Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Autumn and Planting garlic, lots of it!

What a beautiful autumn we are having! Great weather for planting garlic so I better not delay as rain is surely on its way.

I have started and finished with our seed stock for next year in the first 6 beds of 75 feet long. These are garlic grown out from bulbils since 2006. We are renewing all of our strains to improve quality and to reduce the spread of disease. This is a time consuming endeavour as each garlic has to be catalogued and all is recorded twice. The extra seeds that we did not use are for sell to other growers and backyard gardeners.

Today I planted 10 beds of our famous Mennonite garlic. Why famous? We have been selling this strain of porcelain since the late 1990's, we have even given some away to growers to try it for themselves. I now see it being sold in Ottawa and all the way to the West Coast! There is even a market gardener in Nova Scotia selling it. Its now  listed in commercial garlic catalogues in Canada. To see the story of how we came about this garlic and why we named it Mennonite please read the story under the garlic catalogue tab on this website  garlic catalogue and scroll down part way.

This is a wonderful garlic to grow. It has 4 to 6 large easy to peel juicy cloves. The flavour is strong and fairly hot when eaten raw. It is used in all culinary dishes as it is very versatile. My personal favourite for roasting as it is easy to scoop out the baked cloves. Here at Railway Creek Farms , we have made this our popular commercial garlic that is available in speciality stores, restaurants and farm stands. 
Well our farm is not just about garlic, its about the cattle that raise young and the manure that is used on the garlic fields, its about chickens that gives us eggs and pigs that churn up the old asparagus patch.

Winter Glory, one of our few Charolais cows gave birth to a boy on Sept 12. He is a wild bouncy calf! Winter Wine is due any day, and she had better hurry up as I am frustrated going out twice a day looking for her to check up whether she needs to go into the nursery or not. All other cattle are still out on pasture as there is still lots of grass to munch on.

The piggies are growing fast. I never had been around pigs before and wondered why I waited so long to get some to raise. They are easy to handle, although Grant wonders how I am going to load them into the trailer, he seems to think it will be difficult, i don't believe him at all. These guys will follow me anywhere as long as i have a pail of food, any food, in any kind of condition, yes even an empty pail will lure them out. We'll see.....

Chickens? Well they are laying, not always in the coop, sometimes on the work bench in the barn, sometimes  under some hard to find spot.  What more can I say about them?

Natalies horses are doing fine for the most of the time. Falcon the three and a half yeat old is going through the obnoxious stage, wont do what he is told to do.  Apparently this is a normal behaviour for young horses.  Natalie is spending lots of time with him,  and we can see an improvement in him.