Sunday, June 30, 2013

Neglect of Last Season = Abundant Harvest

12 Bundles of Garlic tied and ready to dry
I meant to get to it sooner. By the time Things I get to do today included harvesting garlic last summer, the tops had not only died back, but were hard to find. Without them flagging me to the precious heads, I found myself fumbling amongst the strawberry plants rather pathetically. Maybe two cups of cloves and heads were all I could come up with.

Someone had told me that garlic and strawberries go together--not on the table, but in the garden. In redoing a narrow flower bed, I found an area where the bulblets on a garlic scape had dropped to the soil and sprouted all together. Carefully I dug them. Carefully I planted them, neatly between the plants in the newly renovated strawberry bed. And then sadly I had not followed through to harvest.

Garlic in the tool shed for a couple of weeks.
Yesterday, in the short span of morning cool, I went to weed the strawberry beds. The hidden garlic of last season had sprouted, grown tall, and was already lying over, partly dried. It may have been a bit early, but along with the weeds, I dug and pulled up all the garlic.

MaryJanes Farm Magazine from October/November 2010 had a terrific article on how to care for, dry and store garlic. Just exactly what I was needing. When I finished the project, I was stunned: twelve bundles of garlic heads tied together and hung up to dry for two or three weeks. I'll save the bulblets on the stems (they look like knobby knees on a stick figure) to plant in the fall for another bumper crop. All this from the neglect of last summer.  I am blessed.