Kitchen Garden Journal
- Published on Monday, July 25, 2011, 02:34
- Written by Tim Wilcox
The heat wave brought some intense hot and dry weather to the valley last week. While it certainly stressed out a lot of plants and farmers alike, it was the perfect opportunity to get our garlic and a lot of our onions out of the field.
Due to the cold, wet spring we had—which seems like a distant memory now—the garlic harvest started a week later than usual, around the second week of July. The hot, dry conditions that ensued were perfect for harvesting garlic. If it’s wet and rainy during the harvest, the garlic might not dry properly. That was definitely not the case this year, and after a couple of weeks hanging in the loft, the garlic is good and dry and we’re now bringing cured garlic to markets. Check out last year's garlic harvest post for some arty work shots.
After we missed the promised rain last Monday, I saw my chance to field-cure some onions and shallots. So we started windrowing them on Tuesday (where we lay them out in the sun in rows) and by the end of the week they were ready to bring inside. We got to use the onion boxes that we made back in March, which are copies of boxes used on this and many other Valley farms back in the old days. (The one that Alissa & Brian are modeling in this photo is an original one that we found in the barn here. The new ones are visible behind.)
Now the barn is filling up: garlic in all the rafters and onions all over the floor in the loft. Now we just need to sell some and quick, so we can stop worrying about the loft collapsing! Although we hopefully will still have some to sell during the winter time.
Some of our favorite garlic and onion recipes can be found in The Vegetable Pages, like spaghetti with aglio, olio and pepperoncino, Greek salad, and green beans with red onion & vinaigrette. We'll be demonstrating how to make french fries with aioli at this year's Garlic & Arts Festival, Saturday, October 1 in Orange, MA.
The heat is also pushing along our summer crops and we’re excited to start harvesting some new things. Tiny Padron peppers are a popular snack in Spain just tossed with olive oil and pan roasted or grilled. Once in a while you get a hot one, so watch out! (Martha likes them.)
We’re also psyched about our artichokes coming in. They look great and the flavor is so amazing. So different from the week-old ones we get from California. Here's a link to how to trim an artichoke for cooking. Now we need to get our own page on artichokes up!
And tomatoes are really starting to come in now so stay tuned….