Each year as October turns to November, we plant our garlic to harvest next July. This last week, with the help of the whole crew, all the garlic is planted and mulched with straw, ready to sprout when spring arrives. The planting effort took three tractors, a market truck full of straw, about 300 pounds of seed garlic, and the full crew. First a team on the tractor and transplanter plants and covers each clove. Did you know there is a right side up to plant garlic? The planters take time to ensure the sprouting tip is up and the root faces down. A second team cultivates the edge of the raised beds, killing the weeds growing there. A third team is mulching. We aim to cover the beds with about four inches of straw. The straw mulch helps insulate the beds all winter, slow down the weeds, and then continues to help conserve soil moisture and moderate soil temperature next summer. With luck and careful management, we'll have garlic scapes ready in June, and a fresh crop of garlic in July. Don't worry, while the next crop is growing, we'll still have plenty of this year's harvested garlic in storage for your fall and winter enjoyment.
You may have noticed the spectacular brassicas at our markets recently. We've had broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower among others. This week is peak season for Romanesco Cauliflower. Even next to all it's beautiful relatives, Romanesco stands out with its fractal pattern. It's also a perfect example of a Fibonacci sequence in vegetable form. Amazing as it is to look at, it has a flavor to match. Not quite broccoli, nor cauliflower, Romanesco has a great nutty sweetness whether eaten raw or cooked. We've been enjoying Romanesco raw dipped in hummus or Thai peanut sauce, added to hot soup, or sauteed and drizzled with garlic, olive oil and salt. Yum!
See you at Market,