Spring Garlic Woes

Dear Readers:

I have been receiving letters lately from folks worried about their garlic. It is understandable. With great anticipation, we insert these naked little cloves in cold soil, just as the season takes a downturn; we stress throughout the snows and storms of winter as to whether they can possibly survive; come early spring, we are elated when we see their tender tips emerge, apparently unscathed; then we plunge into worry and anxiety when, despite their rapid growth, they show signs of yellowing tips; we scrutinize them for other diseases, insects, “issues;” we feed them, water them, murmur soft nothings of encouragement; we marvel at the beauty of their gangly scapes, waving in the wind; and then with a certain amount of apprehension, we begin digging the bulbs, 9 months in the making, one by one; we cradle them gently, inhale the fragrant aroma as they hang to cure in gentle breezes, and then we, sometimes with great flourish and ceremony but without apology, devour them.… Read more

Crocus, Frogs, and Bees! Oh My!

First Crocus
AHHHHH! The first crocus! The first sounds of frogs! The trumpeter swans returning – and the obvious increased chatter of everything from songbirds to eagles calling to each other across the fields! What a difference a month can make! The longer daylight hours are quite noticeable and much appreciated.… Read more

Garlic Planting Conundrums – Part 3

This is my final post in this Garlic-Planting Conundrum series – and by now you probably think I am beating this whole thing into the ground. But I wanted to share a few practical things about figuring out your space needs and preparing the planting area, particularly under less-than-ideal conditions. 

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Garlic Planting Conundrums, Part 2

Garlic Planting Conundrums, Part 2, in which we ask, where can you fit garlic in a permaculture landscape, what about companion planting with garlic, and what is the most efficient way to grow really great garlic?

So, in my earlier post, we talked a bit about figuring out where to plant the garlic from year to year, and how it can be a lot of work to break new ground and turn it into something soft and loose enough to grow a well-rounded, firm, disease-free, long-lasting, ultimately flavorful head of garlic, which is what we’re all after, right?… Read more

Garlic for Barter and Trade

What do 3 dozen eggs, 3 bottles of honey, and a beautiful handcrafted dish have to do with garlic?

In trade for garlic: pottery, honey, eggs
In trade for garlic: pottery, honey, eggs. Yes! We love all these things!

Barter Fare!

This picture is of my three most recent trades: a pottery dish made by Linda R.Read more

2013 Garlic Crop Is In!

garlc harvest 2013Yes! The garlic is IN and hangin’ in the shed! It looks great!

With this announcement, I have another – the short version is, there is not much there.

No – it’s not another infestation disaster. Simply, I scaled way back on the number and varieties of bulbs I planted (and scaled way UP in the permaculture / food forest plantings).… Read more

Yellow Tips on Garlic and Other Growing Dilemmas

Garlic in Early June
June 4: The garlic is standing tall and looking strong, despite a few yellow tips.

…or, Good Grief! Give the Bees a Break!

My 5-year-old grandson gave me a special letter the other day. Inside the envelope was a carefully folded (multiple times) picture he had colored of a rad dude on a motorcycle.… Read more

Urgent: Weed Your Garlic!

Ok, I know, it’s officially spring and that means the beginning of Panic Season. There is so much to DO, I haven’t even taken time to write on this blog for over a month. As every plant awakes, every weed seed jumps out of its pod, every blade of grass begins it’s spring flush, and as our neighbors are frantically revving up their lawnmowers and weed trimmers twice a week if not more often, how can we NOT feel the intensity of this “now or never” insanity?… Read more

Time to Plant Garlic!

Yes, NOW is a perfect time to plant garlic in the Pacific Northwest, and my guess is, if you haven’t planted them already, you have some voluptuous bulbs in your hot little hands just waiting for the right conditions to take root.… Read more