July 18, 2013

The Amazing Hardneck Garlic Harvest!

Allium sativum, more commonly known as garlic, is an ancient plant.  But, unlike most vegetables, domesticated garlic doesn’t produce fertile seeds, and must be grown from divisions, or single cloves of the underground bulbs.  What that means, and it’s fun to think about, is that every clove is essentially a living piece of that original ancient plant.  Most people are familiar with only the supermarket variety, but there are other kinds of garlic that are worth seeking out.  Garlic is divided into two categories.  The supermarket variety, called softneck, produces long-lasting bulbs with many cloves around a soft center stem.  Softneck garlic produces no flower stalk.  Hardneck garlics are noted for their stiff central stalk, fewer cloves, their relatively short shelf life, and their intriguingly complex flavors. This year’s crop of hardneck garlic has just been harvested at the farm.

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