The garlic cloves don’t look like much, and yet as I plow through the baskets of garlic bulbs to peel and break apart, I have great expectations. Many are in the ground already, and the last of the planting will soon be over. There are machines that will do this for you. Dump a pile of garlic bulbs in one end and get garlic cloves out the other. But what is the fun in that? Pulling the bulbs apart by hand, you get to see each clove and decide if it’s one worth planting, or if it’s one you should eat this winter. At times, it seems as if the intent of automation isn’t to make life easier, it’s to separate us from a lot of good things to do and experience.
This is what approximately 800 garlic cloves look like. Next June they will look like the lovely scapes below. Amazing how a little clove turns into a two to three foot tall stalk, and a whole bulb of fresh garlic. There are very few things you can buy, that if you stick in the ground, will become something even more wonderful. Stick an iPhone in the ground this fall, and let me know if you end up with five to eight better iPhones next summer.