This week in the veggie share we are sending along some fresh garlic, which you can use up within a few weeks, OR you can choose to cure it yourself at home. There is so much in the field that we worry about having enough space and resources to cure it all, so we thought in true CSA fashion this would be an opportunity for members to learn more about garlic and share some of the task of curing with the farm.
The garlic in your share this week has not been washed, which is an important step in terms of you having the option to cure it at home. Basically, all you need to do is tie and hang the heads in a dry, shady, well-ventilated area (OR, you can even lay them out one by one) The kitchen is not an ideal place, but a well-ventilated porch or garage or shady area outside will do (& bonus if you are trying to keep stray vampires out of your yard!).
After a month (up to two months if it is very humid), the roots of the garlic will be stiff and the stem and head completely dry, and the garlic can be moved to a garlic keeping crock (if you have one), or a cool, dry, dark place, for winter use. Depending on how well it is cured, the garlic can keep up to six months.
Make sure the heads are separated like in the photo to the right of the one below, to allow the most airflow possible.
Here's more info and a link with more detailed instructions and explanations, for those of you who are interested:
Curing is the process of letting your garlic dry down in preparation for long-term storage. Curing your garlic allows you to enjoy the flavor of your summer harvest well into winter… and one of my favorite things about garlic is that it still stays fresh long after it’s been plucked from the ground. No pickling, no canning. Just a simple head of garlic that looks and tastes the same as the day you pulled it.
Garlic that you want to eat right away can be used right away, straight from the garden.
Garlic that you want to cure should be moved to a dry, shady, airy place — this can be under a tree, on a covered porch, or in a well-ventilated garage. Lay the bulbs out one by one to provide good air circulation. Garlic is susceptible to sunburn (it can literally cook under the sun, which deteriorates the flavor), so you want to minimize the amount of direct sunlight it gets during the curing process.
No need to clean off all that dirt for now — you’ll tidy them up when you trim them. Don’t wash your garlic either… after all, the point is to dry them out!
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