Yesterday was officially six weeks on the garlic drying so today I get to go out to the garage and sort through them. I will pick the best looking bulbs of the bunch to save for planting towards the end of October or the start of November. It will be great not to have to pay for bulbs this year. I have already picked out 4 bulbs of the Elephant garlic, it is just the Music I have to sort through. I figured it out, though, based on current costs in seed catalogues or their websites.
1 bulb of elephant garlic goes for $13 for conventionally grown and $18 for organically grown. Yes, just one bulb. I about fell over. The bulb I bought last year was from the grocery store and was $3.99. I am assuming it was conventionally grown. I bulb of elephant garlic only has 7 cloves, no more, no less, so you can never grow more than that. So this year I will be growing 28 elephant garlic plants for free and next year I will double that to have 48 and the next year I can consider them organically grown, since I will have grown them using organic methods.
I won't go above 48 the following year for my family, though. There is only so much elephant garlic one can use I will grow and sell some for seed to other people for far less than what is in the catalogue. Maybe $6 or $7 per bulb which is more than reasonable for organic. I'll check the catalog price the year I would sell them. I would have space to grow 96 plants so could sell half of them.
Worst case scenario, I dehydrate them and grind them when I need garlic power or rehydrate them night before if I need them in a recipe the next night. After taking out my 48 and the additional 14 I'd hold back for seed for the next planting, that would give me 34 bulbs to sell to others. The following year I would know if I saved to many for myself and could adjust accordingly. And I'd know the demand.
I do, eventually, have plans to sell organic Music bulbs of garlic as well. That's something that sells out so quickly that it is almost impossible to get. I barely got the conventionally grown ones last year. They are going for $9 for one bulb this year. Last year I paid $50 for 21 bulbs. When I went back the next day to see if they had shallots, the Music was marked as sold out. So were the shallots, but I will get some this year.
So once I build up past how much I want to have only for us to eat, which would be about 30 bulbs for cooking and dehydrating (we use a lot of garlic so between that and the music we should be fine), any extra could be sold as seed bulbs. People on my farming list are asking all the time if anyone knows where they can buy Music. I could eventually do a small bag of Music bulbs, maybe 5, for $15.
Garlic involves some labor at the begining in the planting. During the growing season, you pull the occasional weed, and you turn on the soaker hose consistently. It's pretty care free as it has no predators. I keep a cage on it anyway so the deer don't bed down in it. Then at the end you dig it out and put it in drying racks for 3 weeks, trim the stems down, dry for 3 more weeks, and then box up and put in a cool, dark place to store. I spend maybe 2 hours total, so selling 6 bags of garlic would be more than enough to pay me back for my time, plus I get a lot of garlic out of it, too, for my family.
It's time to turn the onions over, too. They need to be trimmed down the rest of the way and dried out for 3 more weeks. And it is time to start digging up the potatoes. Most of the plants are completely dead. The rest can go another week.
DH is going salmon fishing. Apparently they can only get 2 each, which sucks. In Alaska they get to bring home 6 fish each on each type of salmon and some they can bring home 25 to 30 per household. Then B.C. gets a ton. No wonder there's no fish by the time it reaches Washington. I'm okay with the tribes getting their share, they deserve that above anyone else, it's all the other folks getting tons and tons with crazy high limits that bugs me, while we have dinky ones.
It used to be worth the gas money to go out when gas was cheap, but it isn't really anymore, especially with only 3 of them going out to split the cost. And that's assuming they catch any fish. Otherwise, I'd just as soon go to the grocery store and buy 2 whole wild caught coho salmon. It'd cost less, unless they come home with monsters. I'd be tempted to get a fishing license and go out so we could get two more fish, but again, we could just buy a fish with the cost of the license. This is probably the last trip of the season, too.
Mom wants to do a dump run on Sunday. Well, she wanted to do it on Saturday, but fishing. She's probably going to pout about it for the rest of the week that it isn't on the day she wanted, and then forget what day of the week it actually is, think it is Sunday on Saturday (happens a lot on the weekend), stomp around and have a martyr complex that slips into an "Oh, woe is me," thing, until someone reminds her it isn't Sunday and she'll snap out of it like she wasn't behaving that way at all and not apologize to anyone for acting that way. Gotta love dementia. Monday through Thursday are generally pretty good, though.
I picked another 2 pounds of tomatoes yesterday. It was mostly the little yellow pear ones. I need to wash, destem, quarter, and roast tomatoes, so I can make roasted tomato ketchup. I saw a lady make it on youtube and it looks so good. I might have enough yellow tomatoes to make one jar of just yellow ketchup. That would be interesting. I love making roasted tomato spaghetti sauce, so I can't imagine this wouldn't be good, too.
I got my first purple green beans yesterday. They grow purple, but turn green when cooked. It's about 2 quarts. It's not enough to run the canner, but considering the way this summer went, I am grateful to have gotten any. The canner instructions say to run it with 4 jars, and I don't want to do pints of green beans, because we eat a cup each at dinner. But if I hold off for 2 days, there might be enough ready to do 4 quarts. There were some that were almost ready and there were some that could be ready since I gave them a good soaking and we are back to weather in the mid-seventies again. Or I could just run them with pints of carrots, since carrot pints and green bean quarts run for the same amount of time and I am almost out of carrot pints. Then I could do a full canner load and I can do that again when I have more green beans. Two birds, one stone and food on the shelf. Perfect.
I would have canned it with the ketchup, but that is waterbath canning and the other is pressure canning and they take different times. Food safety first and foremost. I really hope the ketchup turns out well. I'd hate to waste all those tomatoes.