EARTH DHARMA FARM

Garlic

2014 Seed Garlic Now Available!

Thanks to our stellar garlic harvesting team of Alex, Greg, Megan, Heather & Dave, with a cameo appearance from Autumn, our garlic is available for sale! We have Chesnok Red, French Red, German Extra Hardy, German White, Music, Persian Star, Romanian Red, Rosewood and Russian Red. Check out our Garlic page.

Garlic Harvested and Curing in New Plenum

Garlic is harvested! It only took us two days with the help of reliable and quick workers Greg and Alex. Our volumes for sale this year will be small because we will be replanting most of the harvest, but what we pulled out looks really, really good. But the even more exciting news is that our new garlic drying plenum is up and running! In 2011 we lost 99% of our crop due to excess moisture during the curing process. This year we are taking no chances. With the help of a grant from the State of Maine’s Farms for the Future program, Dave designed and built a 240-volt low wattage, double fan, push pull positive pressure drying plenum. That’s right: A 240 volt low wattage, double fan, push pull positive pressure plenum. Now say that three times, quickly!

We clip the garlic stalks and lay the bulbs in single layers in large bins made with 1x2s and hardware cloth, and stack the bins within the plenum. The plenum is sealed with Typar and construction tape, we turn the fans on, balance the pressure with the help of a manometer (manometer not necessary as it turns out, but it makes the thing look more scientific) and, voila! A simple, relatively low cost, compact, low energy drying system.

We checked the charge controller on our off-grid solar system after we plugged in the plenum, and the energy used was only 300 watts! If the fans are turned up to maximum, the usage would be about 450 watts. Perfect for the off-grid garlic grower, or any farmer with similar needs. Click on the pics below for larger images with descriptions.

Plenum intake. Note the Typar is expanded, telling us that the plenum has the proper pressure balance between the intake and outflow fans
Dave with the plenum; the outflow fan is sitting on the box on top of the plenum.

Garlic Looking Good

The garlic is looking fantastic! The varieties that have the pine needle mulch on them are looking exceptionally good. This is the German White.German White

Seed Garlic in 2013

Our seed garlic customers know that we had a catastrophic crop failure in 2011. Since then, we have been re-stocking our garlic from sources that we believe to be disease-free. We have tested the garlic we have purchased for bloat nematode, fusarium and white rot. We will re-test the garlic when we harvest it. We will not sell seed that we know has disease.

While we still aren’t up to 100% production, in 2013 we should have small quantities to sell of Rosewood, Music, German White, German Extra Hardy, Chesnok Red, Persian Star, Romanian Red, Russian Red, and French Red.

We’ll keep you posted closer to harvest time in late July.