Sunday, November 2, 2014

Harvesting garlic

Yesterday I decided to take the day off since it was very windy and a bit showery, not the sort of day I enjoy working in, so I didn't post like I should have. The wind came up while I was away in the morning, and it was too sudden to put the bed covers down. When I got back I figured they would have all blown down and couldn't do any damage while they were on the ground so I waited till this morning to put all them back up.

There wasn't as much damage as I expected which was pleasing so I quickly popped them up as I did my morning inspection.

 I noticed yesterday that my very expensive and valuable Bambara beans had started to germinate. I found 6 up yesterday but something ate two of them last night, bummer. I hope a few more germinate now.

I tried growing these last year but didn't do much good so I hope my new experience means that I actually get some seeds this time as I doubt that I will be able to get any more seeds.

These are a very nutritious legume from Africa that produces its pods underground like peanuts. They are supposed to do well on poor and dry soil.

Today I pulled a few of my Monaro Purple garlic bulbs and found that the roots and outer wrappers are starting to rot so even though I would have liked a lot more time between cutting the flower scapes and harvest I decided to harvest both beds of them now so I at least get some sort of harvest. They were ready to harvest as half the leaves were dead so it was best that I didn't wait any longer.

At least by having a very poor garlic year this year I hope that next year when I put in my half acre I might have a good year.

Here is a pic of the harvest from one of my beds. The bulbs look ok here but they are actually half the normal size for this variety. I also dug a couple of other small plots of other varieties so I only have my elephant garlic and two other garlic varieties in the ground as they are not ready yet. I think another three weeks and they will be ready.

Today I got my insurance sorted for my open day in December. Actually it was easier to get a hobby farm insurance policy that also includes market selling so I can drop my market insurance that I pay a bit over $300 per year and have a hobby farm business insurance for $500 per year. This will cover my market selling as well as the open day and also all my public liability for all my blocks.
I was having trouble getting liability insurance until I found a great broker on a small business forum who asked a lot of questions and did some great research for me. It was much easier than calling individual insurers who just didn't want to know. I guess the way I do business was just too hard for them but a broker needs all the business they can get and tries harder.

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