Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gentlemen, start your garlic

I am not a great gardener. I don't have the patience. But the one thing I plant every year, without fail, is garlic. Years ago, a friend of a friend encouraged me to grow garlic. He told me all I had to do was remember the garlic-planting mantra: "Plant on Columbus Day and harvest on the Fourth of July."

So that's what I do. This time of year, I go to my local farmer's market and buy a couple of heads of really good garlic. Then on Columbus Day (not the observed day, the real day) I plant them.

Here's how it's done: Separate the head of garlic into individual, unpeeled cloves. Dig a small hole in your garden about 2 inches deep and put in a garlic clove pointy-side up. Cover the hole. Repeat, spacing the holes about 4 inches apart. That's it.

In the meantime, check your local farmstand for garlic. I prefer the so-called hard-neck varieties, like Rocambole. If you don't have a convenient farmstand, then just use supermarket garlic. It works just fine. Or if you want to check out "gourmet" garlic, go to one of these sites:

Fox Hollow Farm

The Garlic Store

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