Time to Talk Garlic

garlicharvest1I know you will think this sounds weird, but I’ve been waiting for the third week in October for almost 5 months now (although yes, I’m most definitely bemoaning the loss of what seemed like a very quick summer). In late May/early June, I was walking through my nature center’s organic garden, where I came across some very tall greens – looking like they were almost ready for harvest.  My little Sam asked, “what are those Mommy?” And I replied, “I think they’re onions.”  Luckily Mr. Organic Gardener was there himself, and he told me it was garlic.  He went on to say that garlic is his most favorite thing to grow in the garden – it’s hardy, it’s easy, it’s virtually animal proof, and it’s delicious.  The garlic we’re used to consuming from the grocery store is typically 8 months old.  He said once you taste fresh garlic, you can never go back.  And there are a huge number of varieties – some very sweet, some quite spicy.

So ever since then, I’ve loved the idea of planting garlic – you plant it in the fall, and it comes up in the spring, ready to pick in early summer.  One of the best things – the deer and chipmunks don’t like it.  You can actually plant the cloves from a garlic bulb you buy at the grocery store, but I ended up ordering a couple of bulbs from Burpee.com – an “Early Italian” variety and “California Extra Select.”  Gurney’s also offers a variety of garlic bulbs for sale – including one that sounds quite interesting – Spanish Roja Garlic which is quite hot and spicy.

If you get the same kind of hankering to do a little late season gardening, follow these easy steps from ehow.com, on how to plant garlic.  And get those gardening gloves out one last time before those first flakes begin to fall.


  • Stacy Says:
    10-8-2008 08:29:52

    Thanks for the info Anne. We may not agree on the dried bean vs. canned bean “issue” but you are so right about fresh garlic being completely different than store bought. My neighbors go to the Farmer’s Market in New Canaan to buy their garlic.

  • Cindy La Ferle Says:
    10-8-2008 09:49:21

    I love roasting heads of garlic as an appetizer. I spread the softened cloves on toast points, then add goat cheese and red peppers.

    Thanks for the tip on fall planting. I never thought of planting my own. And by the way, I’m really enjoying the Trader Joe’s Cookbook, which one of you recommended on this site.

    1. Wise Women Coffee Chat » Spring Contemplations
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