Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.
Today in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office organic garden, we harvested our homegrown garlic that was raised with lots of love. There was a crew of about seven or eight people wielding pitchforks, clean hands, gardening knowledge, and one lonely basket waiting to be filled. The crew assembled around the garlic plants, and after Heidi gave us our gardening orders and a motivational speech, we were all hard at work in our little patch of soil. Heidi provided motivation by telling us all that for the first time she is completely self-reliant on shallots and garlic for a year. She has finally grown enough of both crops in her own garden!
Four people were digging up the pearly white, dirt-stained heads of garlic carefully immersed in the soil as not to harm them. The diggers then gently (sometimes not so much…I was smacked in my rather large size 11 foot by a flying garlic plant) threw the garlic to the rest of us who were to clean the dirt from the heads. Methods of cleaning the garlic varied: Some people shook the dirt off, cleaned it with their bare hands, or hit it on the ground trying to be as careful as possible. Needless to say, there was dirt and garlic flying everywhere!
By the time the dirt stopped flying, we realized that we had an abundance of garlic. We had so many pounds, in fact, that we filled up a basket and then some with our homegrown garlic. We put our overflowing garlic in a stray MOTHER EARTH NEWS box.
From here (after we washed our hands), we are keeping the garlic inside our offices to dry it out, and after everyone returns from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Washington next week, it will be time to divvy up the garlic. Personally, I hope to make some garlic croutons with my share since the recipe looks easy (I’m a terrible cook) and does not require many ingredients. If it turns out well, I might send some back to my family in Wisconsin to prove that I am capable of growing edible food.
Photo by Nate Skow