Safety & Garlic

Friends,
Today an update about safety and garlic…
See! This photo was taken so long ago that Kari and Spaar are not 6 feet apart!!!
Safety
I want you to know we are forming a safety plan to keep supplying you with fresh organic food this season. We are writing safety protocols to keep our farmers and our customers safe.
On the farm we have restructured our work days so each farmer has a ‘kit’ of hand tools for the day. These tools are all sanitized and only used by that worker. Any building with a door is only being opened by one person for that shift and sanitized before the next day. The tractor is only driven by one farmer a day and sanitized before the next day.
Farmer Sam's Toolkit, yesterday
We are organizing, coordinating, and re-writing our CSA handbook and making changes to each site to ensure the safety of our community. We hope to have this finalized the first week of March and we will let you know more soon.
I want you to know our crew of 6 people working at the farm right now all take this pandemic, and our roles as farmers in this time, very seriously. We are all practicing social distancing in our personal lives and everyone is following the protocol I’ve written for the farm. As the primary harvester on our farm I have put myself on home quarantine the last three weeks, all our farmers are committed to social distancing.
Garlic
Garlic is planted in the late fall.
The last crop of the year that goes in the ground.

After planting seeds every week since February there is so much beauty
And a celebratory sense of finality to putting those cloves of garlic in the ground.
There is a different pace on the farm in October, space to breathe out.
Usually after the last market of the year, planting garlic is like the last chapter of a great book.
Garlic leaves me feeling both the conclusion of the season and ready for the next one.
Every spring, seeing the garlic emerge is a promise of the abundance of the coming season.
And I’m feeling that this year more than ever.
This year the garlic is a reassurance, the work we did last year setting us up, for a season of abundance on the farm this year. It’s bringing a sense of ease and peace in this uncertain time.
And let me let you guys...the garlic this year...it’s an absolute marvel.

Every single clove has emerged. It looks as close to 100% as I’ve ever seen. Our farmers worked so hard to dig out perennial weeds from these beds last year; there isn’t a perennial weed in sight.
At LVFarm we grow garlic on a four year rotation with other crops. Crop rotation is one of the many tools organic farmers use to build soil health.
Our four year rotation for ‘field crops’.
Cover Crop
Potatoes
Squash
Garlic
Are you looking at this photo wondering how there are zero weeds? We grow our winter squash on a reusable landscape fabric so these beds were completely covered with a black fabric for all of 2019 while simotaneously growing thousands of pounds of delicious winter squash.
The black fabric helped kill of annual weeds but the perennial weeds including quack grass and thistle are very happy to grow rhizomes and get out of control under the landscape fabric.
After we harvested winter squash last september, we watered these beds and covered them with a heavy tarp, encouraging the perennial weeds to make new growth. Our farmers then dug those all out, every bit of root and rhyzome, by hand, with shovels.
We then applied a heavy layer of compost and planted each clove of garlic, also by hand.
Because at LVFarm we are always attempting to mimic nature and never leave soil bare we then covered the planted garlic with an agricultural fabric for the winter. This protected the soil from freeze thaw cycles and encouraged a healthy microbiome in the soil.
Now, every two weeks we will flame weed these beds. A propane tank (like you have on your grill) is strapped onto an old backpack frame and we use a flame to kill any tiny annual weeds that emerge. Perennial weeds will be dug as needed as they pop up.
Gardening Pro Tip!
Did you know organic farmers extensively use flame weeding for weed control? And here’s a SUPER cool thing about garlic...you can flame weed it every two weeks before it gets too tall and it really keeps annual weeds down.
Many things are uncertain right now but I can assure you we are taking safety seriously and this garlic…..

...this garlic is going to be amazing.
Wishing you wellness in these uncertain times,
Kindly,
Mandy
P.S. Yes, we will have fresh greens available this week! Be on the lookout for more info in your inbox we are figuring out the best safety protocols for a SAFE drive-thru style pickup and we will have more info SOON!