Protected Geographical indication. Purple garlic from Las Pedroñeras.

Protected Geographical indication. Purple garlic from Las Pedroñeras.

IGP Purple garlic from Las Pedroñeras | Spanishes IGP Purple garlic from Las Pedroñeras | Englishen
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Purple Garlic from Las Pedroñeras Harvesting

The harvesting is carried out when the growing cycle described above is finished. The harvesting of "Purple Garlic from Las Pedroñeras" begins, as indicated, at the end of June and is finished by the end of July. It only rarely carries on until the first day of August.

The ripeness level of the garlic bulb is determined based on the state of the terminal leaves of the plant. It is considered that the bulb is ready for harvest when vegetation begins to fade..

The average yield is between 9-10 tonnes/ha, and can be as much as 13 tonnes/ha depending on external and internal production factors and the way the crop is handled during the growing cycle.

Harvesting the bulbs:In the area where "Purple Garlic from Las Pedroñeras" is grown, harvesting is carried out in two stages: first, the tractor, appropriately equipped, digs up the bottom of the furrow, loosening the soil. In this way, the bulbs are deposited at the bottom of the furrow, with the foliage uppermost. Then, the bulbs are collected by hand and placed in the "surcos gavilleros" (collection furrows) placed in such a way that the foliage protects the bulb from the sun. This work begins in the early hours of the morning and stops around midday.

Garlic will be kept for some time in the field so that the bulbs lose moisture.

Tying: It consists of bunching the bulbs together, with a bunch on one side and the next on another, to form sheaves. These are tied with a special knot, which makes them more compact and easier to handle, and to avoid being destroyed during transportation. They are then taken to the place where they will be dried, trying to avoid damages caused by its loading, transportation and unloading.

If plants are too dry to tie them or to transport them, garlic heads will be fallen and will not be ready for commercialization. To avoid it, the tying will be done taking advantage of the morning dew because the night-time humidity is able to wet and soften the foliage.

Mechanized harvesting: In the "Purple Garlic from Las Pedroñeras" production area, the mechanized harvesting is spreading increasingly for an obvious reason: it decreases costs of production.

There are several machine models. The most used is a digger-binder which extracts the plants from the ground by vertical traction, leading them to a vibrator table where the soil is removed from the roots. Finally, the plants are tied in groups of 15-20 units and are left on the ground to be dried.

There are more sophisticated and better equipped machines that hollow plants out through shovels which slide underneath the bulbs and along the furrows. Uprooted plants are picked up and left in a vibrator table with a horizontal cutter which cuts stalks at a determined length, and put them in large raffia sacks.

Treatment after harvesting. Drying and preparation.

Drying: Usually, the bunches or sheaves are piled up in the sun or in air currents, making sure that garlic heads and bulbs are not exposed to direct sunlight. It is also important avoiding the appearance of mold on the bulb because of lack of ventilation.

In specific circumstances, when bulbs still have humidity after being cut or after having put them out from the cold storages, forced-air systems are used to eliminate their excess humidity through air at ambient temperature or hot air, avoiding burns, excessive dehydration and mildew on the product. .

To cut the garlic: It consists in cutting the roots and foliage. It is made by hand with special scissors. The maximum stalk length, from the top of the cloves, should not exceed 30 mm after being cut. The roots must be cut close to the base of the point of attachment.