Tuesday, June 14, 2011

John's Garlic

Last year in the Spring of 2010, a childhood friend of my husband passed away. His name was John and he loved to grow garlic in his upstate NY garden. When my husband went to visit John for the last time, John's sister showed my husband the garlic he had planted the previous Fall of 2009. She said when it was ready in August she would send us some. She was true to her word and by the end of August we received a big box full of beautiful bulbs. Are you a garlic lover? If you are you MUST try freshly grown garlic sometime. There is simply no comparison to the bulbs from the market.
Well, we made short work of those tasty cloves but managed to save 4 of them to plant in our garden in November of 2010. Not knowing what to expect, I went online to do a "little" research. OK, How much do you want to know about garlic? There are hundreds of species from sweet and mild to ferociously hot! It's origins are in Asia but varieties can be found in Russia, the Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, as well as NY where it is said that Italian immigrants brought it over from their homeland. I could go on and on but I will just direct you to his wonderful site: http://www.wegrowgarlic.com/301.html  There, you can get as much information about garlic as your brain can handle!
Armed with a "little" knowledge and the 4 little cloves planted, I sat back for the winter and waited. During a snowstorm in late January 2011 this is what I found:

What a thrill! So tiny yet so resilient! We were off to a fine start...

 A few weeks ago, I discovered these thin, round shoots coming out of the center of the plants. More research told me these were called "ramps" or "scapes" and if cut would not only benefit the plant but would also taste delicious chopped and roasted with the fresh asparagus you see pictured above.

Last week, I could not wait any longer! Seeing as how most of the leaves were bent and partially yellowed, I took a chance and dug up the 4 plants and this is what I harvested:

Beautiful, fragrant bulbs! I am doubly pleased because this type of garlic flourishes in the North but does not always do well here in the hot temps of the South. It will take 2 to 7 weeks for them to dry and hopefully by then the tomatoes, along with the basil, will be ready for a proper Italian "Gravy" to compliment my pasta dishes! Yum!
I encourage you to visit the website above and sign up for some bulbs when they are harvested in late summer ( but save some for me, please!) I plan to order some different varieties to add to the 4 best cloves from the ones pictured above. Compliments of John.What a lovely way to be remembered.
How does your garden grow? 


  1. What a wonderful story and introduction to growing your own garlic! Stopping by from Rescued Goods-thanks for visiting:)

  2. I love garlic & enjoyed your story. Thanks for the information. I never knew it grew in the winter. Thanks for visiting my blog site. I hope to see you there again.