Monday, October 8, 2012

If Ron Popeil was a Gardener

He would plant garlic.

A couple of weekends ago we cleared out yet another garden bed in preparation for winter. In that bed I planted garlic. I can not express my love for home-grown garlic enough. I use garlic all the time, but unless I planted an entire backyard of garlic I’m not sure I could grow enough for us to have a year worth of food. That doesn't stop me though.

This year, like last year I planted a variety that I found in OR. I can’t be sure of the exact variety, but it is hard-neck and has a purple skin/paper. I'm in love both with how easy it is to grow and with the flavor. It's almost sweet, but not sugary, just not as harshly pungent as the garlic that I find at the grocery store. I had my mom buy me 4 heads of garlic and mail them to me for planting this year. I’m hoping that next year I can save four usable heads and re-plant from my own harvest.

What is so great about growing garlic? I call it the Ron Popeil of Gardening. You know his showtime rotisserie and the famous line: Set it and Forget it! Garlic is as close as I have come to a food crop that I can set and forget. We plant ours in fall, then we cut the scapes in summer (when the scapes curl) and then pull it up when the leafy bits start to brown. Sure, there is a little weeding, but even that I am not entirely diligent about and have seen no ill effects. For the most part I ignore it whole-heartedly until it’s ready to eat.

The basics in the fall:

It's only an inch or so deep
1. Dig a trench

Do you have awesome pink garden gloves?
2. Break the cloves apart, try to keep the skin/paper on each clove  

Purpley garlics, set
3. Set cloves in trench, pointy side up 
Close up of happy clove
4. Fill in trench 
5. Then forget it!

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