A Day in the Life of a Garlic Farmers Wife
Welcome to the Garlic Guys! We’re glad you’ve stopped by to see us!
Let me introduce myself. I’m Shannon, Garlic Guy Chris’s wife. I’ll be keeping you updated from time to time on the adventures of the Garlic Guys. Once in awhile you’ll also hear from Garlic Guy Travis’s wife, Luisa. The third Garlic Guy, Ryan, is still single (any takers?).
So, for now, it’s just us two wives telling about the Garlic Guys’ lives.
The guys all call themselves brothers. Here’s the breakdown: Chris is my husband, Travis is my sister’s husband, and Ryan is Travis’s brother. So we’re all related…somehow. And rather than Chris introducing Ryan to you as “my wife’s, sister’s husband’s brother…” Chris just says Ryan is his brother! Short and sweet, and a whole lot less confusing!
This was the brothers’ first year in the world of garlic, and it’s been a great year!
About this time last year, the guys got the crazy idea to plant 800 pounds of garlic, thereby crashing into the garlic world with a bang! So, lots and lots and LOTS of boxes of garlic seed started arriving on my doorstep. Now, when we started this (ad)venture last November, it was snowing. So this meant all the garlic seed came into my living room.
Then began the task of separating all the cloves from the whole bulb so we could plant each clove. Individually. By hand. And did I mention, this was in my living room!
Let me paint that picture for you.
We moved the couches all up against the walls to make room for the boxes of garlic bulbs. Then we brought in lots of buckets to hold the garlic cloves. This was not a neat and tidy project. I had garlic skin (Paper? What exactly is that stuff called?) all over everything! Carpet, couches, clothing…you name it, it was covered! Then people started commenting on the smell of my home. I think I got accustomed to it right away as the boxes were arriving and thank goodness for that!
So, it was snowing outside and we (the Garlic Guys, Luisa, and I) spent the entire day separating garlic bulbs into garlic cloves. After that first day and getting through about, um, I don’t really know how much (but it was a measly amount on the total 800 pounds), we decided we were never going to get done. My sister and I called around, and a few of our sweet friends came the second day to help us. Day two of garlic cloving (Can we just call it that?).
More progress made, but a whole still left to do.
I think somewhere around day three, Luisa and I both got sick. No, no! Seriously, we did. We had colds. Bad ones. Horrible ones, really. And we just couldn’t help clove anymore.
The guys finished up, with our total cloving time coming in around three to four days. We watched a few movies, told way too many goofy stories, and, all in all, had a wonderfully memorable time, that I do look back on with smiles.
Then came planting!
Ho boy. That’s another long story. Let’s just sum it up this way. Remember those 800 pounds of bulbs? Each pound has somewhere between 30 and 70 cloves. Each of those 24,000-56,000 cloves has to be planted. Individually. By hand.
And it was snowing.
I think we all still have recurring nightmares of those days, but we got it all planted and this past spring had beautiful rows of garlic! Then we started getting not so beautiful rows of weeds. We grow our garlic organically, but we are not currently certified as “organic”. So that means we have to pull all of those weeds by hand! Ryan had loads of “fun” out there doing that! We have very nice friends that brought their whole families out for “farm” days. Haha! But seriously, pulling weeds in an acre-sized plot – that’s a lot of work, and we’re immensely grateful to all of our friends for their help!
Our first “Year of Garlic” has been lots of work, but it hasn’t been without its fun. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and now, guess what!? We’re starting the process all over again! Only bigger this time!
Oh, those dear Garlic Guys…
Step into our Garlic Patch, and try out our garlic.
I think we planted nearly every variety under the sun! Okay, maybe not. But, we do have a wide range, and if you don’t know what variety to start with, we’re offering special sampler packages that have a few bulbs each of some of our most popular varieties to get you up to speed on the distinct flavors and intensities of the different garlic families. Call or email Chris, and he’ll get you set up.