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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Have You Experienced (Eaten) Porcelain Music?

 Tortuga Thursday 
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.
Step 1, loosen earth with fork (Frank and Scott)
We are deep into garlic harvest in the middle of a heat wave with monsoons on the horizon every afternoon.

Garlic should be harvested after two weeks of no watering. Nothing ever works by the book in farming. I stopped watering anticipating harvest would begin the weekend of July 4th. But the heat we've been experiencing undid my plans. We were over 100 degrees for several days, yet there was some dampness when we started pulling the first row. Last night we finally got rain which made harvesting today a little muddy.

Our garage has been transformed into the garlic curing station. Depending on the variety and timing of harvest, it can take 2 to four weeks to cure.

Once we finished the one softneck variety we planted, we started on
Step 2, gently remove and clean off dirt.
the Porcelain Music hardneck. Isn't that a cool name? It's a very white, very spicy garlic. The muddy conditions make cleaning off difficult because the paper wrapping should stay intact. The top layer tends to slide away with the mud. Since we're newbies, we aren't sure how this will affect it. They appear to be okay and will still have plenty of paper, but we'll see the final results after curing.

Step 3, get garlic out of sun ASAP.
Weather forecast calls for a chance of rain every night for the next few days. What timing! We can't wait it out. When the garlic is ready, it's ready. Leaving it in muddy earth could result in rot. It's going to be a slippery, wet harvest.

Step 5, hang garlic to cure
Step 4, spread garlic
Keep your fingers crossed garlic doesn't mind.


  1. Yikes! I hope you get your crop in easily and that it cures well!

  2. Thanks, Ashantay. Lots of work still to do!

  3. Fingers crossed. The joys of farming!

  4. Brenda, you and your family live in constant suspense; each day you wonder what the next one will bring! No wonder you are a great author! Love garlic...I'll take the Music!

    1. LOL yes, Rolynn the suspense is always there. Maybe our garlic is coming to a restaurant near you!

  5. Wow! What an amazing adventure, Brenda! Love garlic and can already smell your harvest here in hot California. :)