Cultivating garlic at Sol Feliz Farm

20140613-130330-47010608.jpgToday’s workshop was long over due.  We have had a bunch of weeds growing in the garlic for quite a while now.  I made some opportunity to hoe a couple of rows of weeds but it was kind of  a sloppy job in between doing other things.  Practicing agriculture part-time is difficult in that the other aspects of life often take precedence.  I admire people who can follow biodynamic calendars or even the phases of the moon, we most often have to do things when there is an open window in life’s otherwise busy schedule of ongoing obligations.  Many times we have to make the decision if to hoe weeds or to irrigate, and most often the decision is to put off weeding and take advantage of available water.  The decision then becomes to water crops in addition to weeds over not watering anything.

This tradeoff makes the weeding more difficult when it finally happens.  Larger weeds mean more extensive root systems and thicker stems.  This makes for more effort and reminds of the ease in weeding that would have occurred if it had been done weeks ago.

Nevertheless, our team of focused persons completed this task in a little over two hours.  The garlic patch will benefit greatly from the cultivation while we also reshape the rows and bring additional soil around the stalks of our plants to further support them, especially with our recent winds.  We might have to cultivate the soil again as this garlic will not be ready for harvest until at least mid July.

This garlic patch is divided into two sections, one section belongs to Sol Feliz Farm and the other 4 rows was planted for the benefit of our students interns (Sembradores) and the math/science curriculum at Chrysalis Alternative School.  Two of the four rows will go to the school for study and use in the math/science class while the other two rows will be divided amongst the interns who helped with the garlic patch itself.  The interns can then use the garlic as they choose, it can be considered a bonus.  Several of them have expressed interest in getting their own garlic patches going and one of our interns already has a few rows planted.  Maybe we will make a trip to the local farmers’ market sometime in August and sell some garlic to the public…

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About Miguel

Miguel Santistevan is a researcher, educator, and advocate for traditional agriculture crops and systems.
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