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The Cultivator
Garlic: Harvest, Store, Eat - The CobraHead Newsletter
July 2011

Hello Friends of CobraHead,


While it might sound paradoxical, I went to Mexico to escape the summer heat here in Austin. Our triple digit days have not let up whereas Mexico City averaged mid 70s during the day and mid 50s at night with daily afternoon showers. Despite its immense size and horrific air pollution, Mexico City has some great green areas for walking and checking out plants. Besides taking the newly built hike and bike path that starts just two blocks from my late grandfather's house to the also new botanical garden in Chapultepec Park, I also hiked in the Viveros of Coyoacan. This park doubles as a nursery that grows many of the trees planted in the city.


At the Botanical Garden my visit coincided with an exhibition about chinampas agriculture, the so-called "floating" gardens that are actually raised beds in shallow lakes and which still provide vegetables and flowers for city residents. Among the many vegetables grown in this system, purslane, known as verdolaga in Mexico, is one of the most popular. I'm still trying to convince Noel that this plant high in Omega 3's isn't actually a weed.


I did all of the walking in Mexico City to get my body ready for a trek up La Malinche, Mexico's fifth highest mountain two hours east. The hike started in pine forests at around 9000 ft and gradually thinned out to grasses and wildflowers as we passed 14,000 ft. I used the pretext of taking pictures of plants as a justification for frequent breaks.


In this issue, Noel talks garlic, Judy talks garlic and Anneliese is taking garlic to help with the cold that she got out at the Garden Bloggers fling in Seattle.


How has traveling altered your perceptions about gardening? What new ideas have you brought back to your own garden? Drop me a line at


Happy Gardening,




Garlic Harvest
This year's harvest

Harvesting and Storing Garlic 


Noel once again had a great garlic harvest this year.  He describes his methods for both harvesting and storing garlic here.
Garlicky Pasta
Judy's Garlicky Pasta

 Fresh Garlicky Pasta


On a busy work day around here it's not always easy to take time to cook. But if you have some fresh pasta in the fridge and a bulb of garlic you're most of the way there. Click here to see Judy's delicious and quick recipe.




Hidden Shed
Hidden Shed on Bloggers Tour

Garden Bloggers Spring Fling 

Okay, so it's summer, but summer doesn't rhyme with fling.

For the past four years, a group of garden bloggers has met up each spring or summer in a different part of the country. Anneliese represented us yet again, this time in Seattle. Click here to check out the gorgeous gardens that she visited.

If you like our newsletter and our products or if you have some suggestions, we'd love to hear from you.

If you have gardening friends or if you know potential gardeners who might be interested in CobraHead and what we have to say about gardening and eating, please to them. 
It is the mission of CobraHead to help people grow their own food and to provide exceptional products and services to all gardeners.  We try hard to "walk the walk" when it comes to issues of sustainability and in deciding what is best for ourselves and the environment as we grow our little company.  We've chosen to make our tools locally, here in Wisconsin, and we think that bigger is not necessarily better.  Gardening might just be earth's great hope, and in any case it's a great hobby.
Thank you,
Noel, Judy, Geoff and Anneliese
The CobraHead Team
In This Issue
Harvesting and Storing Garlic
Garlicky Pasta
Garden Bloggers in Seattle

While we rarely make our newsletter publish target of the 15th, we are especially late this month. We have a good excuse, our writers were traveling. Geoff just returned from a couple weeks vacation in Mexico and Anneliese was attending the garden bloggers annual get together in Seattle. So we waited until everyone was back in place to knock out this latest edition.


The picture above is of Toronjil - (Agastache mexicana) - Mexican Hyssop. Geoff shot this at the Botanical Garden in Chapultepec Park, a place close to my late father's home in Mexico City. I've been there several times. Geoff mentioned the plant in a post he wrote in February about high blood pressure here.

We got off relatively easy with last week's terrible heat wave. The highs came close to 100 but no triple digits were reported nearby. That is awful weather and awfully hot for Wisconsin. The garden mostly liked the hot weather, certainly more than I did. I've only had to water a little and it's raining as I write this, so the tomatoes and peppers have gone crazy with growth. It isn't all bad.


We promote eating good food and growing it organically, but since I can't begin to grow enough to live on, I try to buy organic produce and food when I can. We support organic farmers. To that end, Judy and I will be in La Farge, Wisconsin this Saturday for a fun show sponsored by the Organic Valley Family of Farms - The Kickapoo Valley Country Fair.  The area around La Farge, called the driftless area, has Wisconsin's best hills and valleys and the scenery is spectacular. I love going just for the views.

Speaking of growing food, the National Gardening Association's

2011 National Gardening Survey 

reports consumers spent nearly $3 billion for the second year in a row on food gardening in 2010. The survey indicates that the food aspect of gardening is growing, but lawn maintenance and landscaping sales are declining. While this is partly an indication of the economic times, it's also an indicator of people wanting to have more control of their food source. We are happy to be part of the home gardening movement. The best food is what you grow yourself.


Thanks for reading our newsletter. We like to talk gardening and food. Send us a line or comment.


Noel and the CobraHead team.



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