Thursday, July 28, 2011
That's why they call it elephant garlic
Risa has a variety of pleasant tasks in hand and a little bit of help for a change: Last Son is home the next week or month or so, between apartments. He's watering fruit trees with duck pond water, a job that's getting tough for his sixty-two-year-old mom, while she plants fall peas, pulls garlic, firewoods a coppiced willow, and moves hoses.
This year, mirabile dictu, Risa remembered to behead the garlics, which helps the bulb plump out and make cloves. We're not that into scapes, but love the tiny little flowers, so we "plant" the scapes and, while they don't root like tomato branches or such, they stay alive long enough to bloom. Meanwhile the elephant garlic grows to softball size, or even bigger --but then, that's why they call it elephant garlic, neh? And when the leaves begin to brown, she forks them out to lie in the sun and dry for a few days.