Saturday, April 24, 2010

Garlic Chronicles



Hadn't said much about the garlic fields, been too busy with all kinds of other projects.I just spent two days with the garlic and can report all is well. The population of 10,000 or so bulbs are beginning to multiply from the solid clove (like a green onion) to the multiclove bulb stage. They need this water we're getting this weekend. I ran some half hearted attempts to irrigate this week, but felt the real rain coming in my knees and ankles...so I waited.

Spent most of the last two days weeding. Bend over, pullweeds (sorta like a cow grazing) stand up stretch back, slide step 3 steps, bend over...time after time after time, ad neauseum. 100 foot rows get pretty long, can't imagine picking cotton on 1/4 mile rows!

I did manage to learn the words to a couple of songs while bent over...been trying to learn "It's Movin Day" for a while, actually 20 years. I got the words online, and took em to the garlic patch...necessary mindless work converted to learning something useful.

We used to have to write all the words down from memory, or buy expensive song books, or have an army of friends whose wives would dutifully copy words, memograph them at the office (popular with the boss, I'm sure.) and dispurse them at parties and festivals. Now there is Mudcat Cafe and hundreds of other sites ..I digress.

The biggest thing left to do with garlic is to monitor water, and rid the drying shed of a travel trailer, tractor, two rototillers 2 lawn mowers, a '54 Chevy pickup, a John Deere grain drill, a workbench and whatever else I've drug in there over the past year. I guess I need another shed, I only have four...

The last step is harvest and drying... always a struggle. The hard part is to work out the weather, a big pottery show and an excursion to teach in W Va for a week...all during the first three week of June. It  rarely comes together without a struggle.

It's a pretty smart crop...it needs very little human intervention to produce, works all winter while everything else is resting, and has little impact on it's environment...we could all profit from some of those traits.

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