Maybe it was the warm wet spring, or the recent dry weather, but the garlic was looking more and more ready to harvest. The bottom leaves were turning brown and drying out. There is a fine line between too early and too late, and I am not quite the expert. It is early in the season for garlic. Typically harvest time is near the end of June or early July. I've been watching it closely over the past week, digging only those that were very ready, because it doesn't all mature at the same time - and finally decided to dig the rest of them. My concern was with the rain predicted this week, the moisture may cause them to become soft and difficult to dig, and promote rotting in the ground.
Last October I planted about 700 cloves and 5 varieties of hardneck garlic. Romanian Red, Georgian Fire, German Red, Chesnok Red Purple stripe, and Music Porcelain. The original bulbs were purchased from certified organic stock, and raised using organic all natural practices. The soil was fertilized with natural aged compost from the farm and tilled into the soil. After the bulbs were planted, the area was heavily mulched with clean straw for weed control. Early this spring when the bulbs started to emerge, they were fertilized with organic fertilizer - natural fish emulsion - and weeded by hand throughout the growing season. No chemicals nor pesticides were ever used. I am very pleased with the size of the majority of the bulbs. Its a huge improvement over last year's crop.
So, what are we going to do with all that garlic?? That's an excellent question. The largest bulbs will be sorted and saved as seed to plant in October. The smallest ones will be kept by us and used to make minced garlic for cooking throughout the year. The rest will be for sale. If you want some, let me know!
It is all tied up and drying in my pole barn garage, and will be ready in a few weeks.
Today was the day for annual disease testing of my little goat herd. In the past, I've only had one or two does to test and did this through my vet, but for 7 goats, it would be quite expensive. I decided to do it myself. Six does and my one buck would all be tested for G6S, CAE, CL and Johne's. G6S is a genetic defect and will only be tested once, the others are tested annually. Several months have been spent preparing... and fretting. Many years ago in my clinical nursing days, I stuck plenty of needles in humans and didn't blink an eye, but sticking a needle in the jugular vein of a squirmy goat is another thing entirely. First I selected my lab, choosing TVMDL since they offered all of the tests I needed in one location. Next, I called the lab to discuss procedures for ordering tests and shipping blood. The tech was very helpful and instructed me on how to set up an account. Needles, syringes and vacutainer tubes were ordered of appropriate size and color. (Purple for G6S and Red for everything else). As the day drew closer, I talked to other goat breeders, and watched You Tube videos to refresh myself on the procedure. Help was recruited - Connor for his brute strength to hold the goats, and Carmen for her organizational skills and calm demeanor to be my assistant. I must say we were a great team, and it went much better than expected. The blood has been shipped, and now we wait for results. I have no reason to think it will be anything but NORMAL. Fingers crossed!
My name is Christy Franklin.