Rainy Day activities get a little hard to find in November, and we have a big crew on Fridays. But there’s still some garlic left to crack! The garlic seed that we plant is just cloves of garlic planted in late Fall. Each clove grows into a head; before you go out and plant it, you have to crack the head open into its individual cloves. It’s a tedious job to crack 200 lbs. of garlic, but if you’ve got a group of fun people to hang out with while you do it, it’s not so bad. I was working on getting some peas planted in Greenhouse 1 ( a new experiment–it worked for my mom in Pennsylvania–if it works for us we could have peas by February), and every time someone came in there from the garlic-cracking party, they were smiling and chuckling. When I passed by, I got to hear our dear old pal Abby Clarke tell the story of how she had just packed up her pet tarantulas into takeout containers to sell them. Abby Clarke worked with us for three of the past five seasons, eventually leading much of our field production, and is passing through on her way to Alaska. Who wants to go to the Arctic in November? Apparently it’s linked to the trait for liking to keep tarantulas as pets. Yes, the tarantulas do want to bite you when you handle them!
We had a tough decision to make with our garlic planting this year. The amount of garlic we had available to sell for the rest of the winter was about the same as the amount we needed to plant. Calling everyone you know that has garlic available for sale is a habit that has become an occaisionally familiar a job as the rush to sell tomatoes in the August of a good tomato season. I finally found some organic garlic from Hepworth Farm in New York (just over the border in the Hudson Valley; the same farm that grows that beautiful broccoli we’ve had in the store lately), so that will be what you see in the store this winter (we have a little bit of our own left but it won’t last past Thanksgiving), while we are going to put ours in the ground for next year’s crop.