Garlic Storage

woodswoman(6)July 23, 2013

Hi!
I have been a member here for quite awhile but haven't posted. (maybe once...several yrs ago). I always find answers here.
This is my 3rd yr growing garlic. I have had luck storing it in a dark, air conditioned room. I clean it, trim roots, cut stems, peel off outer wrappers. Most of what I have is cured. I need to finish up though.
I have a buyer for pretty much all of my garlic. He's a chef in a dining club. I think my pricing for the area is ok. He's willing to pay asking price. (THAT was a hard one. Nobody really produces garlic in the area so trying to compare was difficult) I told him I would take a dollar off per pound if I just cut the leaves off and that's it. He would have to deal with the roots, dirty wrappers. He liked the idea. I liked the idea of not having to peel wrappers, the time consumption to do it all.
My question is this: Did I speak too soon about that? Will garlic keep well if leaves and roots are left on for months? I got to thinking about it and also thought about the storage issue. That's a lot of dry material to bring into the house. What about just leaving the roots on? I really would like some opinions soon, as I am just getting prepared to cut the garlic down from the rafters and go thru the motions.
Thanks for any/all help!

This post was edited by woodswoman on Tue, Jul 23, 13 at 9:06

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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

I always cure my garlic with the stems, leaves, and roots attached. When I harvest, I wash the dirt off the bulbs, tie them in bundles, and hang them in my garage. I leave them like that until I'm ready to use them. When I want one I'll cut off the stem and trim the roots before using.

Rodney

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 9:40AM
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woodswoman(6)

Thanks for your response! I also cure my garlic with all attached, They are all still hanging. I do need to get them out of the rafters and store. How long do you leave them hanging before use? Do they stay quite sometime? Months?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 9:58AM
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kristincarol

I have been growing garlic for many years. I always wash the garlic off first thing after being removed from the earth. I then strip off two or three of the leaves/wrappers and trim the roots a bit. The garlic, both hardneck and softneck, are cured with the foliage/stems on. When it is nearly done curing I cut off the hardneck stems or braid the softnecks.

I also sell most of my garlic "wholesale" to either the small organic market in my town or to one of the vendors at our farmers market who uses it for seed. Think I will expand the seed business as it is guaranteed I will sell all I grow of the one variety that farmer likes.

But washing it is something that divides the women from the girls, I think. It produces a much better product. Given the choice between nicely processed garlic and dirty, messy-looking garlic with all the stems and leaves--well, neat and clean always seems to win in my experience.

That said, I only grow about 400. Anyone who really grows in bulk cannot spare the time to fuss over the crop like a boutique grower like myself can.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:03AM
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woodswoman(6)

I had 800+ in the ground last fall. I lost some due to the very wet spring and summer we had. The chef interested in all I have has agreed to take it with roots and dirty wrappers attatched. I just wondered if that would affect the storage time, as he won't be taking it all at once. So many lbs per month has been agreed upon.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:08AM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

Once cured, I keep them hanging with the stems and roots attached. They last quite a while like that, well into winter. I've done this for years. Although it gets cold in my garage when winter sets in so when spring rolls around my garlic starts to go south. I'm going to bring them in the house this year before it gets cold so I'll cut off the stems then. I harvested them all last week, they are tied in bundles and curing in the garage now, so I'll probably bring them in the house around late October/November.

Rodney

This post was edited by theforgottenone1013 on Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 11:57

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Woodswoman,
I don't think that keeping roots/dirt on will effect the garlic storage in any way as long as it's dry.
That said, I think you should consider just cleaning the garlic and selling it for full price. On first thought, you're local chef may think it a good deal to save some money and do the trimming themselves, but few chefs I know would be excited to bring the dirt/roots into their clean restaurant.

Also, for the short amount of time it takes to clean the garlic after it's cured, losing 1/6 to 1/10 of your price is quite a lot.
Last year we trimmed and sorted over 6000 garlic in one day by inviting friends out for a pizza and beer trimming party. The culls and splits people got to take home for their efforts.

-Mark

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 12:59PM
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