Setting in the garlic is the final crescendo
and the overture of the next movement all in one
I know the season is really and truly at it’s end when I tuck the garlic into the ground.
Even if there are still chores to be accomplished — and there are most definitely a lot of them — getting in the garlic does feel like the finishing cap on the old season. It’s over. We can all relax now.
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All told, I planted about 250 cloves of garlic. I know, I know; I said I wouldn’t grow that much again. And I really wasn’t going to. But then the Territorial Seed Company catalog came, and then I was gifted two huge heads from Down to Earth in Eugene and all those plans of moderation went to pot.
THIS YEAR’S VARIETIES:
- Persian Star (hardneck)
- Music (hardneck)
- Northern White (hardneck)
- Sambo (hardneck) ~ seed saved from last year’s harvest
- Chilean Silverskin (softneck)
- Chinese Pink (softneck)
Well, maybe next year is the year I start a mini-CSA. And if that’s the case, then whoever those lucky few members are, they’ll be sure to get lots of garlic!
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I had the easiest time this year getting the plot ready and the cloves in. I guess that shouldn’t be surprising, since I live here now and don’t need to try to cram everything that needs to be done into three-hour increments on the weekend. In fact, I really began preparing the garlic patch last spring, when I killed all the weeds by covering it with tarp. Then earlier this week I added four wheelbarrow loads of manure and sand (garlic doesn’t like dense soil), and on Saturday I planted.
And now it’s done.
But the best and most beautiful part of it all, is that it’s also just beginning.
It’s the final crescendo and the overture of the next movement all in one.
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Setting the garlic is like setting the seeds of spring. And while planting any seed seems like an act of faith, I’ve always thought of planting garlic as taking a leap of faith. Faith that their roots will grow deep under the ground during the coldest of weather; faith that their leaves will rise straight and true in the waning days of winter; faith that we’ll still be here, willing and able to tend them and harvest them and nourish ourselves with them; faith that next year we’ll do it all again.
I’m not a religious person, but this is miracle enough for me.
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