Garlic is important to us, very important. It’s so important that it is in the title of my soon-to-be-released memoir.
Why garlic? Because Sam loved garlic. Sam thought the idea of planting cloves in the beds in the fall, mulching them, and them coming up in the fall was just plain amazing.
After Sam’s death, the farm he worked for donated heads of garlic to decorate the meeting house for his celebration of life. These were heads of garlic he had helped to grow, and in our minds, they represented Sam. After the service, we planted them in a garlic bed on our land.
The first year, we planted one small box of garlic, and miracle of miracles, they did really well.
The second year, we planted two boxes. One and a half boxes were of Sam’s garlic, one half was of this high powered garlic we ordered from California, thinking we’d get some variety in our garlic.
Nope. That wasn’t going to happen. We planted those two boxes, and in the spring, one and a half boxes came up. The fancy California garlic? Not a head made it. We took it as Sam’s way of saying that we should be planting just his garlic.
So that year, we planted two boxes of Sam’s garlic, and again, it did well, as it did the next year.
This year, those boxes were about done. The lumber had aged, and so we decided to build new ones. After a lot of thought, we have made one big box instead of two boxes, moved it away from the alpaca fence so they can’t munch on the greenery, and it’s easier to weed.
The second week of October, on or around the anniversary of Sam’s death, we will once again dig in the rich Vermont soil and plant his garlic. As before, we will reminisce, laugh, probably cry a little, as we tuck those cloves in and cover them with mulch.