Well, three or four weeks ago I did my annual harvest of one of my favorite plants in my garden, garlic. I know this may strike many as unusual, but it is a delightful plant to grow. I’ve been growing garlic for five years. This year was a very successful garlic growing year in the size and quantity of the garlic bulbs.
The process of growing garlic is one of patience, having the ability to suppress one’s curiosity, more patience, plus having a great sense of timing. Patience is needed at the beginning of the garlic growing process, for a month or so there will be no indication of the plant growing on the surface, once it starts, all is well. As the plant grows one will become interested in the size of the bulbs growth, but put this out of your mind, for the bulb to reach full growth it will take six to seven months, curiosity suppressed. Where more patience and timing come into play are near the end of the growing cycle, pull the garlic too early the bulbs won’t reach their full size, too late and the garlic will decay. What needs to be observed is approximately one third of the lower stems brown in color, then it is time to dig up the garlic. If you timed it right nice large bulbs will see their first light of day and the cleaning, trimming, and curing will begin. One thing I did not mention, it is best not to water a week prior to pulling the garlic, less soil will stick to the roots and bulbs. Shake off the loose dirt, trim the roots, and hang the garlic in a well ventilated dry covered area.
This year I was lucky to have the very crafty SMS braid the garlic, her sage advice and display designs are invaluable to the “Dish”. The “Dish’s Kitchen” now sings with rusticness and possesses the lovely aroma of curing garlic.
One garlic book available at E.P. Foster library that I really enjoy is The Official Garlic Lovers Handbook, by Lloyd John Harris, it is a 1980’s era book, but I love it all the same. The Official Garlic Lovers Handbook, is a gem of a book with history and recipes, including the hungrily sought after garlic ice cream recipe, poems, and a very risqué illustration on page 101. Parents and sensitive types please be well advised of this. Another book near and dear to my heart is A Garlic Testament by Stanley G. Crawford it’s the book that inspired me to grow garlic. I hope many of you read this book and come October, decide to plant some garlic.
Check out the book at Foster Library, or put a hold on it - we will send it to you!
If there are any cookbooks in Foster Library’s collection that you would like me to try out, please leave the title on our Facebook page and I’ll get cooking.