Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How Does Our Garden Grow?

Well, most importantly it continues to grow regardless of how much (little) I write about it. Which, if you have been paying attention, is quite lucky for us indeed.

But I had to take a moment to write about one of my favorite days of the year, which just happened to be today. Today the Boyfriend and I harvested our garlic. Since I knew what to expect this year, it might not have been quite as exciting as last year, but it was pretty darn close. We dug fourteen nice garlic bulbs out of the north raised bed: seven hardnecks and seven softnecks. The softnecks were a little bigger than the hardnecks. I think I remember making the same observation last year, but I don't know that I could skip planting the hardnecks next year just because I love looking out in the garden this time of year and seeing the garlic scapes rising from the hardnecks. They look like regal but puny green geese standing guard over the garden.

Last year, my favorite part of the harvest was actually pulling the garlic out of the ground and finding out that a real garlic bulb had in fact grown under the ground over the past nine months. This year, my favorite part was peeling back those first few dirty layers of the bulb to expose the bright white skin just below the surface. You would never know these things had been living in the ground for the better part of a year. There's something cleansing and invigorating about the whole process.

And this year, as a thank-you-for-tending-your-garden bonus prize, we unearthed some beautiful fingerling potatoes! They had sprouted up in the midst of the garlic since that's where the potatoes were planted last year. I didn't expect any of them to be harvestable, but as we pulled out the garlic we got a nice dinner's worth of gorgeous fingerlings.

The potatoes are drying and the garlic is tucked away inside its critter-proof cage to dry in the sun for the next couple weeks. It was a good day indeed!