Preserving left over garlic and thinking about plant disease prevention for next year

Jill Taylor Bussiere jdt at
Fri Nov 17 10:51:38 EST 2000

    Thanks for the gentleness of your reminder - but there are forces that
are influencing CSA's, Market Farming, Seed Saving, and even soil management
overall whose influence at least some of us are working to minimize so that
all of the above endeavors may thrive.  As tiresome as it may be to hear
about it, it is of utmost importance.

    In order for our future to be sustainable, we need people at the ground
level (ha!) working on developing farmers' markets, CSA's, grower to
restaurant relationships, saving seeds, making our soils healthier.  And
also at the ground level we need grassroots organizers to fight for the
right to label GE foods, the integrity of the organic label, plant
biodiversity, the right of farmers to save seeds, etc. etc. etc.  Both
involve hard work, and a continued output of energy.

    To me it is all relevant to the everyday hard work that you describe

From: Marlin L. Burkholder <gleneco1 at>
To: market farming <market-farming at>
Sent: Friday, November 17, 2000 9:42 AM
Subject: Preserving left over garlic and thinking about plant disease
prevention for next year

> >From Glen Eco Farm in western Va,
> Having gotten a little tired of deleting messages from the overworked
> threads of "Va extension agent" and "Future of Farming Summit" may I make
> a gentle suggestion that we start talking about stuff that is relevant to
> the purposes of this list like "CSA, Market Farming, Seed Saving, Soil
> Management" etc.?
> I have just finished shucking out the last of my garlic crop now that next
> year's garlic planting is completed, the local farmers' market is about to
> close for the season and my CSA deliveries are over for this year.
> I have a little over 10 lbs of galic cloves left over, a lot more than I'm
> ever going to use but that I don't want to waste.  I'm thinking of
> throwing it into the freezer in order to preserve it until next spring
> when I could use it as a homemade garlic spray for insect repeling
> purposes before the new crop is ready to harvest.  We are likely going to
> put some in vinegar and(or) olive oil to preserve it, but I certainly
> can't put it all up this way. Will this idea work? Would there be a way I
> could economically process it now so that I would have it in concentrated
> form and handy to get out and mix in my sprayer in a "ready to use"
> formulation next spring when I'm going to be too busy to be making up
> concoctions at the time of need?
> This past year I was hit hard by various blights and fungal diseases which
> affected tomatoes, peppers, melons, and raspberries despite efforts made
> to prevent them by crop rotations, early application of mulches, variety
> selection, and the limited application of sulfur and copper sprays. I've
> been thinking that next year I need to look a lot more seriously at using
> compost teas or some other modalities in my plant disease prevention
> protocol.
> I have a well aged compost pile which virtually disappeared under weed
> growth during this past rainy growing season, and another pile I
> constructed this past spring from several truckloads of wood chips which
> have been there for about a year, and several pickup loads of lawn
> clippings brought in by a neighbor, plus a little rabbit and cow poop.
> This pile heated up fairly well for a while but it needs to go a lot
> further to become finished compost.  Both piles are fully exposed to the
> elements.
> In light of my understanding that tomato blights in particular come from
> soil particles spashed up onto the leaves by rain water, I have always
> been afraid to mix material which certainly contains some soil particles
> (I turn compost with a tractor front end loader) and spray it directly on
> my plants. My logic tells me that such a practice would invite trouble.
> If I were to use compost tea in my program would it be important to use
> freshly made compost made according to a carefully managed formula?  Or
> could I get away with using any old compost that may be as much as several
> years old and made following a "by guess and by gosh" formula like I use.
> I covet your ideas and experiences.
> Marlin Burkholder
> from Frog Hollow Va (roughly 10 miles NW of Harrisonburg in the central
> Shenandoah Valley.

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