Happy New Year to you all. The first week in January, we are making our plans for the new year and watching as crops emerge during this warm spell.Our Elephant garlic is looking as well as I have ever seen it. Below are shots taken looking north, today, January 2nd 2015 and taken into the sun, looking south across to the southern tip of the Island and St Boniface Down. I will keep this updated, same position in field each month until June harvest, so we can all compare it as it progresses, or not, as can happen in farming! Then will it transform to those dry harvested bulbs in June?
That was in 2011 when we had sun for two weeks after harvest, so by the end of June it looked like that. We managed to clear that field, 6 acres, in one afternoon before heavy rain came which would have destroyed it.
All the autumn garlic is planted and is now emerging. This is our Heritage hardneck, Bohemian Rose. By February and my next blog, we should have some good growth and "sewent" (even and upright, in Island dialect) rows.
I travelled in the Ukraine and Romania in November, speaking at a Garlic Congress in Lvov.
Here I am coming off an overnight train in Southern Ukraine. Each carriage had a coal fired oven, heating a samovar from which one draws boiling water for tea. Very Dr Zhivago.
Ukraine is a major garlic producer. The garlic is mostly hardneck to survive the winter. They also produce "solo" bulbs from bulbils taken from the flowerhead of the garlic. You could do the same using bulbils from our Heritage garlic types. These are solid balls of garlic flesh, no cloves have formed in the first year. They can be eaten or planted out to form bulbs in the following year.
Lastly Happy New Year and successful garlic growing.