The 2021 scape harvest is under way, and I've been overwhelming my wholesale account with the volume I've got. I'm seriously considering selling scapes through the mail. Being in the middle of hardneck garlic country, there are no shortage of options for locals to grab them, but perhaps there are parts of the country that want scapes but don't have enough locally grown hardneck garlic to supply them? Email me if you're interested, I'm still testing the idea to see if it can be done reasonably. Scapes are a bulky, light product so I'm not sure what box sizes to use. I would avoid icepacks/other attempts to keep them cool, just for logistical complications, and focus on shipping larger amounts to folks who want them for processing. Probably 2 pound orders would be a minimum. Anyways, definitely email me if interested because I'm trying to get a gauge of whether it's worth it. It'd be $7-$8 a pound, plus shipping.
As for the garlic bulbs...I am so thankful for a mild June and steady rain, and I think yields are going to be great this year. Some of my Turbans did not pull through the winter very well, so yields will be down, but since my presale inventory was an extremely conservative estimate, I should be able to fulfill all Turban pre-orders. When I weigh the crop in July I'll upload the added inventory for all types.
It seems like the weather gods of the Northeast have given us a reprieve after the universally stressful year last year. I have to take a moment and acknowledge that the pandemic which claimed over 600,000 lives now is not an event to gloss over. I am lucky to live out in the boonies where my rural county was only lightly affected by it, but the stress I've felt for the nation, for the people lost, took a mental toll, and brutal heat made the agricultural season difficult. This year's contrast is that we are now on the other side of the worst of it. And at least for our region, for the time being, we avoided a rough June drought, we've avoided unbearable heat, and have had some timely rains. The garlic looks great and most types are likely to have their best year yet. My Three Sisters crop looks great, too, and I have a quarter acre of buckwheat buzzing with bees right now. The buckwheat is a cover crop, to disrupt weed species' life cycles and build organic matter, before it's planted to garlic this fall. I hope to undersow rye into the Three Sisters plot sometime in early September, so that as the harvest is completed, a carpet of rye can take over. That would be plowed in late spring of next year, and sown to buckwheat, to be the lead-in for fall 2022 garlic planting.
I'm really happy to see that a good farming year is on for many people. It feels like a year where the universe has given us a reprieve from all the worst of last year. I have seen hay and straw farmers have gotten several great timing windows for cutting and baling quality product, I see that grazing pasture is producing really well with the mild June...and lots of flowers are out. Hopefully we are bouncing back and people can celebrate with healthful food from all this good stuff.
ALSO- for festival customers- please note that the Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival is now "GarlicTown USA" this year, and will be a one day event- the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. If you can't make it, I'm always happy to mail-order. The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival is on, and will be a two day event. Organizers are working with the evolving situations for Covid-19, but it looks like it's essentially back on! Finally, I will also be at the Warrensburg Garlic Festival, Friday October 8th, from 3pm to 6pm.
Unfortunately, as of right now, I don't plan on returning to Bethlehem, Connecticut. I'm so thankful for the great people I met there, many of whom placed orders in 2020, but at the scale of my farm, I am often nearly sold out by the time the festival arrives, now that I have online orders, wholesale accounts, and the other earlier festivals.