Friday, June 11, 2010

garlic breath

We harvested garlic this week. We got quite a yield, most were small heads but its understandable with the exceptionally bad weather we had this winter. Mulching is a big part of garlic planting, this is where after planting the bed is topped with several inches of good hay. The purpose of mulching is to keep the soil at a more even moisture level, shade out weeds and eventually to add organic matter to the soil. Number 1 has always been true mulching has generally kept the soil from drying out. But... no matter how much mulch I put on by spring the weeds have made their way through. Chick weed, Bermuda, etc. Its not coming from the mulch its self because I remove the mulch to weed and this stuff is coming from deep in the soil. I have had hay sprout on its own and give me stands of wheat. But general not the hay I use to mulch with, its the old hay that didn't get fed to the goats.

Anyway I decided not to mulch last fall, weeding was so very easy but the night of the Christmas eve blizzard I thought they would all be goners. So a bad year to try something new. Consequently, the garlic did suffer and small bulbs were a result. The soil had good drainage so I had no splitting but next year I shall mulch. Another thing that happened this year is the garlic was ready to harvest much earlier than it had been in the past years. So I had to catch up.

This weekend is the first Farm Table Dinner of the season and the theme is garlic! While the interns harvest for market I will be in chefy mode creating a 6 course meal with over 14 varieties of heirloom garlic. There is nothing in the whole wide world that gets me more excited than this! So for the next two days if you are looking for me, check the kitchen I shall be in heaven. Friend and CSA member Theresa is helping me, much of our work includes pealing lots and lots of garlic. We have two garlic dinners scheduled here at the farm and both have been sold out now for months. This is going to be exciting.

Whats on the menu you ask?

Garlic Lovers Dream
the players:
Vekak, Burgundy, French Tarne, Creole Red, Red Toch,
Inchilium Red, China Pink, Persian Star, Sicilaino, Tuscan, Guatamalan,
Russian River Giant, Xian, Spanish Roja
Mini Pizza with creamy roast Siciliano garlic pesto, gorgonzola and local pecans
Giant homemade paparedelle pasta with braised fennel and Mushroom Planet shiitakes, studded with tiny cloves of sweet Red Toch garlic, topped with fresh chevre.
Garden delight salad:
Great Northern Cucumber in yogurt sauce with Tarne garlic
Marinated beets and sweet onions with Creole Red garlic
Marinated homemade goat milk feta With Burgundy garlic
Garlic intermission
Pie cherry lime ice
Pasture raised Lamb Shoulder Slow Braised with new potatoes Persian Star and cardamom curry. Seared summer squash with Inchilium Red
Vegetarian: Stuffed Patty pan squash with walnuts and goat cheese studded with Inchilium red
Blueberry Tiramisu with caramelized Spanish Roja

June 10th 2010
At the Living Kitchen Farm and Dairy

Ya got to watch Jai, he loves, beets, peas and garlic.