It’s summer in the Ozarks, hot and humid. Last winter is a memory. But getting ready for winter begins now.
Finally the wet weather broke for a few days and the air filled with the sounds of tractors, mowers and balers. A barn full of hay is essential to getting ready for winter when you have livestock.
People don’t eat hay. We do eat things like potatoes and garlic. These are early spring crops maturing now.
Normally leaves begin drying on the garlic stalks to signal when the bulbs are ready to harvest. All the rain kept the leaves green longer.
The garlic is still fine. Most of the bulbs are still tight. They are much bigger than last year’s bulbs.
Once the bulbs are dry and in the bucket in the pantry, they will bring dreams of spaghetti, lasagna, stir fry and rich soups and stews. Getting the bulbs dry is very important or the cloves will rot. Once dry, the bulbs will last all winter.
I used to grow several kinds of potatoes, but only have Yukon Gold now. The potato bugs are trying to move in. They haven’t much chance as the plants are dying back.
So far the potato crop is generous. The tubers are usually smaller when grown in mulch, but harvesting is much easier. Besides, we are older and don’t need a monster baked potato at dinner. A medium-sized potato will do very well.
I like growing potatoes. They are nice looking plants and fairly easy to grow under mulch. Still, the number of seed potatoes I put out is going down. Older people don’t need to eat a lot of food.
Potatoes too need time to dry. I have several old milk crates to hold them. I put some newspaper down on the bottom, pour in the potatoes, top with newspaper to block light and stash the crates in the pantry.
Getting ready for winter will continue over the summer adding winter squash in the pantry and tomatoes and peppers in the freezer.