Garlic

Every fall, I plant garlic. I’ve been successful twice–maybe. Most years, some wild animal comes along and digs up the bed. Or it’s too dry and the bulbs don’t develop. Or–like this year–it’s too wet and the bulbs turn to mush in the ground.

But Samuel Johnson might well have written “the triumph of hope over experience” about gardening and marriage. And this year, hope won.

I was amazed that the garlic turned green in early March. The temperatures stayed firmly in the 30 to 40 degree Fahrenheit range. Way too cold for most of my garden. Nevertheless, the garlic persisted.

In April, the plants turned yellow. Uh-oh, mush alert ahead. But I left them through May despite my urge to rip them out of the ground. Right on schedule at the beginning of June, scapes formed. After clipping them, I crossed my fingers. The plants still didn’t look right.

But last Friday, the plants had just about died back. Again, right on schedule. I dug them up and hung them in the barn. They need to hang for about a month before they’re ready for cooking.

I ended up with six bunches of six or seven bulbs each–or about forty garlic bulbs. That’s a winter’s worth of cooking.