Did you know that all community garden plots have community areas nestled within the individual garden plots? Each year, thanks to the gardens’ leadership committees and volunteers, the community plots are planted and tended with different crops. Most gardens have community raspberry patches, some have flowering perennials for pollinators, annual vegetables, and even a couple fruit trees! Food grown in these community plots are either shared among all community gardeners at each site or donated to the Food Bank.
Last fall, the Northside Community Garden Leadership Committee and several volunteers planted about 1000 heads of garlic on the east edge of the garden. They planted it with the intention of harvesting and sharing the garlic with all Northside community gardeners.
After diligently hand-watering and tending to the 1000 garlic plants all spring and summer, the time came to harvest. When garlic is ready to harvest, it should be harvested as soon as possible. If garlic sits in the ground too long, the stalk will become too dry and brittle and thus difficult to harvest, hang and cure.
Last Thursday, the Garlic Festival began. Fifteen volunteers came out, despite the heat, to pull the garlic heads. Young, old and every age in between was drawn to the frenzied fun that evening. Luckily, most of the garlic heads came out with a good ol’ yank, and the help of many hands made light work.
In total, 860+ heads were harvested, bundled and carried away to hang in a volunteers’ barn for the week. The ideal temperature for garlic to cure is 80 degrees Fahrenheit over two weeks. (For more information about how to harvest and cure garlic heads check out the blog post links below. )
This Friday, all the garlic will be brought out of the barn to be cleaned, inspected for any mold or bad cloves, sorted, and braided so it will keep well all winter long. Feel free to stop by the Northside Community Garden, this Friday, July 21st at 6pm, to learn how to clean and braid garlic.
Here at Garden City Harvest, we love our garlic! For further reading on garlic, check out these other related Garden City Harvest posts:
Learn how to plant garlic here: Falling for Garlic
A Day at the Providence Hospital Garden: Harvesting Garlic – Part I