|Yes, Sir, that's my Garlic|
Last Wednesday I planted fifty pounds of garlic. I had put it off for weeks, daunted by the task of preparing the soil. Finally, after much discussion and many appearances on my “to-do” list, I tilled it, and Sean made it into a nice wide bed. I scratched furrows and broke bulbs into cloves and stretched my entire body over the row to get the furthest spots (much more efficient I think than going back again the other way). I'm used to edge-of-my-seat tension in most tasks in my life-you're never quite sure if you'll be ready for a Friday night at the Cafe-so it's a mental challenge to get into the garden. Gardens plod. You can't really rush through the physical demands of this kind of work and do it for hours. I always feel anxious to get it over with until I get into the groove, just like when I run.
Garlic is easy to grow, but also hugely rewarding. For one thing, there is the cost. Garlic grown without chemicals is fetching up to $13 a pound retail in the Valley. This makes it really worthwhile to bother with the minimal hassle it is. I'm growing it for the restaurant and for us and my friends. I'm also growing it because my Dad is enormously proud of his garlic crop, whose lineage he can trace back to the purchase of a few pounds of “seed” garlic from the famous Fish Lake Garlic Man many years ago. Mostly I'm growing it because the flavour is way better then the dry tiny grown-in-China garlic that all you can find in most grocery stores. For someone who includes garlic in almost everything but dessert, that just means tastier food for the same effort.
|Inspector Hen checking Garlic Clove Depth|
|Have your Chickens Prepare the Straw Mulch|
|Hang the Washed Bulbs to Dry|
|Cut off Stem and Roots|