Last Fall, Amy and I brought the kids up to Thistle Creek Farm, where we were privileged to help Farmer Greg along with a big group of family and friends plant an enormous field of garlic. The kids raced around and shot make-shift bows and arrows, threw stones in the creek and explored the beehives. We had so much fun. It was so well organized that the planting went really quickly and it was fun. We were dirty and smiling by the end!
Hardneck Garlic is not the puny white garlic that you buy in the grocery store. It is big, colorful and fascinating. Greg sent us home with a handful to plant in our own garden. We stuck it in the ground during a sunny mid-winter day because I had misplaced it when we got home. So the fall planting plan was foiled, but no matter! The garlic practically grew itself. It was up in the spring with the peas and grew tall thick blades and curly scapes (which we roasted – they were delicious) We harvested the bulbs as the tips began to turn brown.
You would not believe this Garlic! It has so much flavor. The cloves are HUGE. Some varieties are very hot and spicy, some are mellower. We love them all. So far, we have use them in soups (Borsch is a favorite,) sauteed with onions for various stir-frys and roasted the garlic as described (bottom of the page) on the Thistle Creek website and spread it paste-like on crackers and toast. Oh my goodness.
Our five year-old exploring the creek Last Fall:
This year’s Crop:
Try some of this Hardneck Garlic! You can buy it to eat a bit at a time or in bulk, OR to grow in your own garden. Get it here: http://www.thistlecreekfarm.org/how-to-buy.html
The farm is really beautiful, if you decide to visit in person, our kids loved it. I think you can make an appointment to visit and maybe even to stay overnight!