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Plant that Garlic!

it’s happening! bryan and i were putting the final touches on the foundation of the propagation house (greenhouse to start seeds), and a old timey gray car pulled up. since we’re on a fairly open corner road, friendly passerbyers can easily see what we’re up to. frank stepped out of the car and introduced himself to us as our neighbor down the road. he had seen us outside the past couple weeks and was curious what we were up to. we explained a few of our in-the-works projects and he said, “so you’re farmers then.”

this was a big moment for us. bryan and i are still working in advertising, but the progress we’ve made on the land and the house this past year (we’ve officially be in the house for a year now!) has been crazy to look back on. and one of the things we’re most proud of has been this weekend’s garlic endeavor.

want to learn more about garlic? read on my friend.

step 1. research, research, research. we learned where to buy organic seed garlic and where to buy the equipment from the conference we went to over winter. they gave us some solid info on how to prep the land, varieties to grow, and how to prep the seeds. here are a few of their helpful handouts.

step 2. purchase all the supplies. this took about 2 weeks prior to planting. the most fun part of this step was getting to know our local organic farm community more. we purchased compost (a key for producing nice, big garlic) from blue ribbon organics in caledonia, wi which is about 50 miles from us. seeds were purchased from keene garlic—they also give you tons of how-to instructions which was super helpful. carlin horticulture is where we got the weed mat, and other supplies for the prop house. facebook marketplace is where we found the mulching straw. then of course there’s the home depot runs for food grade buckets, steins for organic fertilizer and amazon for a dibber.

step 3. prep the seeds. now the fun part. we chose 2 hardneck and 2 softneck varieties to try out this year. we separated the 40lbs into individual cloves. we put them into buckets, and sterilized them (with 10 bottles of vodka) and left them in a fertilizer “tea” overnight (fish emulsion, kelp and purple cow fertilizer mix).

step 4. prep the soil. last week we mowed down the cover crop. and disced it in. there’s been a bit of a learning curve on using the tractor (between getting it stuck and it smelling like we burned out the engine), i would more so call it was a “light” discing. but it worked! because today we added 13 yards of compost to the 100’x50’ area, creating 5 beds for planting. we don’t have a dump truck, so adding compost means loading up our pick up, driving it to the field and unloading it. tg for sunny skies for this part!

step 5. plant! we’ll we’re off to the field with our diy bedder to till in the compost and create the beds. and then the rest of the day is getting these little dudes into the soil.

that’s your information overload on garlic for now, stay tuned for more!


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