Sunday, 1 November 2009

Dragon's Teeth

It is a quiet time for vegetables. Most tasks are administrative: tidying up after a busy summer, or preparation for next year. Important yes, but not really spectacular. At least in a young garden.

Ten days ago I planted my garlic. It seemed grey and grim enough, as if winter is solidly here. I didn't quite know how much I'll need: started with one bulb, then two, before finally adding another. About 30 cloves in all. Good plump ones too. I would have like to eat them. Is that too many? Maybe. But we're enough to absorb any excess produce. And really, even if they all deliver beautifully, a bulb every second week is not excessive? And that is without planning for the scapes, the roasted garlic, the pickled garlic, the chicken with 16 cloves, the lamb with 24, the baked potatoes with 127 cloves, or the garlic crisps. That last two still need some working on. They went in everywhere where I could find an open spot between the herbs. That is a lots of spots.

Then, today, they all appeared. I was quite surprised. An army of 5cm shoots marching on the thyme, with another flank cutting off the sage. Will they slow down enough to still make sense of spring? I really don't know. But I hope so.


Marie said...

Chicken with 16 cloves? Kind, waar het dit alles verkeerd geloop? Isn't it 40? :-)Seriously, the Rule of Garlic is the same as the Rule of Potato: you can never have enough.That first fresh garlic you almost just eat like that, with some salt, butter and bread.

So..the garlic simmers away underground through winter? I'm a bit dim, still. Mine was spring into summer, which, I take it, is a whole other animal?

jvdh said...

16 is vir as mens net een dytjie het ;-)

It's all experimental - they're supposed to put down some roots now, then chill till spring. But I there is much I know whether it's cold enough, whether it all won't go mushy, whether I can wait that long.

We got another 4 bulbs from the seed man (in stead of the greengrocer) that should also go in somewhere.