Saturday, September 17, 2016

let's talk about garr-lick baby....and a bunch of september catch-up!

(h/t to Salt 'N Peppa as my garlic song is sung to the tune of "let's talk about sex". and garlic is just about the sexiest thing i know....after jambaloney of course!)

"let's talk garr-lick baby
let's talk about you and me
let's talk about all the good things and the bad things garr-lick should be
let's talk about garr-lick....
let's talk about garr-lick"

ok. well i tried to sexy garlic up. but why? garlic is one of the sexiest things that you can grow for yourself because it's easy and natural (see what i did there? how i tied garlic and easy and natural sex together - bahahahah! i kill me sometimes!!!!).

but really. garlic is one of the easiest things to grow. stick a garlic clove in the ground in september, come back the next september and harvest a garlic bulb. and garlic is sooo good for you - it's a jewel of a plant and has been proven to help us physically, mentally and emotionally. garlic has been used to flavour food since the beginning of time. it's medicinal properties have also been understood and used since the beginning of time. and there isn't an easier food to grow for yourself! if deer are eating your carrots - they won't touch garlic! if coyotes are eating your berries and apples - they won't touch your garlic! neither will rabbits, wolverines or aliens.

and i could get all "bubba shrimp" on you and list the uses of garlic - garlic tea when you are feeling under the weather, adding garlic to just about every meal, garlic in your home-made salad dressing, garlic soup, roasted garlic, garlic bread, garlic bug spray, garlic under your pillow to help you sleep at night, i won't even mention protection from vampires, drying your garlic to make your own home-made garlic powder, garlic in your gloves to keep your hands warm in winter....the uses are simply too many to name!

so anyhoo - here's our garlic bed in july - look at the size of those stalks!

but once the garlic grows scapes...cut the scapes, eat some and put the rest in a vase.

after 2 or 3 weeks, the scapes will straighten themselves out.

and then start forming flower heads....this is good - very, very good. i'll tell ya why in a minute!

 like this:

you want to clip those garlic flowers...i'll tell you why in a few.

and dry them and save them in a box like this:

today was garlic-harvesting day and we got some real beauts!

i give them just a quick rinse and leave some dirt on them and then dry them out on the deck:

the garlic bulbs may look small but look at the size of the cloves:

the cloves are huge and when you crush them - you get all of the garlic pulp and juice.

here's next year's garlic seed drying in the sun...they'll be planted in a few days:

but back to the garlic scapes and the flowers they produce.

the flowers produce "bulbils" and guess what bulbils are? you guessed it! garlic seeds!!! woohoo! and if you plant the tiny year you will harvest garlic cloves. and if, next year, you re-plant those garlic cloves, the following year or the year after - you'll be harvesting garlic bulbs. bulbs of garlic...all from those tiny little bulbils that you grew yourself!!!

so now i ask you again - isn't garlic sexy????

ok - enough about garlic - let's do a quick september catch-up.

amazingly beautiful days - september around here is lovely. so is october and november.

there were lots of river days during the first half of september and lots of freezing cold dips!

roasted veg hash, poached eggs and fruit salad...that's a breakfast for champions! i'll have a post in a day or two on how to make the most-wicked fruit salad.

lots of harvesting.

strange red mushrooms down at the river.

like hundreds of them. we have to look them up and find out what they are.

grape leaves.

if you are planning on pickling anything - you MUST have grape leaves. here's a one day harvest of cucumber, pattypan squash, green pepper, hot peppers, carrot, orange peepers made into refrigerator pickles...with grape leaves. grape leaves keep the veggies crunchy.

macaroni with our own tomatoes, a ton of parsley and freshly grated parmesan. with a quinoa fruit salad. if you don't regularly eat quinoa, you should. oh and you can grow your own from store bought quinoa. who knew? i'll be planting quinoa next year after our success with amaranth.

my mans...heading down the driveway on a foggy evening to go and catch his last trout before the season ended.

another 12 pints of bone broth that i simmer for 4 days and then can.

a yummy stir fry with jambaloney's amazing rice (his trick - put a bit of almond oil in with the rice. the man's a genious!).

and speaking of trout fishing - he came home with these babies which we promptly smoked.

smoked to puts smoked salmon to shame. so now we have some smoked trout to enjoy as a treat during the winter.

not a week goes by without some sushi...this time we had some smoked trout sushi with our tuna and california rolls - deeelish!

we have been picking wild blackberries every day for the past 3 weeks. they are still coming in gangbusters!

another free, foraged food that just grows on our land and requires no attention from us.

every day or two, a few more peppers ripen and i add them to jambaloney's hot pickle jar.

and to finish up - the garlic bed. i pulled the garlic and clipped them all, spread them out in the sun and jambaloney pulled all the weeds, added mulch and compost and some potatoe tire dirt and this bed is ready for planting in the next few days! woohoo!

if you don't already grow your own garlic, you really should. you buy it once, plant it, harvest it, save some to re-plant, let that go to flower and get bulbils...and you have fresh, home-grown garlic for the rest of your life!

sending much love and sorry if i haven't been hitting up your blogs lately...we've just really been enjoying our september!


  1. This was our first year with our own to butter you can never have too much garlic! We have not been posting so much either as we have been catching up on all the things to do. Its a busy time.

    I have learned to make my own tortillas and today I mixed my first batch of Carnitas spice. As usual your blog has made me hungry!

    1. oh Fiona - garlic and butter are must haves!!! and yes - it is the time of year when everyone is super busy working on the harvest and getting the garden ready for next year.

      i sure do hope you post your tortilla and carnitas spice recipes - i'll be sure to take a look and try them out! xoxox

  2. I love growing garlic, we have it most days, I usually smoke some of the bulbs too, roasted garlic bulbs are yummy and pickled garlic :-)

    1. oh Dawn - don't even get me started! i love garlic in all forms and it really is a super food! xoxox

  3. I grow quite a bit of garlic but my harvest this year wasn't as good as normal. I'm going to buy new bulbs for next year as mine was so covered in rust I don;t want to pass that on. We eat it all the time though, not many meals get cooked here without it.
    My peppers are also ripening - I love adding them to things, cayennes are my favourite at the moment, I have some super hot yellow ones as well, but they're a bit much for me!

    1. Kev - if you aren't comfortable with the state of your bulbs, buying fresh is a good idea. i'm trying to think of a meal that doesn't include garlic and all i am coming up with is french toast with maple syrup - bahahahah! we have had great success with our peppers this year too - glad to hear yours are doing well. xoxox

  4. I love garlic (eating enough that I'd have no trouble facing a pack of vampires), but have never grown my own. You make me want to!!

    1. oh Kelly - i hope you get the chance to grow your own. and i am glad that you are no easy pickings for vampires - bahahah! xoxox

  5. A friend of mine gave me a handful of garlic cloves many years ago and told me to stick them in some dirt. I've been eating those things ever since. I love garlic and I never put short of an entire bulb in any recipe that calls for a clove or two of garlic.

    1. wicked Ed! i'm glad you grow your own. and it seems that we have similar cooking techqniques - if the recipe calls for 2 cloves of garlic - i throw in 2 entire bulbs - bahahahah! xoxox

  6. Glad to see you are back! Quick question: if wolverines or aliens wont touch it, why the screened cage?

    1. thanks Perry! as for wolverines, aliens, coyote, deer, swamp creatures, rabbits - we have never had a problem with them! it's our cats! we put up the screened cages to keep our cats out of the beds! darn cats!!! xoxo

  7. MMMmmm! Smoked trout! I love it so much more than smoked salmon! Looks like your beautiful September is transitioning into a beautiful October.

  8. Well I never. Bulbils have blown me away, how to grow garlic from absolutely nothing! thanks for the tip!

  9. Your garlic is gorgeous! And I'm very excited to have a whole bag full of bulbils (first time ever to get these and thanks to you I just learned what they are called!) Actually I need to start thinking about planting next years garlic. Thanks for the push. :)