Food & Drink

Planting garlic: Here a clove, there a clove

I had plowed two sections of the garden to plant garlic about 4 weeks ago. I was going to then till it and make raised beds of nice and fluffy soil to easily stick the garlic cloves into, but it rained an inch and a half. Then it rained another inch. And again with more rain.

So now it is getting late to be planting garlic. The way I plowed the garden left the soil in ridges. I checked the soil last Sunday and it was still too wet to till, but I noticed the top of the ridges were fairly dry. So we decided to start planting right away every other ridge. That would leave room for us to cultivate the garlic with the tractor next spring.

Problem was the soil was not soft and fluffy, which would have allowed us to skip down the rows laughing and singing sticking garlic cloves in the ground every 6 inches, but hard-packed dirt from all the rain.

We had to go find our dibbers, which we rarely use, and started punching 4 or 5 holes at a time, sticking the cloves in, and covering them. That made the process take three to four times as long as “normal.”

We did manage to get 500 feet sown this week with 300 to 400 feet left to go.

Butchering chickens

We have not butchered any chickens in a long while, but I offered to help Jill of Poplin Farms take care of eight 5-month-old roosters that have been inappropriately assaulting her hens and fighting amongst themselves.

Jill and Shane were waiting at my barn Thursday with the gang of 8 when I got home from work. Our chicken butchering operation was not set up, so it became an impromptu affair, and we ended up scalding one bird at a time and plucking feathers by hand.

Jenifer had another first while processing chickens... The liquid in a chicken’s gall bladder is a beautiful emerald green color, but it is nasty, vile stuff. While cleaning the last rooster, Jenifer busted the gall bladder and it sprayed in her face... she got to cross another item off her bucket list...