There are many reasons why people are planting herbs in pots. This is great for creating a green space, and you can use the herbs in your food and even more medical uses. Even if this isn’t hard to plant and maintain herbs in pots […]
Garlic and Garlic Scape Recipes “Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; Wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; Lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; Garlic makes it good.” ~Alice May Brock Available in June, garlic scapes […]
Why Can’t You Purchase Garlic Early Each Year?
When can you purchase garlic?
You may wonder why garlic is not offered for sale earlier in the year. Having an accurate inventory of garlic before harvest, curing and drying time, cutting from stalks, and weighing is impossible.
For this reason, seasoned and reputable garlic growers offer a small percentage of their expected harvest for sale to help prevent overselling, and possibly no garlic is for sale until inventory can be completed.
Even conservative pre-harvest and pre-curing estimates can be unexpectedly far off the actual total! Growers don’t enjoy canceling orders and disappointing customers, and customers don’t like that either. Most growers do their best, but can’t be held liable for unexpected inventory problems.
So in summary, selling garlic before some time in July is risky for growers because inventory can be drastically different from estimates:
- Garlic may look great and large above the ground while growing, but in some years, even large and gorgeous plants can have a small bulb below ground.
- Garlic can lose as much as 25% or 30% of its weight and size during curing/drying. Different varieties shrink at different rates during curing. This is another reason to NOT buy garlic from a grower that grades, weighs, and ships less than 3 weeks following harvest!
- Until the garlic is actually handled individually, bulbs with damaged cloves can’t be accounted for. Damaged bulbs can still get by the best inspector when large quantities must be processed, but during inventory, most are discovered and those bulbs are set aside for non-shipment. This affects inventory quantities, as the damaged bulbs reduce pounds in inventory.
In a nutshell: Food garlic is generally the comprised of the prettier, smaller bulbs of the season. Seed garlic is typically the largest of the harvest’s bulbs. Garlic meant for seed is often left to grow for a couple more weeks than garlic that will be sold as […]
Because we have access to fresh garlic and its superior flavor, we have increased our garlic use exponentially in recent years! We think this happens with our customers as well. The real garlic flavor of fresh, home-grown garlic is so much better than what comes from store-bought […]
How To Store Garlic
Stored properly, fresh garlic will last for months. Commercially, garlic is stored between 30 and 32 degrees. In most households that is not possible. Here are some other ideas on how to store garlic.
- Bundle garlic in bundles of 8 to 12 bulbs by tying the stalks and hanging it, bulb down. Store garlic in a cool, dry place, with plenty of circulation, away from sunlight.
- You can purchase a ‘garlic keeper’ or simply store it in a wire basket under a flower pot.
- For a homespun display, you can braid softneck garlic stems together, adorned with ribbon and dried flowers, and hang it in your kitchen.
How About Dehydrating?
It’s easy and you’ll be amazed at how flavorful fresh garlic powder is compared to commercially purchased garlic powder.
- Break the cloves apart.
- Cut the root end of the clove (you may also peel the clove, but it is not necessary).
- Lay the cloves in a single layer in your dehydrator and dehydrate for 16+ hour depending on your dehydrator and the size of the cloves.
- The skins fall right off!
- You can store whole cloves or grind them into powder.
- Store in an airtight container. OR…
- To make garlic salt, mix 3 parts salt and 1 part garlic.
Garlic in Wine or Vinegar
- Peeled garlic cloves can be stored in wine or vinegar and refrigerated.
- Garlic can be stored in this manner for about 4 months.
- Discard if you see any signs of mold or yeast growth.
- While it can be done, refrigeration is not the best way to store your garlic because it changes its texture, flavor, and speeds germination.
- Garlic can be stored in the freezer but keep in mind that freezing garlic changes its texture and flavor.
- You can freeze entire bulbs and use individual cloves when you need them, OR
- Peel, chop, and store in small Ziploc bags. If you fill the bags lightly and freeze them flattened you can break off what you need later.
How Not to Store Fresh Garlic
- Never store garlic in oil. Garlic in oil can be kept in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2 weeks. After that, it can develop dangerous bacteria/toxins.
- Garlic and oil at room temperature can cause dangerous toxins to form.
Here are some helpful hints to make peeling your cloves a little easier.
- Blanch in boiling water for approximately 20 seconds, then drop into icy cold water. The skins will slip right through your fingers.
- Place cloves in a glass of cool water for 30 minutes and the skins will come right off.
- Using the old fashioned method, trim off the top and bottom of the clove and roll it between your fingers.
- Trim off the bottom of the clove, place flat on your counter or cutting board, pop it with the flat end of a knife.
- Purchase a ‘garlic tube’. It’s basically a flat piece of silicone. Wrap the cloves in the tube and roll it on the counter a few times.
All garlic seed for sale is supplied by our small micro-farm in Elgin Oregon – Greif’s Gourmet Garlic!
How To Grow Garlic Adapted from the Iowa State University Horticulture Guide: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM1894.pdf How to Grow Garlic Using Sustainable Farming Practices: Garlic (Allium sativum) is a member of the onion family (Alliaceae) along with onions, chives, shallots, leeks, and elephant garlic. Garlic is distinguished from other family […]
Choosing Your Garlic Favorites How do you choose which varieties of garlic to purchase? There are so many options…it can be a hard decision. Maybe this little tool will help you pick and place your order. All garlic seed for sale is supplied by our small micro-farm […]
Which Size Should You Buy?
Garlic varieties can vary quite a bit in size. For example, Elephant Garlic bulbs can reach sizes between baseball and softball dimensions in your garden. See individual descriptions on our Garlic Varieties page for more about how the varieties differ in size.
For example, let’s look at one variety, such as the German Red. Each year, German Red (and all varieties) has some huge bulbs, some medium bulbs, and a few small bulbs.
The largest of bulbs are obviously our “top grade,”
but the medium-sized bulbs are still awesome garlic!
A comparison of bulb size and weight, using German Red as an example.
On the left is one pound of German Red, average-sized bulbs.
On the right is one pound of German Red, large-sized bulbs.
- The largest bulbs in each variety are recommended for planting if you want your garden’s harvest to consist of really large bulbs with large cloves. The larger bulbs are generally over 2″ in diameter, although some are 3″ (depending upon variety). An example of large-sized bulbs is the grouping on the right in the photo above.
- Average-sized bulbs (generally up to 2″ in diameter) are economical for those wanting more cloves (because our garlic is sold by weight, and not by the number of the bulbs or cloves). If you want to plant in your garden with the harvest consisting of average-sized to large-sized bulbs, the smaller-sized bulbs may be better for you. An example of smaller (average-sized) bulbs is the grouping on the left in the photo above.
- Small-sized bulbs are the ones we eat here at home, as well as the average sizes. We do not typically offer the small bulbs for sale.