While every growing season is rewarding and challenging at different points throughout the season, this year we just keep marveling at how divergent from every previous year this season has been. The most recent example of the unexpected becoming necessary happened yesterday evening as I was heading out to set up irrigation. I walked past the garlic and noticed that a few plants were starting to send up secondary scapes. This happens every year with a handful of plants, but we like to harvest the crop before this becomes widespread because the garlic sends up a secondary scape when a clove starts to split off of the main head.
After digging up a couple of heads I determined that the garlic is essentially ready to harvest. To put this in perspective the rule of thumb in this part of the Midwest is that garlic is ready early in July. Now we have found that our garlic has always been ready about a week or two before that. In fact I had decided to dig our garlic at the summer solstice. So June 4 is very, very early, but it seems to follow the trend of everything being around two weeks ahead of where things have been in previous years.
So, after getting the water running Emily and I sat down and tried to figure out how we were going to get all the garlic harvested and tied up in the barn this week when we already were planning to setup the tomato trellis, plant out more flowers and vegetables, hill the potatoes, cultivate everything that needs it, and harvest for market! We don’t know how, but we do know that it will get done so check back for pictures of this year’s garlic harvest.