About Inchelium Red Garlic:

Inchelium Red

Softneck – Artichoke

This award-winning soft-neck varietal has a full-bodied flavor, sporting a spiciness that increases with storage time. With its beautiful, medium-sized purple cloves, Inchelium Red is not only a joy to eat, but to display braided as well!

It is thought to be the oldest North American strain, grown by the San Poil tribe along the Columbia River in north-central Washington as far back as the 1700s.

Inchelium Red is the only North American garlic included in the USA’s ‘Ark of Taste’, a slow food movement, spanning many continents, that works to preserve culture through cooking and ingredients.

In 1990, Inchelium won a garlic taste-off hosted by Rodale Kitchens, while the event and kitchen may no longer be around, the Rodale institute continues on today and is an invaluable member in the organic, soil focused farming revolution.

Inchelium Red features thick bulb wrappers, helping it store for up to 9 months; it’s high in soluble solids, making it denser and the perfect choice for roasting whole or half heads!

The name ‘Inchelium’ comes from a San Poil word for a large and small body of water joining, most likely referring to the town where it was first planted or found.

Growing Inchelium Red Garlic:

October – November Plant cloves in the ground 3 – 5 weeks before the first frost, you can plant in the spring but run the risk of heads being smaller.

November – December: Spread mulch, compost, or a mix of both over your crop to help insulate the ground and feed your crop. We use alfalfa meal and rice hay in early spring. Weed watch begins after the last frost, apply more mulch or weed following your farm’s cultural practices. Its also wise to use some organic foliar fertilizer that contains nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and sulfur every 2 to 3 weeks.

Late May – Early June: Harvest garlic scapes from hard-neck varieties when they first appear or start to curl.

June – July: Harvest your garlic as it matures, different types will mature at different times and harvest should be based on the ratio of dead to alive leaves.

July – August: Cure garlic for long term storage and remove any damaged or anemic bulbs, save these for use in your kitchen. Select the best to replant for the following season.

October – November: Start the process over again!

Planting Inchelium Red Garlic:

Crack the heads of garlic open, separating the inner cloves and leaving their thin papery covering intact.

Plant only the largest, undamaged cloves, some cloves might get a nick or two in them from the head cracking process. Save the smaller and damaged cloves for a delicious batch of Toum, its like garlic mayonnaise, yum!

When planting cloves in the soil, place the pointy end up, 3-4 inches deep and 6 inches apart

Harvesting Inchelium Red Garlic:

Crack the heads of garlic open, separating the inner cloves and leaving their thin papery covering intact.

When at least 50-75% of your crop has ½ green and brown leaves, stop watering and let the soil dry out.

Spot checks can be done to ensure the doneness of your garlic: lightly and carefully dig around a random bulb, or bulbs, and check its size without digging it up.

Using a hay fork, you can go and loosen the soil 8 to 12 inches away from bulbs, carefully as to not damage the bulbs, and loosen the soil to make it easier to get the garlic up.

Do not remove the excess dirt with water, dirt can be removed later when it’s dried with a soft brush. Be careful to not remove the layers of paper on the outside of the garlic

Storing Inchelium Red Garlic:

Make sure that you have not removed the leaves or roots or your harvested garlic, these contain extra moisture and will help with flavor compounds while your garlic is curing.

Hang bulbs in a well ventilated, dry area out of direct sunlight and room temperature, making sure the temperature does not drop below 45 degrees.

If you want to braid the garlic, make sure the stems have dried, but are still flexible.

Garlic hanging time is variable depending on the weather in your area, you’ll know it’s done when the roots and leaves are completely dry and easily breakable.

This can take anywhere from 2 – 6 weeks. Artichoke type garlic can last for up to 12 months if cured and stored properly!

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