Everything you wanted to know about keeping and storing garlic
On Harvesting and Curing
We plant our garlic in the fall, and it is harvested during the summer of the following year. After harvest, our garlic is then cured. Curing is important to garlic after harvest, as this greatly extends storage life. We cure our garlic on open racks in the shade and under cover, with as much air flow as possible. After curing, we trim the roots and necks, and grade the garlic accordingly. Our garlic is then graded for seed or culinary use, depending on quality and size. Large bulbs with the largest cloves are considered seed quality, while smaller bulbs are saved for culinary use.
Our garlic is generally cured and ready for sale around the end of August. If stored properly, our garlic will last well into late winter and even early spring. As I write this entry in late winter, I stare at my bulbs from last summer, now six months old and looking like I just picked them yesterday.
Garlic bulbs keep best whole and not broken into cloves, and stored best in one of two ways. If you have access to a cool, dry area with low humidity and temperatures between 32 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit, this proves to serve best for long-term storage. Remember, garlic wants to sprout, so as soon as you remove a bulb (or clove) from this cooler storage to warmer temperatures it will sprout much more quickly than the warmer method of storage.
The warmer method includes storing garlic in a dark, dry area with temperatures between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity between 40 and 60%. Good air flow between bulbs is important as well.
Also, due to a low moisture content, garlic freezes well. Either peeled and chopped, or frozen whole, unpeeled.
Garlic begins to sprout by shooting green stalks out of individual cloves. You will typically first notice this when you begin cutting into cloves and notice that the center has a tiny green stem inside.
As the stem grows larger, it will eventually protrude from the clove and produce a green stalk. The green shoot can easily be removed from the center of the clove, and the clove still eaten. This does not impact taste. If you notice your garlic sprouting during the early winter months, you may wish to revisit your storage and keeping methods.
As always, should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Thank you for your support and we hope you enjoy our garlic!
Chris & Sloane