The gardens are at that point where more crops are ripening and ready to pick everyday. The cukes are ripening so quickly I can barely eat them fast enough, and my peas have just finished. Every year the 3rd week of July marks the onion and garlic harvest. The onions signal they are ready when their fleshy green tops lay down, sometimes turning yellow. I picked mine before the yellow stage, and as you can see they look just great. Papery skins forming in several layers, which will be left on as they are hung from the rafters by their tops to dry.
The garlic also signals its ready when its tops begin to yellow. The tops of “hardneck” varieties stay upright, while “softneck” varieties lay down like onions’. I eat ALOT of garlic, and so this is a very ceremonious time. Garlic bulbs are underground so you need to loosen the soil with a garden fork before pulling up on the plant.
I also recommend hanging garlic from its tops by the rafters so it can dry or “cure”. The roots and tops then get cut off, most of the dirt rubbed away and they are ready to store for the rest of the year.
Other ready-to-eat goodies (according to my garden and some of yours) include zucchini, yellow squash, the earliest cherry tomatoes, yellow and green peppers, chinese cabbage, yellow and green bush beans, carrots, beets, raspberries and blueberries. Here’s a homemade pizza utilizing zucchini, onions, garlic, basil, last year’s tomato sauce and local mozzarella cheese. Eating from the garden doesn’t get any better than this! If only we could grow olives in the northeast…