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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #31
svalli
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This is interesting to see how much greener the plant with the scape is. Last year I had planted two cloves of a variety new to me, so I left the scapes on to grow bulbils. These two plants kept going long after all others were ready to harvest. I thought that this variety was late maturing, but it could had been caused by the scapes. This year I am planning to remove the scapes, so it will be interesting to see, if those will now be ready to harvest same time as other varieties.

Since my vegetable patch is away from home, I can get there only during weekends and vacation. So I have to remove the scapes whenever I can and the timing may not be so optimum. Now I do not feel so bad about leaving them growing a bit longer, even they may not be so tender anymore. I visited there on Saturday and some of the hardnecks had already scapes emerging and few were already coiling. I removed now only the biggest ones to take home to be used in cooking.

I remove the scapes by cutting just above the leaves. I used to pull earlier to get as long tender scape as possible, but noticed that the void between the leaves is a risk of fungal diseases and gives onion flies perfect place to lay eggs. Now I have so much garlic growing that I have plenty of scapes, even the tender part will be shorter when cutting the scape off.

As far as harvest, I doubt that mine would be ready in three weeks. Harvest time here is usually in first week of August, but this year May was so warm, that harvesting could happen already one to two weeks earlier that normally. I have my vacation planned from mid July to mid August, so garlic harvest should happen during my time off from work.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #32
PureHarvest
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I am going to start harvesting in earnest tomorrow. There is a chance of rain, so who knows.
Plants are really browning throughout and rain is likely coming Saturday or Saturday night. Plus, my schedule will keep me from being able to do anything next Tuesday and Wednesday and I'm afraid it will be too far past after that.
I will have my parents and kids available to help on Friday. If I get rained out on Saturday, I will resume Sunday when its supposed to be full sun. We'll see if taking off from work on Monday will be needed to finish.

This is a pic of the crop this past Monday.

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This is some early bulbs I harvested last Sunday. Lot's more purple this year than last.

IMG_E1284.jpg
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #33
GoDawgs
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Pretty garlic!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #34
bower
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I noticed the same thing on my porcelains, was very excited to see so much purple and I even thought I might tell one variety from the other that way.. but after drying down a few more weeks the outer purple wrappers also turned white.

It's one of those things about the whole garlic process, you had to be there to smell the Spanish Roja when it was pulled, or to see the rainbow colors on New York white, or to admire all the purple on Music when it was first cleaned up.... Secret beauties we growers enjoy, the buyer may never know...
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #35
PureHarvest
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So true Bower.

So the tractor ended up working. We got the whole 1/4 acre done on Friday afternoon right as the rain came.

I’ll have pics uploaded probably Monday morning. I have a video of my tractor, but have nowhere to post it other than YouTube and it wouldn’t upload correctly yesterday.
I’ll try it from my pc Monday.

Last edited by PureHarvest; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:58 AM.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #36
bower
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Wow that 's a fast harvest! I look forward to seeing your pics and how it all was done.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #37
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Still shots to come later. Here is the link for the video I uploaded to Youtube.
I'll have to figure out how to get the quality to match what is on my phone, but you'll get the gist.
A major win today. The big farm that has a huge CSA is gonna buy and put a bulb in every box. I will be able to move all the volume I need to this year, and will be able to increase my production this fall!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQmG...ature=youtu.be
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #38
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So i cut the tops with a sickle bar attachment on my BCS.

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We then under cut 2 of the 3 rows in a bed with the v-shaped culivator on the Farmall Super A.

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We then pulled the bulbs out and shook the dirt off the roots and placed them in baskets.

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Baskets were brought to our rack station and more dirt was rubbed/shook off. Stems were placed into the racks so no bulbs were touching or not touching too bad.

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4 racks fit on the truck. The racks are 2'x6' with 1" chicken wire on top. About 250-350 bulbs per rack depending on size of bulbs.

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The racks then go into the tractor trailer body I've been waiting to find a use for. Greenhouse fan at the far end pulls air from the front, across the racks to the back of the trailer.

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I estimate we harvested about 6,400 bulbs or about 700 lbs. Which is about online with the multiplier I got last year from my planting weight. I planted 150 pounds this year, and times 5 (my multiplier from planting weight to harvested weight) that is 750 lbs, so 700 sounds about right. I'm assuming based on some sizing and weighing I've done, that I average 9 bulbs per pound. So 6,400/9=711.

I will keep at least 200 lbs to plant this fall, so I can sell 500 pounds. At $6/LB, I hope to bring in 3k.

Next year I will have $0 seed cost* (but will bring in 2 new varieties to try, minimal relative cost) and hope to sell 1,000 pounds and really start getting closer to getting the farm to net me $10,000. That has been my goal all along.

Last edited by PureHarvest; 3 Weeks Ago at 02:26 PM.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #39
bower
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Wow PH!! Love your drying setup, I bet it's going to work great! Congrats on the CSA sale too...
Also, great video. This is really the payoff of spacing, to be able to loosen the soil like that, and not damage any garlic! Very impressed.

Last edited by bower; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:11 PM. Reason: add
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #40
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Great progress report, from start to finish, with full details. Very useful.
I think you need to try some more varieties though, at 50g/non cured bulb is not that great for a 'commercial' grower. I can fully recommend Arno as the best garlic I have yet eaten, not sure if it fits in your routine, since it's a spring garlic. Rose de Lautrec is well known in France and highly regarded as gourmet but I haven't personally tried it yet (it's supposedly not very productive though). Cadours type of garlic (germidour) has big bulbs (100-200g), it's violet pink, and supposedly good tasting as well but stores poorly.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #41
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Great job PH. Crop looks super. Those old IH tractors are built for row crops. I'll harvest a bit less than you using an old Kubota with mods. I'm a one man crew and would or could not without a tractor. I hope your dry down goes well.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #42
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Thanks everyone.
It’s been a long road to get here.
Zip code, part of the reason I think my weights are where they are is because I planted everything I bought last year. Even the small cloves. That, and my supplier’s stuff wasn’t exactly huge but I got it for $12 per pound so I thought that was a good trade off. This year I can save all the 2.25” plus bulbs and get larger over time.
I am adding 2 new varieties this year, so will have 5.
It’s easy to get carried away with gourmet this, best flavor that, but the bottom line is that I am supplying an end market of the every day average home cook. Their pallet is not so refined as to demand some kind of product where they can tell a huge difference.
My product is fresh and I get great feedback from those who have had it. I’ll stick with what sizes up the best and does well and tastes “good” over what a connoisseur would judge as the best.
I am in this to move a large volume of quality product, not win tasting contests.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #43
bower
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PH, what other varieties are you trying?

I love Music and Argentina for the all purpose great taste and large cloves - and early plants well adapted to our short season. But the downside of porcelains, you need 25% of your crop to seed the same amount again.

Marbled Purple Stripe garlics also seem to have as large cloves, and size up quickly so I'm optimistic about them, but maybe have as few cloves as well, so the same problem re a large percentage of the crop is needed for seed stock.

Both of those are easy to grow up from bulbils to full size though. Even though the bulbils are small they size up fast. Some farmers are routinely growing seed stock that way instead of digging into the main crop.

Spanish Roja and other rocamboles are great from a seed perspective, with 11-13 cloves per bulb you can easily maintain enough seed without digging into the crop too much. The big bulbils also size up fast. Purple Stripes like Chesnok Red and Persian Star have plenty of cloves too. You can easily increase your seed stock with bulbs. They actually take longer to size up from bulbils, because the cloves in the small divided bulbs are many and small.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #44
PureHarvest
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I’ll be replanting Music and German Extra Hardy.
I have a short bed of Romanian Red that I will probably replant all of.
I didn’t harvest it yet because it is later.
I am thinking of buying some Chesnok Red and would like to try one of the Turbans because of the earliness.
I don’t mind gradually increasing my planting area and thusly my seed stock. It allows me to slowly develop my markets and not get stuck with too much garlic. Also, I have a full time job, so I don’t need the garlic venture to pay immediate dividends.
Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PureHarvest View Post
Thanks everyone.
I am in this to move a large volume of quality product, not win tasting contests.
Then you need to try Ail de la Drome garlic (Therador, Provence wight, many more). Big stalks, big bulbs with quite big cloves, very winter hardy. Forget about hardnecks if you want mass production. In good conditions you can get to 200g (not cured). It's what I would call standard taste.
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