In this area the garlic is commonly pulled from the garden in early July. We bundle ours up and hang it in our shed for two to three weeks to cure, keeping the shed doors and windows open to allow good air circulation.
After the heads begin to become papery, we cut off the roots and tops, and clean them with a stiff brush.
When I posted a photo of these on Facebook, someone asked me how we keep all this garlic from going bad. It occurred to me that it’s been awhile since I posted about what we do, so here’s how we preserve most of this garlic and use it all winter. Some heads are put into a bag in the refrigerator for use over the next month. But most of our crop is roasted and then frozen.
I cut the bottom (root end) off each head. You can roast these separately if you’d like, use them fresh, toss them in the compost, or scatter them around the garden for possible critter control.
I place the tops cut side down on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and roast them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave them to roast until the head feels soft and the bottoms are golden. Let them cool, then squeeze the soft garlic out onto a wax paper covered cookie sheet. (Note…this is sticky work.) Place these sheets into the freezer and once the roasted garlic is frozen, take it off of the paper and place the chunks in a plastic bag. Since it was frozen in pieces on the cookie sheet, you will be able to just grab a few pieces out of the bag whenever you need garlic for cooking, and then put the rest of the bag back into the freezer.