A Ritual of Planting Garlic

Garlic is one of my favorite crops to plant! I also love potatoes and flower bulbs so I think I like digging in soil (and autumn weather). 🙂 

I know I can use my crop of garlic to plant more garlic, and it is even recommended, but I didn’t have any on hand this year, so I ordered seeds and garlic from High Mowing Seeds. Their seeds and plants are organic and they have an excellent selection. I like the red chesnook variety and the bulbs get huge without compromising flavor. Another teacher gifted me some of her gorgeous garlic, and I could have used that as seed also, but had already placed my order.

I cleared out a diagonal half of one of my 6′ by 6′ beds, then lightly hand tilled to break up my hard southwest Idaho soil.  We did get a truckload of soil + compost in our beds this spring, but our soil gets hard anyway due to the intense heat and dry periods. Then I made some rows about 5″ apart using my Hori-Hori knife, which is THE BEST garden tool in existence.


I took the time to look for the largest cloves first because the largest ones really do produce the biggest garlic bulbs. I had some trouble with the wrapping coming off too easily. You want the wrapping to stay intact for healthy growth. 

Then I placed the garlic before covering the cloves.


I spaced each clove about 6″ apart and tried to not get too close to the edge of the box to ensure maximum bulb growth.

I dug them in a little deeper with my knife (about 2″) then covered with more soil. Easy and extremely satisfying! All I have to do is water them occasionally if it doesn’t rain at all before winter and cover up a bit when there is some growth. In July I hope to have a beautiful crop of garlic! 

Any extra cloves that were smaller or unwrapped I’ll just throw into my next meal.


I think it’s exciting to dig them up and see how big they have gotten! It’s like a surprise you’ve been waiting patiently for all year. Even if they don’t get big, I still am grateful to harvest my own food. I haven’t bought grocery store garlic in many years, and even though I didn’t find time to plant any last year, some of my previous crop is still good somehow. Also, I had quite a bit of forgotten cloves in different places of my garden and got quite a good, albeit unintentional, little volunteer crop this summer.

Happy planting!

Peace and love,

Kristan

A Quick Juice

Today I am taking my 4th ever sick day. Yes, in my entire life. This following my 3rd ever sick day yesterday. I suppose teachers really are more susceptible to illness.

At least I had enough energy to snip some cucumbers, a cantaloupe, and some basil from the garden to turn into some cooling juice health tonic. I found a carrot in the drawer that I added in as well.


Complete with a metal straw, of course, to make this a zero waste easy treat to ease my mind and body. 

Tasty, simple, and healthy, which is all I wanted on this hot day in September.

Peace and love,

Kristan 

Three Ferments

Fermented foods have changed my life. They have a magical quality to them. They are healthy and making them is almost all passive time; time spent watching nature do her wondrous work.


From left to right we have vegan kimchi, garlic dill pickles, and cumin basil beets.

Cucumber, garlic, and red pepper flakes are from my gardens. Oh, I also made that little linen “hat” on the pickle jar originally as a sourdough starter cover but it serves me well for many other purposes.