After drying out for a few weeks, our garlic was ready to be cleaned up a bit.
When I first started growing garlic I read somewhere that it lasts longer if it’s not cut down or cleaned too thoroughly. Since then I’ve seen plenty of people prep their garlic as if it’s going to the grocery store with no apparent issues, so I’m not sure it makes much difference either way, but it’s become my habit to leave a bit of stem and just rub the worst of the dirt off the bulb and roots with my thumb. There are some things that clearly do make a difference in the storage life of garlic, though. It should be kept in a dark, cool (but not too cold) spot with good air circulation.
It’s interesting to note the way the flavor changes as garlic ages. The garlic bought at a store is generally older, so that’s what we had been used to. New garlic is more juicy and bright. Fresh or aged, it’s delicious.