Homegrown Garlic

by | Jul 29, 2017 | Blog | 0 comments

Home Grown Garlic - Olde Rhinebeck Inn
Today is the day our small patch of garlic is harvested. This is a big day in a long process. In our climate it is best to plant garlic cloves in the fall, and this year’s mini-crop has been in the ground for nearly nine months. Although the garlic may sprout and send up shoots in the fall, they winter over and grow strong in the spring and early summer. Their stalks provide the only green coloring in our otherwise muddy spring vegetable garden, providing hope for a lush garden later on.
Today is the day our small patch of garlic is harvested. This is a big day in a long process. In our climate it is best to plant garlic cloves in the fall, and this year’s mini-crop has been in the ground for nearly nine months. Although the garlic may sprout and send up shoots in the fall, they winter over and grow strong in the spring and early summer. Their stalks provide the only green coloring in our otherwise muddy spring vegetable garden, providing hope for a lush garden later on.
Garlic Scrapes - Olde Rhinebeck Inn
Pickles - Olde Rhinebeck Inn
Semi-rural living tends to teach one lessons about how many things in our daily lives have come to be. Ever wonder why pickles are made with garlic and dill? Well, it should be no surprise that cucumbers, garlic and dill are all harvested at the same time. What better way to preserve an over-abundance of these three ingredients than to put them together? Any hobby farmer can tell you that many vegetables have a short harvest period, leaving them with an onslaught of cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, peppers, beets and lots more. The objective at this point is to go on the offensive and preserve. It takes some time and effort, but opening a jar of garlic dill pickles in the winter takes a bite out of the colder season.
Mmm, thinking of buying some fresh garlic or any of the other bounty grown here in the Hudson Valley? Check out our Hudson Valley Farm Markets & Wineries page for great ideas. Our local Rhinebeck Farmer’s Market is hosted in the village public parking lot every Sunday, and even continues in Town Hall alternate weekends in the winter. Our favorite farm stand is Montgomery Place Orchards, and Mead Orchards has both a farm stand and a pick-your-own schedule.

So our garlic is now drying in the shed. The largest bulbs will be saved, cracked and planted in the garden in the fall to become next year’s crop. The rest will be used in guest breakfasts and our own personal dinners. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh pressed garlic thrown into a saute pan of hot oil. And the cloves will definitely be added to our carrot, parsnip and potato leek soups. These will be frozen and eaten in the winter, warming us and keep us thinking about the dormant garlic in the garden, all of us waiting for the spring. In the meantime we’ll enjoy the summer and its overabundance. Garlic adds an extra kick.