News of Seasonal Produce Offerings, Auctions, Events, Agritourism and Farmers in Casey County, Kentucky ~ and the Old Order Mennonite & Amish Communities ~ located in the scenic Knobs Region and agricultural heart of Kentucky.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

PROFILE: Bobbett's Naturally Grown

In southeastern Casey County, just off Hwy 837 several miles north of Mintonville, Bobbett Jascor raises several kinds of garlic, sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes), a variety of summer berries and assorted produce on her 45 acre farm. While not certified organic, like many area produce growers Bobbett's methods are natural and sustainable. She moved here in 2004 from New Jersey and has transformed her acreage into a self-supporting enterprise. She admits, somewhat drolly, that it's a very different lifestyle than the seventeen years she spent selling real estate.

'Elephant' garlic in the middle, 'Cherokee' hard neck on the right and 'Inchelium' (soft neck) on the left.

Currently, garlic is the farm's mainstay crop and this year there is a softneck ('Inchelium') and 'Cherokee' hardneck variety for sale, as well as the larger-sized 'Elephant' garlic. The larger bulb sections are planted in October. Any time now is fine and some people plant here into November: some even advise planting garlic in the period of the waning three-quarter moon, which this month is October 19, but Bobbett doesn't follow those practices. She is a practical gardener and said she would worry too much about getting it in at the right time. 'I get it in the ground when I can,' she adds. She will then preserve the smaller cloves for winter eating: by dry storage or mincing the garlic, mixing in a bit of olive oil, and freezing it into small, usable ice cube-sized portions. 'You can also pickle the cloves whole,' she said. [Just Google ways to preserve garlic and you will have many methods and ideas to choose from.]

For more garlic preserving and planting tips from Bobbett, click here.

Like many enterprising Kentucky farmers, Jascor has learned how to grow crops that will adapt to the climate as well as increased customer demand. 'Most of my customers come through the internet but I also have many local customers.' She also mentioned that next year she will be offering 20 varieties of garlic and is currently planting those for her 2012 harvest.

A large original tobacco barn on the property has become the perfect place to store and dry her garlic harvest which usually takes place in July. The long, green curling scapes come up sooner and many garlic aficionados enjoy those in pesto and other recipes. Others take the small garlic corms and plant those to get one solid garlic bulb the next year which sheds its corm in a cycle of growth. Bobbett said that one customer likes to buy just the korms to put up so she doesn't have to fuss with individual bulbs.

Garlic is an ancient plant valued for its medicinal and culinary properties. In this part of the Appalachians, we have a wild member of the garlic family right in our lawns and fields (also known as 'onion grass')––if you leave it long enough, you will get a bulb growing in the cooler months. There is nothing like pungent fresh garlic. One easy recipe for roasted garlic is to take a garlic bulb ('Elephant' is especially good for this), cut off the top part, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and salt, wrap in foil and roast it in the oven at 400 degrees, papery skin and all. In about half an hour you can scoop out the roasted garlic flesh which has become sweetened by the baking process: it is good spread on bread, crackers or stirred into mashed potatoes.

'Sunchokes,' aka Jerusalem artichokes, will soon be ready for harvesting.
You will also find these growing along Kentucky roadsides and fields.

Next year, in addition to her extended garlic varieties, Bobbett will be offering a variety of berries to the public. She prefers that you call ahead for the best availability and cautions that, as she grows and harvests everything almost entirely herself, there might not be the supply one might expect. But she will work with requests with advance notice.

This year's garlic crop is going fast so call 606-787-0926 or Friend 'Bobbett's Naturally Grown' on Facebook or email Bobbett Jascor at to reserve your winter stash. She also has an on-line store at LocalHarvest.Org where you can read more about her farm, her growing practices and her offerings.
We recently bought some of her garlic for planting and some for eating and look forward to our own garlic crop next year. If you are patient, it is one of the easiest things to grow and like so many edible plants, it provides the gift that keeps on giving in the garden.

Bobbett's Naturally Grown
106 Country Way (about a quarter mile from Hwy 837)
Liberty, KY 42539

Future produce offerings at Bobbett's Naturally Grown
will include kiwis and currants and other heirloom varieties.

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