Last month I posted about my sad little garlic harvest...... I was little ashamed to mention the postscript to this story, thinking it was a reflection of my poor garlic husbandry skills.
A week or so after pulling the garlic I had it all on in a tray drying in my living area. I could small a strong garlic odour but wasn't too concerned as normally, when its not so damm cold and miserable I dry it outside in our covered BBQ area (which is on the south wall of the house) where I assumed the smell would dissipate. The smell went on for the rest of the busy week until I decided to sort and separate what was worth eating from the smaller cloves that I intended to put back for another year. Much to my dismay I found that half the heads felt empty inside. The cloves themselves had shriveled and gone almost butter-like in texture. Most of what little I harvested was now apparently ruined. I assumed it was some kind of bulb rot and put most of the affected cloves into the worm farm.
Fast forward to pre Christmas preparations at the Gasworks Farmers Market collecting my free range ham from Bronwyn and Michael at Gypsy Pig. On my round of the market I purchased a bag of garlic and got chatting with the farmer about my garlic incident. He immediately diagnosed the cause.... I had sun burnt my garlic! After I pulled out the garlic it was a little damp so I left it on our outdoor table for a day before I brought it inside. Apparently 15 minutes in the sun is enough to do it- so a few hours and I had essentially cooked up my cloves. Who would have thought. Oh well lesson learnt. It won't happen again and I am feeling a little less insecure about my garlic growing skills- rather it was my garlic harvesting skills that were more of a problem!