Garlic is one of the most rewarding crops to grow.
Plant a clove in fertile soil in the fall, tuck it in under a thick layer of mulch, and go inside and sip your tea.
The next spring it bursts through the soil with a life force so strong it can push through all those layers of mulch.
It grows big and strong through the summer, using nutrients from the soil and energy from the sun to grow a bulb.
Keep it weeded and the soil covered in mulch to give it all the space and nutrients it needs.
You can’t see the garlic bulb, but you can tell how big it is getting by the girth of the stalk.
Then it will send up curly scapes, the unopened flower, which you can harvest and eat or let flower and create tiny garlic bulbils.
Then, as the leaves on the plant start to die back you know that it is putting all its energy into growing the bulb and dividing it into cloves.
When there’s just 3-5 green leaves left it’s time to harvest.
And then you can unearth the goodness that has been growing for almost a year, pulling it from the soft earth one by one.
The garlic gets cured, which means it finishes putting all that green energy back into the bulb and dries out so that it can be sorted.
The biggest cloves get replanted and all the rest is put away in wicker baskets or mesh bags to enjoy all winter long.
Planting each of these big, juicy cloves in the ground...