The Weekly Digs #225

by Becky

I have a short and sweet update for you this week because I’m trying to do better at my goal of going to bed early! I will have more to share next week.

In the Garden

Our first frost came on October 29th. We had a marathon couple of days getting everything ready but we harvested everything and covered what we needed. 

All the time putting tunnels and covers over the plants was worth it because the temperature dropped to 28ºF the first night, 23ºF the second, and 15ºF the third night.

Our garden from above on the day we had a hard frost

When I came out after everything had warmed up above freezing it was obvious that the warm season crops had been damaged and not coming back. I didn’t cover them or try to save any like I did last year. 

After a quick look at all the cool season crops, everything looked really good with no damage from the cold weather.

Blackberries

The hard part for me in winter is keeping an eye on the weather and remembering to open and close the tunnels. Oftentimes I forget to cover things back up and that is when crops freeze! 

We are back up into above average temperatures so I’ve uncovered everything again to allow ventilation and airflow. 

Inside, we have piles of dried beans that were harvested just before the frost that need to be shelled and canned.

Separating garlic cloves

This weekend Cam and I worked on separating the garlic bulbs for planting. We counted out 500 cloves. That is about what we need for a year’s supply!

In the garden I also got an area of cover crops planted. When Amy was here, we got that cleared and ready. 

Pulling out sweet carrots

Preserving

When we separated garlic cloves, we pulled out all the small ones because they make small bulbs so I don’t plant them. Instead, I peeled them and then chopped them all in the food processor. They all went into a jar and I covered it with olive oil. 

I know that if you leave this at room temperature, there is a risk of botulism so I put it in the fridge. It wasn’t until after I did all that, that I looked up how long garlic in oil would last in the fridge. Sources say “about 4 days” Seriously?!

That was a much shorter time frame than I thought and I don’t really believe that. But I poured the garlic and oil into some silicone trays for freezing in cubes anyway.

I still have a lot of garlic left, and it goes bad fairly quickly since I don’t have the right conditions to store it, so I may end up freeze drying the rest. We’ll see.

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7 comments

Nat November 5, 2023 - 8:13 pm

Lovely photographs Becky.
I slice my small garlic cloves finely, dehydrate and then use a spice grinder to turn them into powder. This keeps very well.

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Sally November 5, 2023 - 11:40 pm

Just a thought, you could also give some away

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Carol November 5, 2023 - 10:01 pm

Can you imagine drying fruit like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BAxDlkMzjY

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theseasonalhomestead November 9, 2023 - 5:17 am

I don’t usually watch a lot of videos all the way through but this one was fascinating! Thank you for sharing it with me!

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Laurel M. November 9, 2023 - 12:00 am

Five hundred is so many, but garlic is so useful! I ferment a quart every year so that I have peeled cloves ready to go. I don’t find it alters the taste. The frost pictures are beautiful!

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Angela November 13, 2023 - 12:25 pm

I make a garlic paste. I way the garlic and the little bit of water I boil it in. Add 12% salt. Cook until tender and then use the emergency blender to make a paste. Put it in small containers and put the one I use in the fridge. You do not need to pc or wb. However, when you use it, it does need to be cooked for 10 minutes to kill all possible botulism. So you cannot use it as is. But when I make pasta sauce or stir fry it will be cooking for at least 10 minutes anyway. You just need to adjust the salt as it is obviously quite salty. The more water you use to prepare it, the more the garlic flavor gets diluted. Keeps for a year.

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theseasonalhomestead November 13, 2023 - 3:11 pm

I bet with that much salt, the risk of botulism is extremely low. But that is smart of you to be cautious! I love that idea with the garlic.

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