I just got this great question from Marian from Ohio. Can I grow garlic on my new farm?
“Am trying to purchase an OH farm. It has quite a bit of rain, and not a lot of snow in winter, on almost 20 acres.
A modest farm, but flat and all useable, with a house and 2 big, sturdy barns for alpacas and storage. Flat land, but no flood plain, and no standing water, which I observed.
Since I have no experience in farming, would like to know what I could plant that would have the right amount of precipitation and cold winter (for a 2-yr crop, if planted).
Only about 4 or 5 mature deciduous trees on the whole place, which animals can use for pasture shade.
Presently, about 10 acres are cropped out to a neighbor for 2013, by owner. What could occupy an acre or so for a dependable yield without huge money investment that would yield a high rate of return? Is it too wet for garlic?
What would you recommend? Presently, have no equipment, but could secure use of a tractor. I do have gardening experience, but never grew garlic.”
You Can Grow Garlic on your new Farm.
You just need to answer some specific questions. ( My friend David call this a cuss word: Depends).
It does depend upon some basics as well as how much you want to grow. Since Marian wants to earn money from her farm, Let’s ask some questions:
I appreciate getting questions like these. I love new challenges, especially if I have more questions than I do answers for you. So here is a list of questions that I have asked Marian to answer:
- Can you tell me what is currently planted on the 10 acres that is leased?
- Also, do you have any other farmers there who have their own CSA, (community supported agriculture)?
- OH is a pretty big state. What is the USDA Grow Zone?
- Have you talked to a local Agriculture college, high school FFA chapter or your local county extension agent?
- What do the other farms grow there?
- What Life do you see yourself living on the farm?
- You said you wanted some Alpacas. What about Chickens?
This farm, can grow garlic, but let me share a little basic information about Garlic:
Garlic grows best in well-drained soils. Sandy loam soil high in organic matter works best for garlic. Excessive moisture or drought will lower the price you can get for your bulbs, as well as lower your yields. A good quality green manure, Rye grass, peas, beans, alfalfa, buckwheat and even leaves are used to till into the soil. You want to place this on your beds before you plant garlic.
Most recommendations are to add between 15 to 30 tons per acre depending upon the soil condition when you start. Garlic likes a pH between 6 and 7. Add Lime (organic of course) if pH is below 5.8. The best thing to do is Test, Test and Test the soil. I would recommend calling a local garlic farm in Ohio for some local help. I will share some recommendations after I speak with some of them.
What is it that you want to accomplish with your farm? Is it going to be your only source of income?
I have a basic list of questions that I ask any potential Farm business owners so that I can help them decide what it is that they want to do.
If you want, I can send you the “Test”. It is really a list of questions to get you focused on what you need and want. As well as what will sell in your area and who you can speak with locally.
I also want to share with you a very basic guideline to growing garlic.
No matter where you are located, there is always some way to become more self-sufficient and sustainable. We have been testing systems for growing food, as well as finding others who are making a living on 1/10th of an Acre in the city of Los Angeles.
We are currently using the Food4Wealth system in a trailer park in Colorado at 7,000 feet elevation.
The best thing that I can tell you, is to start growing! Keep at it and ask questions.
Decide what kind of food you want and enjoy the journey!!
Founder hisfarm.org and Ambassador of Natural News and Sustainable Living on How to Live on Purpose.com