It has been an amazing week on the farm, one that most certainly smells, tastes and feels like garlic. Yep, it is official, the final major planting of the season is complete: the garlic is in!
Garlic planting is the last great feat of any season here on the farm. It is pleasant enough and as long as the weather cooperates, an awesome autumn task. The first step, one we begin many days ahead of planting time, is sorting the heads and popping cloves. We plant our finest bulbs saved from the year’s crop. Each bulb contains anywhere from 4 to 8 cloves, depending on the variety of garlic. Our farm’s hard neck variety Music has on average 5 cloves and to meet our goal of 6000 garlic plants, well, you do the math, we pop pretty close to 1500 bulbs. Meanwhile, Paul is preparing the garden area and once ready, we lay out the bed, bury the cloves deep in the earth and cover with a thick layer of hay or straw mulch to protect the plants during the winter ahead and keep it (hopefully) weed free into next spring.
It was a jolly task this season, with the help of Brent a short term guest and Deanna our well seasoned apprentice, we wrapped it up by early Thursday morning.
Farmer Paul has officially made his second home in his wood shop, beginning in earnest his task of crafting hundreds of wooden items to display as a vendor at the second annual Crafts and Drafts Event on November 7th at our very own Nashville Farmer’s Market. He was already fairly excited about such focused craft work but then, hold your breath, things got even better. You see, his wood shop is at the Farm Stay and this very week past the plumber came and completed the job. Yes, running water AND a flush toilet. Wow. The Farm Stay project is far from finished, but a huge wave is complete and I probably don’t need to elaborate any further about the benefits offered from these simplest of systems in place.
We expect our first frost tonight so I really can’t spend any more time telling farm tales, I need to head out and spread protective row cover over some of our most sensitive crops. I can’t help but attempt to save some plants from the first freezing nights, others we will bid a farewell this weekend, both feel perfectly appropriate to this lovely fall unfolding.
Happy eating this week friends, happy eating. Enjoy the garlic, with everything!
fall week 4 in your basket:
patty pan squash
a special option
Ode to Garlic
1 or more heads of garlic
Heat the oven to 400°F: Set a rack in the middle position.
Peel (most of) the paper off the garlic: Use your fingers to peel away all the loose, papery, outer layers around the head of garlic. Leave the head itself intact with all the cloves connected.
Trim the top off the head of garlic: Trim about 1/4 inch off the top of the head of garlic to expose the tops of
the garlic cloves. Drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the exposed surface of the garlic, letting the oil
sink down into the cloves.. Wrap the garlic w/aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, begin checking the garlic. The garlic is done when a center clove is
completely soft when pierced with a paring knife. Exact roasting time will depend on the size of
your garlic, the variety, and its age.Let the garlic cool slightly, and then serve. Press on the bottom of a clove to push it out of its paper. Roasted garlic can also be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months.
Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
1 to 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
Zest of 1 large lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup canola oil or other neutral salad oil, such as walnut
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Using a mortar and pestle, grind or crush garlic, lemon zest, and salt into a fine paste. Combine lemon juice, vinegar, water and sugar. Add to the garlic paste and then whisk in oil slowly; adjust seasoning to taste.