Sunday, November 14, 2010

Auditioning varieties - round 2

Nights are getting cold and the ground will start to freeze soon, so we made the decision to simply put all the 2009 auditioning varieties back in the ground for a second go at it next year. I took copious notes about such things as how many cloves per bulb and were they large or tiny or a mixture, were the bulbs easy to break apart, had the bulbs cured well or were the cloves already soft or even already starting to sprout, had the soft neck varieties been stressed in some way and bolted (i.e. sent up a garlic scape in June as if they were actually a hard-neck variety), did the bulbs simply fall off their stems (which means they are not a suitable variety for braiding), had the heads opened up so that the cloves fell off (not good for long-term storage and identification!), as just some of the characteristics I was evaluating. I also saved two cloves of each variety for tasting, which we need to do fairly quickly since separating a clove from its base plate (root structure) is one trigger to the clove to begin the sprouting process.

Here are photos of a few of the 18 varieties I planted yesterday.

Photo: German Red Garlic

Photo: Montana Carlos Garlic

Photo: Ontario Purple Trillium Garlic

Photo: Purple Glazer Garlic

Photo: Nootka Rose Garlic

Photo: Auditioning garlic varieties ready for taste comparisons!

Photo: Front yard milkweed just emerging.

Photo: Front yard milkweed, a full pod of seeds ready to fly through the neighborhood!

I included the last two photos of milkweed seeds getting ready to fly from the little prairie garden at our current home because they are so beautiful and they also reminded me of my own hair. I have sometimes wondered if I have spent more money on stuff to straighten my hair or at least control it than anyone else in the universe, so these images gave me a good laugh and even a renewed sense of peace with my hair. I have used less of all that stuff since my hair grew back after my 1995 chemo (it is great to have hair!), but I think that from this point forward, every time I reach for whatever taming product I have on hand, I will picture these beautiful milkweed seeds, count my blessings, and consider letting nature make its own version of beauty.

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

1 comment:

Kateri said...

I might have to buy the Purple Trillium garlic next year, just because I like the name!