After last year’s mini garlic harvest, I set apart two entire raised beds to plant garlic for the current year. In one bed I planted softneck garlic, which keeps well and is currently stored in a mesh bag in the basement. In the other, I planted hardneck garlic. They grew so beautifully through the winter snow, reaching their curly scapes upward in the spring.
I thought I’d share how I powdered my garlic for keeping. I got the directions from this great little book, which apparently is almost out of print, so buy it quick!
After I cut off the scapes (and chopped and sauteed them in butter YUM), I waited until most of the outer leaves were drying up. Then, I carefully dug up the bulbs; I counted 43. I kept them hung in the the barn for a good month to cure.
This is what I ended up with after cutting off the leaves and trimming the roots: nice, clean bulbs.
Then, I separated the cloves. This took some time, but I sort of just picked at it a bit at a time over the course of several days. That is how I do most projects; here 20 minutes, there 15. It works.
Taking the wrappers off of the cloves took the longest. I cut the tip of the top and bottom off each clove, and then my 7yo helped me peel all of them. They looked so great!
This next part was easy! I just sliced them all up in the food processor!
Into the dehydrator they went! I dried them for about 30 hours at 115 degrees. I knew they were done when they weren’t so “bendy” but more brittle.
Sifting was next. Instead of throwing the large particles back into the blender, I left it alone. Minced garlic, anyone?
So there you have it. One quart of powdered garlic, one quart of garlic chips ready to be powdered, and a small jar of minced. We put garlic onto just about everything, even plain ole cheese pizza (mmm…and with a dusting of fresh dried oregano, too!). Sometimes I will mix a little bit of powder with raw honey and put it on a wound with gauze and tape on top. It works great!
Now, if my chickens hadn’t dug up my onions, I would have done the same with them. Instead, I’ll probably *cheat* and buy some at the farmers market and give it a go. I really enjoy growing and using my own herbs and seasonings for my family.