Friday, July 27, 2012

Putnam County 4H Fair

Our Homegrown Two show in Herald Square scheduled for this afternoon has been canceled because the threat of thunder and lightning was just too frightening. Hopefully we will be able to reschedule another date later this summer.

The full band will be performing two sets this Sunday at The Shady Grove Ampitheater on the grounds of the Putnam County 4H Fair in Carmel , NY. Our sets are at 1:00 and 3:00 pm. We will be sharing the stage with other local, regional, and nationally known performers. Music runs from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park
201 Gipsy Trail Rd.
Carmel, NY 10512

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Tails and Tales from the Garden and the Road

Strange Tail from the Homegrown String Band Garden
Well, we are deep into summer now. The garlic is cured and the tomatoes, including this funky little plum tomato with a tail, are making their way to the dinner table.

The band just got back from a hot trip to Delaware and the Jersey Coast. We played a concert at Stango Park in Lewes, DE, on Tuesday and another in Ocean City, NJ, the following day. On Tuesday afternoon in Dover, DE, where we spent the night, the mercury hit 107 degrees. By the time we took the stage in Stango Park that evening the temperature had dropped to a "comfortable" 98 degrees. It really wasn't too bad, we were well shaded and there was a nice sea breeze coming off the ocean. The audience and concert presenters in Lewes were a pleasure, as always. In Ocean City we played to a lively audience in a nice theater style room located in the library section of the Ocean City Community Center, which also houses a cafe, a museum, an art gallery/studio, and a fitness center.

This Friday, July 27th, Georgianne and I will be doing a Homegrown Two show in Herald Square Park at 35th Street and 6th Avenue in NYC. It's a free lunch time concert in the park and runs from 12:30 to 1:30. On Sunday, July 29th, The Homegrown String Band will be doing two sets at "The Shady Grove Theater" during the Putnam County Fair at the Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park in Carmel, NY. Our set times are 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm.

Photo by Rick Jackofsky

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ophio Garlic Harvest 2012

2012 Garlic Harvest photo by Rick Jackofsky

Our show at the Ossie Davis Theater last night went very well, and I'd like to thank everyone who came out on a holiday night to see The Homegrown String Band in action. I hope you all had as much fun as we did.

I harvested my garlic today, about a week earlier than I had planned. We had a very warm winter this year and I'm not sure if that helped or hurt the garlic. We harvested our garlic scapes three or four weeks ago. This year, I lost about 10% of my crop to some sort of root rot and the 90 bulbs I dug up today were all small to medium size. People often ask me when they should harvest their hard necked (ophio) garlic. I usually go with the rule of thumb (green thumb, of course!) that you should harvest when half of the leaves have turned yellow. The remaining green leaves represent the layers of protective "paper" that will protect the garlic during curing and winter storage. If you let all the leaves die back there will be no paper wrapping the bulbs. You also run the risk of the heads over ripening and beginning to open up, which creates an opening for moisture and disease that will drastically shorten the storage life of your garlic. We were eating garlic from last year's harvest into March this year. Another thing to remember when harvesting garlic is that you should never harvest from wet ground. I usually stop watering my garlic patch a week or two before I plan on harvesting. Now I will dust off the loose dirt and cull out any damaged heads, which we will use uncured, then I'll let the rest of the garlic cure in a cool, dry, well ventilated area (our kitchen) for about two to four weeks. At that point, I will cut off the tops, trim the roots, take off the outside layer of dirty paper, and store the bulbs in mesh bags in our basement. When we perform at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in September I will try to find some garlic with bigger cloves to use as seed garlic for my fall planting. If not I will pick the biggest cloves from my harvest; "plant the best and eat the rest!"

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ossie Davis Theater - July 3, 2012

Tomorrow (Tuesday, July 3, 2012) at 7:00 p.m. The Homegrown String Band will be kicking off Independence Day festivities with a performance featuring the music and dance of rural America at the Ossie Davis Theater; a beautiful intimate 145 seat theatre located in the New Rochelle Library.

New Rochelle Public Library
1 Library Plaza
New Rochelle, NY 10801