Last October I planted my (garlic). I followed the planting advice of my Italian friend. Today, eight months later, I went up to the garden to find one of the bulbs laying on top of the dirt. It looked like it had burst out of the garden, begging to be sautéed. More likely a critter was helping himself to a meal. Voles have pulled out all of the red onions I had started.
I looked up how and when to harvest garlic and the bulb laying on the ground gave every indication that it was ready to be harvested.. Most of the leaves had died off with 5 or 6 remaining. The bulb was a nice size and you can see the outline of the individual cloves within the remaining skin. I took it as a sign from the Italian Gods of garlic and harvested all of it. Twenty bulbs. Some large, a couple small, but all healthy and beautiful. I braided them simply. (not in any way like you see hanging at quaint country markets).
We hung them in the shade of the shed and will leave them there for two weeks.. Then, I will cut off the roots and put the bulbs in the screen bags I have been saving from the garlic I bought this last year. Our winter soups and sauces will benefit.
Braiding has never been a skill of mine. Neither hair, rope or garlic. When my daughter was young her hair always looked perfect. French braids, barrettes, ribbons, bows, she had it all.. None of it done by me. She had an amazing Nanny who spent hours playing with her hair.
When the Nanny was gone, I was left to try to recreate her skills. It never went well. Usually my attempts ended in my daughter crying “Mommy you are hurting me as she fled to her bedroom in tears”. I gave up, cut her hair short and we moved on.
Todays braiding exercise went smoother. I didn’t care if it looked perfect and the
garlic didn’t cry