The outer, lower leaves were browning, shriveling, They were giving me signs, signs it was time. I got to work, not letting the mid morning, July sun deter me from the work before me. Gloves on, trowel in hand, I dug into the dry dirt, careful not to damage the bulb. I dug and lifted, gently prying the roots from the dirt, freeing the bulb. Dig, pry, lift. Repeat. Sweat poured down my brow and back, but I forged on until the bed was a mess of holes and the ground beside me was filled with 48 bulbs of garlic.
That was three weeks ago. Since then, the garlic has been resting (curing, they, say) in our basement. Our basement provides the cool dry environment, ideal for the precious bulbs to finish their work. Yesterday was cleaning day. I gathered my tools, got comfy on the floor. One by one, I held each bulb in my hand. I trimmed the roots, cut off the and gently peeled the dirty, outer layers of skin. Trim, cut, peel. Repeat. I sorted the bulbs in three piles. Pile one, with exposed cloves were carefully placed in the basket for use sooner rather than later. The biggest bulbs were bagged and hung in a bag for planting in the fall. The majority were bagged for use whenever.
It’s taken ten months for this harvest to be ready. It’s worth the work and time. Last nights dinner featured freshly harvested, cured, and cleaned garden garlic and boy was it delish!