In the course of weeding one of our garden beds, I forced myself to consider the small garlic patch that had been overrun with crab grass.
"It's all brown and dried out looking," I told my wife. "What do I do now?"
"Sounds like it's ready to harvest. When did you plant it?"
Last fall is when I planted it. But for some reason I was not expecting it to be ready for harvest until this coming fall, or one year later.
As you may have surmised, this is my first experience planting garlic. I just assumed it had given up the ghost after being throttled by all that crab grass.
There was just one thing left to do: Dig!
So out came the crab grass and the garlic. The bulbs were smaller than I'd expected, certainly smaller than what you normally see in the grocery store. (Maybe because of all the weeds?) The garlic sets were a gift from our farmer friend, Mike, so I no longer even know what variety they are, no idea what they are supposed to look like. Duh. Could have taken notes...
I tossed one to my wife.
"That's garlic!" she exclaimed. "They look great!"
Good enough for me. I dug up the rest of the garlic and set it aside. My daughter came out to help weed. Then we spread some of the compost we've been working on since March and turned it into the bed with a stirrup hoe.
The compost is deliciously fine and light and fluffy, like spreading goose down. It has exceded all my expectations, and certainly has been worth all the effort collecting leaves and grass clippings and weeds and kitchen scraps. Not to mention all those mornings turning the pile. (But really, I have no complaints. Turning compost is good for the soul.)
My daughter insisted on hoeing. She wants a vegetable bed of her own. I think we might just put some of our many extra tomato plants here. I planted several dozen, thinking I would sell them at the produce market. They are beautiful seedlings now that certainly will be producing fruit into October. Can't let them go to waste...