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Celebrate Earth Day with Black Garlic

The Harrison Family—Avery (front), Oakley, Sean, and Ashton—stand amid their plentiful, young crop of white and purple garlic in Northeastern Cherokee County. Mother Earth brings forth beautiful bulbs of garlic after a six-month growing period.

During the fermentation process, white garlic is magically transformed into black garlic. It’s a rather easy operation, but it takes patience. First the Harrisons gently clean the outside skin of the whole garlic bulbs. Second, they load about a fifteen heads of garlic into a black garlic fermenter, which looks surprisingly like a slow cooker. Finally, they turn on the fermenting box and wait twelve days. Yes, garlic takes 288 hours to ferment.

The Harrison Farm is more than garlic, herbs, and vegetables. The Harrisons also raise turkeys. Ashton (above) holds one of the two hens, while the two toms make themselves known. Avery (below) holds the family’s first turkey egg of the season.