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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How to Keep Harvested Garlic a Long Time

Q. I know garlic will keep 4 to 6 months in cooler climates. Since I don’t have a root cellar, what are my options for storing garlic?
Tom at the Orchard tying garlic in onion netting for storage and sale. You can use pantyhose
and cut the bulbs loose from the netting when one is needed.

A. After harvesting garlic from the field or garden, we will tie the garlic together in bunches and let them hang outside to dry in the shade for a week or two. This helps “cure” the garlic bulb and readies it for storage. Some people want fresh garlic and in this case it is not “cured” but should be consumed soon.

            Ideal storage environment is cool and dry, away from other food items that might absorb the flavor of garlic. Garlic under home conditions will store for about 2 to 3 months in a kitchen environment.

Garlic hanging under shade cloth, tied in bunches, for curing for a couple of weeks.
            An option is to dry the garlic and it will store indefinitely. If you still have garlic left after two to three months of storage, you can peel it, slice it thin by hand or in a food processor, dry it outside in the shade and low humidity of our Las Vegas environment. Always dry food in the shade, not in direct sunlight here. Keep drying temperatures below 140F if using a commercial drier or oven.

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