Today: Jan 23 , 2020

Whipstone Farms: The Garlic Cycle

27 October 2018   Shanti Rade

Our fall to do list is long. But we made some serious headway this week.

- Garlic - about 3/4 planted
- Two of our greenhouses seeded with winter greens, herbs and root crops
- Dug 1 (of 10) rows of dahlias. washed them. Divided and stored about 1/2 of that first row. (ugh, that doesn't feel like that much)
- Pre-sprouted and planted into trays 25 varieties of sweet peas
- plus did all the regular harvesting, deliveries, csa, smmoking and drying peppers, pickling and processing for winter csa . . .

But next week will be our first (and possibly only??) "week off" this year. We have no farmers market and no csa. We plan on capitalizing on this time to catch up all these chores I keep blabbing on about. I will definitely bring you along and show you everything we get done. I foresee a lot of spring bulb planting, continued garlic planting and dahlia tuber sweatshop going on.

In the mean time we do have a farmers market this Saturday in Prescott (same time and place we have been all summer). Time to stock up for the next two weeks. We have a beautiful crop (and first fall pick) of spinach. The carrots are awesome and so sweet. Parsnips, turnips, mums, lisianthus. Peppers, peppers, peppers, peppers. Who knows when the frost will come again and take them out for good. Time to fill that freezer. No market next Saturday. Then look for our new location and later winter hours (see box below for all the details).

Since we started planting garlic and I always get a lot of questions about the process, I thought I would give you a quick lowdown of how we grow garlic. It is such a satisfying crop to grow. FYI, you can buy our garlic bulbs now at the market and plant them, exactly as I describe below. It is an easy crops, but fall planting is key. You won't regret it.

The garlic cycle. We plant in October and harvest in June/July. We sort out the largest bulbs of garlic from the previous year's crop for planting. Bulbs are broken into individual cloves. We push each clove into the soil, one at a time, pointy side up, about 2" deep and 4" apart into well prepared and amended soil. - it's pretty tedious, but each clove will become a whole bulb! We water them once or twice in the fall and they begin to grow roots and may send a bit of a green shoot up after a few weeks, then they pretty much just sit there all winter hibernating. We mulch with straw to protect from the heavy frost. In spring they come on early because of all the underground root development slowly happening over winter. The garlic grows taller and taller as the days warm and lengthen. We start harvesting green garlic as soon as it's up to size. We love green garlic (it comes in at just the right time when the last of our stored garlic is dried out, moldy or sprouted and headed off to the compost heap). In the last few weeks of growth the bulbs really start to swell and the individual cloves mature as the papers form to protect the bulbs. In June, we cut the water and harvest as soon as a few sets of leaves begin to dry. We harvest the entire crop and allow it to cure for a few weeks in a warm and dry location. Then this crops is ready to use for the next 8 or so months. There isn't much that we grow that has such a long shelf life as garlic. We save our own garlic for replanting in the fall. We have been using the same garlic for so many years that we have lost count. But original stock came from Becky Routson who got it from Molly Beverly who used to grow a few acres of garlic in Chino Valley. I love the long legacy of this planting stock. Molly I know you are reading this - so what can you add to the story?

We are still taking sign up for 2019 CSA shares. We offer flowers and veggie shares (winter shares are sold out). These shares are offered for pick-up in Prescott or at the farm - head over to our CSA page for more info.

We are also hosting a design competition for a special CSA lover t-shirt - check out the details here.

spinach season is on


planting garlic

The garlic cycle


More pickling in progress to help ensure we will have enough to supply our winter CSA.
Check out the pickled onion recipe below if you want to try this yourself. Perfect way to preserve your onions if they are starting to sprout.

bronze fennel really puttin' out the fall vibes

the lisianthus is still going strong

sweet peas

swiss chard plants ready to transplant into the tunnel for winter

look at all these mums - love the diversity - still working on stem length and a better staking systems

cutting back the dahlia stalks before undercutting and lifting the clumps

dahlia tubers, washed and divided

lots of dahlia 'trash' gets produced in the process

oooooh - the sunflowers made it, they bloom on much shorter stalks this time of year (still waiting on those reds and browns though - maybe next week,

weather permitting)

photo: Lauren Ristow

At the market this week


spring salad mix
salad turnips
daikon radishes
carrots - orange and rainbow with tops
kale - curly and lacinato
bok choy
broccolini and broccoli (limited)
potatoes (merlot, desiree, butterball)
beets with tops
tomatoes - romas
onions - red and yellow
winter squash: butternut, spaghetti, pumpkin, delicata, black futsu
sweet potatoes
Peppers: shishito, padron, serrano ,jalapeño, bells (all colors), pimentos, lipstick, gypsy, banana, chargers, sahuaro, sugar, poblano


mason jar bouquets
heirloom mums
dahlias (very limited)
rudbeckia triloba

Other stuff
dried chiles
hot sauce
roasted chiles

where and when to find us:

  • Self serve farm stand, at the farm, open every day, daylight hours
  • Prescott WINTER Market: Saturdays, November 10, 2018 – May 4, 2019 | 10:00 am – 1:00 Prescott High School - 1050 Ruth Street

****SPECIAL HOURS: Sunday, November 18, 10-1 (in place of November 17 market). Sunday, January 27, 10-1 (in place of January 26 market) ****

  • Flagstaff Community Market - City Hall Parking Lot - Aspen Ave., Sundays 8-Noon - CLOSED until May 2019


Quick pickled onion

Wilted spinach with wild mushrooms and bacon

coconut curry butternut squash soup

kale market salad