain will work. From my research its favorable to allow the garlic to cure for about 3 weeks. The garlic then can be taken down to be braided.
You don't want to be hanging dirt in your kitchen so we took all of the dirty shell off to make them pretty and sanitary!
It is easiest to braid with soft neck garlic (where the upper part of the garlic to stem is soft and bendable). There were a lot of hard neck garlic (where the garlic stem is hard like a stick or taunt vine. I was able to braid them but it took some hand strength and patience.
braided garlic is so pretty and user-friendly
Here is a step by step drawing on how to braid garlic.
Take three of the largest bulbs and twist two together and lay the third between the twist. Cross the garlic stem in your left hand over to begin the braid.
Pick up a medium size garlic and lay over the stem beginning the cross to braid. Take the next stem cross over the previous stem and new garlic added to repeat the process.
Pick up another garlic lay over the stem that is beginning the braid, fold and repeat! Its that easy! We did braids of twelve but you could keep going until you have no more stem to work with.
I love garlic :)
Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 71