I know I've said so many times before that I want to be a tomato farmer when I grow up. But this season, I'm thinking about taking that back. I think a garlic farmer would be fun. Nothing but garlic - of all sizes and varieties! Oh, garlic, had I known how fabulously easy and wonderful you were to grow, I wouldn't have waited all these years to plant you in a garden of my own.
But as it was, last fall was my very first planting of garlic, with several varieties and a few pounds purchased from The Little Girl Garlic Farm at the Common Ground Country Fair. I planted them with little fanfare, covered with leaves, and rather forgot about them after that. This spring, I did pull back the leaves, and there was a bit (really, just a bit) of weeding and then the scapes, and this week, my very first harvesting of said garlic. Out of the ground I pulled and tugged (with the help of many little hands wanting to prove just how strong they are). I hauled an old crib mattress spring frame out of the barn (neverending in its gifts, that barn) and left them to dry a while before brushing off the dirt (Harper's job), and cleaning them up for storage.
I'm marveling at just how much grew (this is a third, there are still two more varieties waiting in the ground for me to get to them), and grew so well, with so little effort. Each time I reach into the crock of garlic in the pantry - or send eager helpers there for that very thing - for another clove for another meal, oh a rush of gratitude comes over me for this strong and simple little bulb that grew underground.