garlic, part 2

Hello Readers,

This week has been challenging. It was absolutely beautiful weather, but very very hot, and we harvested over a field of garlic in the space of 2 days.

Garlic should be harvested when the stalks that stick up above the ground start to turn yellow-brown. Each plant has a bulb that roots firmly in the ground; so to harvest garlic, you have to tug really hard on the stalk until the root bursts free. It took six of us maybe about 2 hours to complete the harvest. I’m sore from all of the tugging (and I had a couple of goofy falls where I pulled too hard and ended up landing on my butt when the garlic unexpectedly came out). It was satisfyingly hard work, though I need to work on the speed element of my garlic harvesting.

After the garlic was harvested, we loaded it onto our 2 trucks, and made 2 trips to the service barn. We carried the garlic up the loft of the barn. For the rest of the week, we worked on bunching the garlic in groups of ten, securing the groups with a slip-knotted cord, and hanging the cords from wire lines attached to the barn rafters. That is REALLY fun work. I love hanging the garlic will balancing on a ladder. It’s nice to do something so gentle after the almost violent garlic harvest.

Now, we wait about a month for the garlic to cure (dry out so that it doesn’t mold). Then we will sell each garlic head for 2 dollars apiece. When I heard that number, my eyes popped out of my head– 2 dollars apiece!??! But garlic is so much work and effort that it makes a lot of sense to charge so much for it. We actually lost a bed of carrots to the raging weeds because we were too busy with garlic to do much weeding. And we got no planting at all done this week.

The good news: great crops are on the way! We’ll harvest our first sweet white corn this week. Greg and Abby said that it’s so good, you can eat it raw in the field, and it tastes like sugar. We’ll also have tomatoes within the next couple of weeks. Our peppers are overwhelming us with their abundance, and our eggplant is absolutely adorable. Our purple carrots continue to stun people at market, as do our chioggia beets:

Chioggia Beets!

And OH MY GOODNESS was it a GREAT week for food. I was struck by inspiration when our tendersweet cabbage came up, covered in dew and the size of a dinner plate. I made cabbage rolls:

Peel whole cabbage leaves carefully. Boil a pot of water. You’ll want to boil the whole cabbage leaves for about a minute– until just soft– but time it carefully so that the leaves are still warm when you stuff them! I recommend putting the cabbage in the hot water when you put the egg in the pan, see next instructions.

Dice onion, garlic, ginger, and radish very very very small. Saute until browned in my new favorite oil- coconut! Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Add whisked eggs. Scramble it all up. Meanwhile, put your cabbage leaves in the water to boil for just a minute.

Remove the boiled cabbage leaves from the water. Put about a half cup of the scrambled egg and veggie mixture in the center of each cabbage leaf. Add a little chopped fresh basil on top of the mixture. Roll the leaves. Serve with tahini dipping sauce, see  below!

The sauce: mix about a half cup of tahini with about a quarter cup of water. I do this in a jar with a good lid so that I can shake the jar to mix everything well. When the consistency of the tahini/water mix looks like a good dipping sauce (imagine peanut sauce in Thai restaurants), add about a tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce, half a lemon, cumin, and a teaspoon of chili paste. Shake or stir well to mix.

I recommend serving some kind of herbed grain on the side to make a complete meal– you can cook quinoa, millet, or rice in vegetable broth to get a nice aromatic grain.

Love to you all!

Laura

(photo courtesy of google)

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