Growing up in Northern Minnesota, we learned early that we couldn’t predict the weather. So it was no surprise that our weather this year was nothing like last year. When we planted in October 2017, it was about 50 degrees out. We were comfortable in sweatshirts and t-shirts and we ate a picnic outside. This planting season October 2018, it was 30 degrees out, we were in hats and coats, and we ate in the drying barn! The rule of thumb for planting garlic is to plant in the fall after a soft frost and before the hard frost. For us in Bemidji, Minnesota, that means the second or third week of October. It will be fun to track how different the weather is each year is from the last! As Minnesotan’s know, we need to be ready for anything!
Our final planting count came in at 9928 cloves of garlic in about 10 varieties (go Team!). We are going to have some exciting new varieties, all certified organic. We plan to experiment with many varieties for a few years before we determine which varieties grow best in our soil. Then we will specialize in just a few varieties and call them our own!
For us, planting and harvesting as a family is fun! We sing and dance and chat and trade off taking care of the babies. In total, there are 36 of us in the family, with 10 under age 10 and one new baby due by summer (well, one so far. . .). We grew up with a great work ethic, we like being together, and we know that we are honoring our heritage; we are blessed to work on the farm as a family.