The production of braided garlic from Arleux.

Find here all the stages of the production of braided smoked garlic from Arleux on our farm.

L'épiage

This first step in garlic cultivation is to burst the garlic head in order to remove the cloves for planting. On this video, we can see a visiting table that can sort the sick caïeux, remove the garlic peels and detach the last caïeux of the head. Finally the clays are calibrated in the cylinder to come out the biggest ones.
L'épiage

The plantation

As soon as the weather allows and the soil is healthy during the month of February we plant garlic. As the video shows a tip opens a furrow in the ground then the garlic is taken by a small clamp attached to a wheel and at the end of the turn the garlic falls to the ground. Two wheels close it to close the furrow. Garlic is planted to a depth of 3-4 cm in the soil.

The weeding

We no longer use a chemical weed killer and we do several mechanical weeding with a weeder harrow and a cultivator. The harrow harrows the entire width of the board and breaks the crust. The ideal is to intervene on young weeds. The cultivator has the function to unpack the soil and thus cut the weeds a little more developed. And this is well known a hoe is worth two waterings. We carry 2 to 3 passages of harrows harrow and 2 passages of cultivator.

The harvest

The fruit of our work. We are equipped with a harvester. It is equipped with a tooth driven into the ground. The garlic head is lifted and shaken to clean with belts. A bouquet of garlic is formed, bound and then rested on the ground.

When weather conditions allow we allow the garlic to dry directly in the field for 4-5 days.

The pickup

After 4-5 days we return the garlic. We put our harvest in palox (wooden bass drum) perforated from below to get the air. The setting in palox allows a better conditioning of the garlic and a better handling of it.

The drying

Alas, when the weather is not right, we take our harvest faster than expected and finish the drying at home with big fans.

Cleaning and calibration

Once the drying is over we start cleaning the garlic. As the name suggests, we remove the soil on the garlic heads and the dirty peels. Then we calibrate the garlic to make the different categories of braids presented in the site.

The braiding

We make braids of 6 -12-20-45-90 heads. The garlic is assembled as if it were hair. The finish is also important and the link must end with the hook that will hang it in the smoker. It takes about 5 minutes to make a braid of 45 heads.

Smoking

The most important step that gives garlic this brilliant aspect that makes it the specialty of Arleux and allows us to make ourselves known internationally. Smoking is done in the tradition of Arleux, that is to say with a sawdust of oak and untreated beech.

We are refilling the smokehouse with sawdust 3 times a day. This step lasts about ten days at a temperature of 35-40 ° C which allows to expel moisture from the braid and thus to keep it for 10 months dry.

The preservation

To keep the garlic at home, preferably put it in the kitchen, the saddler or garage but especially a dry place.

Garlic does not like moisture at all.

About us

For 3 generations, we have been producing Arleux smoked garlic on our farm.

Note: Part of this production is recognized IGP