Thursday, 11 August 2022

August Update

 

Hey Garlic Growers, 

Ever wonder what my garlic looks like before it's trimmed and packaged into your orders?

Here is a quick, informal video tour of the Granary (my garlic curing and storage area):
96 strains of garlic in one room. (bitchute.com)

In preparation for launching the catalogue on August 20th, here are a few details for this year:

Price is $20.00/ pound for seed garlic ( $10.00/ half pound, and $4.25/ bulb)

Eating garlic available for $12.00/ pound.

Bulbils are $5.00/ pkt of 2 umbels.

The Stratford Garlic Festival is back - scaring the vampires out of the City of Stratford again - (or so we can hope, they've run rampant in town for two years now).
Our farm will not have a booth this year, and are looking forward to experiencing it from a different perspective, as shoppers only. 

It will be possible to pick up pre-orders at the Farm, on Sept 10 and 11th, if you are in the area, during one of the garlic festival days: Home - Stratford Kiwanis Garlic Festival (stratfordgarlicfestival.com) 
When The Kiwanis club posts the schedule for the Festival, we will be able to set our hours for pick up times on those days.

My plan for the following year is to grow slightly larger amounts of the popular and easy-to-grow Porcelains and Marbled Purple Stripes, and down size most everything else to a seed library quantity.
I may have bulbils available from the "seed library", so that I can continue to share the genetic diversity of my garlic collection, but for 2023, I will not have the same set up for the catalogue, it will be much simpler. 


Garlicky Regards, Julie

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

The Harvest of 2022

It is great to see the sun set on a another garlic crop - because it is really just another chapter opening - and with all the drought we've been having, we could certainly use a change. 


It is also nice to see what the results are of a nine month project. The results are in, and other than a couple of nobbly, oddly-shapen bulbs that couldn't push through the rock-like clay, the size and quality is surprisingly good. I'd say it's about average to all my other years, and with all the dry air, it's curing nicely.


Some of you may be wondering about this year's catalogue. I plan to have it out on August 20th.

 I've just started trimming the Artichokes and Rocamboles, and getting a feel for quantities and how things will go. I am also plotting out the next planting of garlic, and how much seed to save, and making some changes so that I can continue to grow garlic in a way that works for me and my family. Mainly, I'm concentrating on the best porcelains and marbled purple stripes for a year (or longer) while I downsize the rest to a "seed library" quantity, just large enough to keep these varieties going, while offering bulbils to get other people started, if they are interested.  I may expand again in the future, we are just working through some transitions on the farm.


My sister Rachel, cleaning off the bulbs expertly, and laying them in piles to be picked up by me, after I'm done taking pictures.


I hand dug a fair bit of garlic this year, as I was worried about the undercutter rising out of the hard, chalky-textured soil and smashing a bunch of bulbs in half. You can really tell where the drainage tile, and the nice ground is on a dry year. Normally it's a fairly solitary job, but one of our cats chose to keep me company for quite a while.


The harvested garlic at the start of filling the granary, where we have climate control with two dehumidifiers/air conditioners.

 

Friday, 24 June 2022

A Synopsis of Spring

Seeing as my last post was "Winter" I've got a bit of catching up to do. Hopefully you find it attractive to look at ice, in the middle of summer...I think some people do, though I've never met them.
 It's only been the first couple of days into Summer, actually, but those are always the hottest days, aren't they, until our bodies adjust?
So, these pictures are from Feb 23, 2022, showing how much ice was coating at least half of the garlic plot. After the 5 inch rain last fall, and then this, I figured the crop would be about as present as Trudeau was at the Ottawa Truckers celebration - though much more welcome to see if it surprised me with an appearance!
I was poking holes, where I could get through the ice, so that it could breathe (that's the real killer, in my understanding - lack of air). The ice was so thick and solid to the bottom, in some places, that the shovel handle I was using barely made a dint. 



But then, magically, garlic proved once again to be a survivor! Just look at it below:


After the ice and snow went away, the resilient little sprouts were still there, coming out of hibernation with a determination to grow! By April 6, 2022 this is how the plot looked. 


Spring planting the Creoles and Silver Skins was a bit challenging...I had to be patient first, then pushy just to get it done. 
  Seeing as I had no prepared ridge of earth to work into, this is the simple rig I macgyvered using a wheelhoe with a tape measure (attached by bungie cord), to measure and mark a reasonably straight row beside the other garlic rows. I only got Mother of Pearl and Aglio Rosso planted this day (April 8th) the rest went in the week after, when it was slightly less wet, and I didn't have drizzle driving under the bottom of my coat, while I crouched down, dibbing the cloves into the sticky soil. (This was not like last year, of course, but you can't get lucky every time.)


"I'm a little garlic in Golden Acres clay-loam. 
Here is the rain and here is the sun. 
My little cloves, from around the globe, have found a home.
I am always oh-so happy while my growing's done. 
And when you pull me out, I will shout - 'put me in your favourite stew!'"



May 23, 2022 Not a plant missing, on these rows. The great survivor strikes again! And the nice thick stalks mean we should have a good harvest. 


 

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Winter 2021


Warm Winter Greetings and Hopeful wishes for the coming year! Pictured above is the sunrise on our first snowfall of the season (Nov 3, 2021). Here is what our garlic  looked like on that day:

As we move into the longer days of winter, we can celebrate that we just passed the 21st day of the 12th month of the year 2021, in the 21st century! I am sure that has a deep numerical meaning! Solstice is a time to be introspective, find rest, and re-fuel the internal flame so that you are ready to bring the light back into your world. I like to think that the garlic is doing the same.

The two types of energy, Cationic and Anionic, balance throughout the year on a kind of pendulum: the flowering Cationic energy swings into full bloom at the summer solstice, leading most daylight sensitive plants to initiate or express their prolific flowering capacity, such as when garlic puts forth its garlic scapes, with flowers and bulbils.

 The other side of the year, on winter solstice, is the highest expression of Anionic growth energy. We may think this is a little odd, because everything appears to be dormant, or harvested and is done with growing. True enough for most annuals except garlic. But garlic of course is busy growing roots, even at subzero temperatures. The root growth does slow down in the midst of winter, which is why I like to plant early enough to take advantage of fall root growth. But for most plants we only notice the growth energy surge at each end of the growing season. It is strongly felt in the spring, when the lettuce and leafy greens flourish; then the leafy plants become harder to grow as the Anionic energy dissipates with rising temperatures. High Summer is the time for flowers! Growth energy returns in the fall, measured by increased hay crop yields and more frequent lawn cuttings, as the wet and cool environment brings it back. 

I like to think that we all grow a little bit in the winter, and like the tight growth ring of a northern tree, that slow going in the depths of the cold, is the hard wood that sustains us through the trying and difficult times of our lives.  

I also like to eat lots of garlic at this time of year! It is a powerful antioxidant, as anyone knows if they've taken it raw on an empty stomach! (Not advised.) Even Selenium supplementation should be taken on a full stomach in case it upsets the gut. 

 Selenomethionine and Selenocystine are the two amino acids that are safe sources of Selenium, and to the extent that selenium can be found in the soil; garlic, onions and some grains, are able to gather and concentrate these great antioxidant substances. This year they may be especially important, particularity for men, who have a higher need of selenium. 200 micro grams (mcg) of selenomethionine per day, is generally recommended for healthy adults. The element itself is an essential component of glutathione peridoxase, an enzyme that cleans up oxidative substances that can be damaging to our tissues when we are exposed to the chemicals of our environment, especially at a time when those beautiful green leaves we have grown accustomed to seeing are no longer around to help us filter the air we breathe.

A great feeling of curiosity comes over me when I contemplate the coming spring...I try to keep this feeling optimistic. I think that as long as there is life there is hope, and that the natural world expresses this best, because it does so without hubris, or even expectations. The garlic that I planted on Sept 20, has been partially flooded twice in the fall, I'm the one who is worried about it, lol...but it looks good - all up out of the ground at nearly 100 percent! So I have my fingers crossed for a good spring. Ordering the garden seeds for our vegetables and flowers, always seems to heighten that expectation, as we dream about what is possible for the coming season.

 I am currently storing a good selection of garlic bulbils, so I can relax knowing that there is at least a back up plan, to preserve the diversity of my crop, if needed.

 I am planning to offer spring shipping on what garlic bulbils remain, and will send out a list of what's available in February or early March.

I hope that everyone has a lovely Solstice, Christmas, and New Year. 

Julie Fleischauer

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Thank you for a good Garlic Season

 Hi, Just wanted to let everyone know that other than bulbils, many garlic strains have been sold out, and saleable seed stock of what is remaining is quite limited.

If you have preordered, you can still pick up your garlic, just let us know when you are coming. 


Thanks, Julie

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Garlic 2021

 We are still taking garlic orders for 2021. Stock is fairly limited at this point, so it is a good idea to have substitutions in mind. Your can check out the 2021 Garlic Catalogue page for more details.

 We are open 9 am - 6 pm Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week. Tuesday we are closed. You can make an appointment to come at any other time during the fall season. We also run a small vegetable market Nov - March, that is likewise by appointment.

Julie's cell: 519-588-5290, email goldenacresfarm@hotmail.com



Garlic orders are around the back of the barn. (The picture above shows the side of the barn and the white roller door, where the other vegetables are- squash, onions, beets, potatoes, etc. And the picture below shows the side and back of the barn.)
Around the back of the barn, and inside the large sliding doors is our renovated Granary, where the garlic is cured, cleaned, and sold.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

2021 Garlic Season


We still have some Silver Skin garlic to harvest, but thanks to our family team effort, almost all of it is in the barn drying, some is trimmed, and the bulbs look pretty nice! There is more purple colouring on some of the Porcelains than is usual, though I have seen it before...maybe the dry heat of spring brought it on.

 If you want to be added to our mailing list, please send an email to goldenacresfarm@hotmail.com. 

Orders can be picked up at the farm, as usual. (2579 Line 47, RR1 Gads Hill, Ontario.) First two weeks of September or by appointment.  We can accommodate contactless pick up, if you request it. 

You will be able to call or text your order to 519-588-5290 (Julie's Cell) or email to goldenacresfarm@hotmail.com. On or after August 20th, please. I usually release the Catalogue on August 15th, but as that lands on a Sunday, I've decided to give myself a bit more time to get inventory prepared and garlic trimmed. Because we cure the garlic the old way, leaving the stalks on, it takes longer for it to dry.

Remember, we do not process credit cards. Email transfer is set up for automatic deposit this year, when you send it to julie.goldenacres@gmail.com. Also, cheques, money orders or cash are good methods of payment. 

I want to take a moment to be grateful for all the wonderful people that I have met over the years through doing garlic. The Stratford Garlic Festival was a great place to meet every year, and I'll always be thankful of the friendly Kiwanis volunteers who made our twelve years there not only possible, they also just had your back, come rain, storm or technical failure. Those years were special!

  


My sister Rachel, with our friend Dennis, who makes beautiful wooden boxes to raise awareness of the Stratford Perth County Community Foundation, a charitable foundation that provides support for our local community. 


Thanks Dennis, those boxes are a good way to showcase our onions! (Also in the picture is the Dakota Black Popcorn I grow, and our butternut squash, of course.)