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General information and discussion about cultivating onions, garlic, shallots and leeks.

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Old June 19, 2017   #106
zipcode
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Those look great. The price is really high too.
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Old June 19, 2017   #107
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I don't know of anybody wholesaling garlic in our area. Retail price for organic hardneck garlic at the market is $3 a head when they are cured and cleaned up. Sometimes sell a few uncured for a bit less, $2.50 I think. You will lose some weight in the curing process, I believe it takes 7-10 bulbs to make a pound, so the $10 a pound price point for wholesale doesn't sound unreasonable, if you reckon wholesale price at 50% of retail.
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Old June 19, 2017   #108
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Looking good and glad you got it in the barn on time. Garlic has a long shelf life, which is good for you - some longer than others. Most produce has to be turned with 3 days, you got some time.

2.50 -- 3.00 a head seems a little steep on the front end, thinking maybe a buck myself - but I am from Arkansas and not aware of global pricing.

Keep us updated on this endeavor and hope you find your connection.
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Old June 19, 2017   #109
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Just found out the only grower within 2hrs of me is getting $10/lb wholesale if you are a repeat customer. $14/lb if you are a one time buyer or getting bulk for seed.
So I guess my hope for $10 is based on reality.
Come to find out, he grows 8 acres!
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Old June 19, 2017   #110
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Monoculture for the win

Will the investment be worth it at that price counting labor? I had a 50 year farmer tell me farming is about cash flow not profit....farmin ain't easy.
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Old June 20, 2017   #111
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I would always have at least some tunnels with heirloom tomatoes. I am surprised by his putting all of his eggs in one basket.
As far as cash flow, it can't be disregarded, but in my context, it is minor. I think if you are a farmer with lots of debts and, therefore, monthly payments, you need cash flow. That's stinks. How many times have we all read/heard how so many farms don't even show a profit! Service the debt, pay other bills, buy food, acquire some toys, and repeat.
But on the garlic, consider your biggest cost at start up is seed cloves at $15/lb.
The next cost is labor.
Eventually you are using all your own cloves, so that is a huge boost to the profit.
I read about all these guys that spend tremendous hours hand weeding. Maybe i got lucky or I'm missing something, having used fabric.
Anyway, I'm not aspiring to do the acreage of that dude. Heavy is the head that wears the crown.
So the cost of the fabric is spread over many years. I buy a ton tote of organic chicken manure based fert from the plant down the road, and about $40 worth of drip tape.
If I scaled up, my FIL would weld be some kind of undercutting bar to put on their small tractor so I would not have to hand dig that many plants.
The labor of bunching, tying, hanging, cleaning and grading is something I'd be happy to pay because it is just a seasonal cost to get product to market. Plus my wife and 3 kids helped me with that on the first bed we dug. We had it all tied and hung in 20 minutes (3 rows 100 feet long). Obviously that time would increase as our planting did, but they all enjoyed that time together in the barn. My son sorted and made bunches. My wife tied them. And my girls carried the bunches to me to hang on the strings. Nobody complained because they all liked the job they had. This is not usually the case. Somebody is typically bent out of shape because they did not get the job they wanted. I have tried many endeavors here on the farm with the hopes one or more of the kids would take to something. This was really the first thing they all unanimously gravitated to. They helped plant about half the cloves last fall too without complaint.
Anyway, I have the space and infrastructure for drying and storage and crop rotation etc.
It's all still comes back to the biggie of: can I sell my harvest?
I will be working up a crop budget for 2017-2018's crop and share it here when I am done.

Last edited by PureHarvest; June 20, 2017 at 06:10 AM.
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Old June 20, 2017   #112
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PH, it's awesome to make it a happy family affair. Now that they have good feelings invested, they may enjoy the trimming, cleanup and grading too. I read that some garlic farmers have a "five second rule" for how much handling per bulb in the cleanup... for me it's probably more like 30 seconds, but I don't grow that much... and after all, this is the stage where you admire your finished product. Since they helped to plant it, they can feel some pride too in what they grew from start to finish... and look forward to a "cracking party" when it's time to plant again.
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Old June 22, 2017   #113
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Here are some additional shots now that I am caught up and had time to load:

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Old June 22, 2017   #114
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Old June 22, 2017   #115
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wow. nice scene. thanks for sharing.

not to pry, but where in the mid-a are you? commonwealth? looks like some nice country.

Last edited by My Foot Smells; June 22, 2017 at 08:26 AM.
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Old June 22, 2017   #116
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Neat stuff, I enjoy when you show your work.
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Old June 22, 2017   #117
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Great lookin stuff !!
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Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult
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Old June 22, 2017   #118
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Super healthy looking garlic! Congratulations.

Now don't forget to save the biggest and the best for seed stock. ;-)
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Old June 22, 2017   #119
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Thank you for the comments everyone.
If I could just get my tomatoes to work out this well...
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Old June 22, 2017   #120
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Everything is possible if you work through the problems. Even tomatoes!
Here is a great link from MOGFA in Maine about garlic... the problems you never had, the solutions you never needed, but it sure makes a great fireside reading... forearmed as they say.
http://www.mofga.org/Publications/Ma...7/Default.aspx
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