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Potato Stamp

 

This year I really wanted to do something different with our Christmas wrapping paper instead of the same old stuff year after year. Then I remembered in kindergarten we did arts and crafts with potato stamps. I figured this would give me the vintage look I wanted and my little man could help me. This is a perfect Christmas craft to do with the little ones and its really inexpensive. It’s a win win!

 

Supplies:

  • Cookie cutter
  • Potatoes
  • Brown wrapping paper
  • Knife
  • Stamping pad or paint

 

Directions:

  1. Cut potato in half
  2. Take the cookie cutter and press it into the potato
  3. Leave the cookie cutter in the potato and carve around the cookie cutter
  4. Remove the little pieces of the potato to get the shape that you want
  5. Now you can stamp away!
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Harvesting Garlic

Garlic may be one of the most anticipated crops to harvest each year. You planted them all the way back in October, it’s now July and you are ready for some fresh garlic! Garlic harvest can be a little tricky. Depending on your weather, when you planted them, and what varieties you planted, the harvest can be anywhere between late spring and late summer. That’s a big gap! So the big question is how do I know when my garlic is ready to harvest?

 

Since the bulb is in the ground, you are going to look at the leaves. Watch your plants and not the calendar.  The leaves will start to brown from the bottom up. Once about half of the plants’ leaves have browned this is a good sign you may be close to harvest time. Scrape soil away from the bulb by hand to check the bulbs maturity. If the bulb looks too small or the skin is still loose, cover the bulb back up and pat down the soil. Once you have a nice-sized bulb and the skin is tight, you can stop watering for about a week.

It’s important not to wait until all the leaves have died back before you harvest. Without the wrappers protecting the bulb, the cloves will start to separate. This will create some difficulty harvesting your bulbs and they will not store as well.

     

When harvesting, carefully loosen the soil around the bulb with a garden spade or fork. Grab the garlic bulb from the base and pull up.  Brush off the soil but don’t wash the roots since you will need to dry and cure them for long term storage. If you plan to eat some right away you can trim roots and leaves at harvest time.