Time Machine Friday: Garlic

The garden is buried under a layer of snow.  We’re having a bean-barley stew for the 870924356th time this month.  And I’m out of garlic.  Let’s get in the time machine.

Summer 2009: preparing the back lot for planting.  It used to be a railroad.

As well as removing lots of gravel, archaeological relics, and invasive mint, this involved makeshift composting and soil improvement involving free wood chips from the Department of Public Works and bags of autumn leaves from the curb.

Fall 2009: We plant the first crop of garlic.

Winter 2009-2010: The garlic is buried by snow and we have an epic snowball war complete with fortifications.

Spring 2010: First furniture project!  The garlic made it through the winter.

Summer 2010: The garlic is the most successful thing in the garden so far.

The great thing about garlic is that it sends up delicious scapes that you cut off and saute in butter for a month.

The other great thing about garlic is that unlike almost everything else we grow, this guy doesn’t like to eat it.

When the garlic comes out of the ground, it looks like this.  First you brush off the dirt and cut off the greens.  (That’s friend D, who used to work on garlic farms and was indispensable during this whole process.)

Late summer 2011: We have to dry the garlic in such a way that air circulates around it.  We used bricks, a fan, and the body of a derelict shopping cart.  I swear, they pile up in a railroad underpass nearby… any time you pass by, there’s at least 3 carts there.  Like a secret cart meeting.

We set aside most of this garlic to plant again for the next year’s crop.  The rest is for eating!

Fall 2010.  We plant over three times as much garlic as the year before.

Winter 2011: The garlic lies dormant under a thick layer of snow.

And what happened to the garlic that didn’t get planted?  I did a lot of things with it, including this:

I roasted garlic.  We ate it raw, grated with olive oil on bread.  I put it in everything.  And now it’s back to store-bought garlic… at least for the next few months.

This is why it’s nice to have a time machine.

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