December 6, 2017

Garden Fairies

I chose the best bulbs from last year's crop to plant for next year's crop.

On December 1st I stood in my garden and pushed a shovel into the soft, rich soil. "How late is too late to plant garlic in the fall?" I wondered as I dug. It didn't really matter - my garlic was going in.

Being only one crop into my garlic growing experience means that I have much to learn. My research leads me to believe that garlic goes into the ground after the first few frosts of the fall, but before the ground freezes.

Once planted, the bulbs like several weeks of non-frozen soil in order to get root growth started. However, if it gets too warm, the greens may sprout, and you don't want that to happen till spring.

Since moving from the west coast to the east coast three years ago, we have been learning about the climate of our new home. For optimum gardening, knowledge of the local climate is crucial. We live in a 7a zone here, same as where we lived on Vancouver Island.

Grandparent garlic.
That means that planting my garlic December 1 (we planted our first crop in October last year) means that we could be four to five weeks from colder weather, snow, and frozen garden soil.

It all comes down to actual experience of putting things in soil and seeing what happens. So that is what I did. If you don't plant, you will for sure not get any garlic.

It seems that my late season efforts were sanctioned by two tiny garden fairies that joined my garlic planting party. While I was plunking garlic cloves into the dark soil, two tiny specks of flying life forms hovered at my side.

I guess they might have been insects, and if they were, they are insects I have never seen before. They were etherial, with teeny bluish wings, and a small body that was luminescent, glowing brightly with white light.

I thought I might need to rub my eyes and take a second look as the two of them flew near me and my garlic, but then they seemed to disappeared into the mildness of the day.

Wow. Did I just see that? Beautiful late fall day. Soft, workable soil. My own cloves going in the ground. And garden fairies. Or were those garlic fairies? I am not sure if they are specialists, or generalists.

So much to like at that moment, I breathed deeply and felt life's magic flowing, vibrating, and shimmering all around me.

"... there is no way for mere gardeners to know what garden fairies look like. 
We live in a dimension called the garden dimension. Only a small handful of people have ever spent enough time in a garden to actually see into this dimension. 
And even when they do see into this garden dimension, they have no idea they are seeing garden fairies." 
- excerpt from The Garden Fairie Journal

I covered the cloves with 2 to 3 inches of soil, levelled the surface, and tucked in the thirty plants for the winter. Then I went inside to tell Linda that the garlic was in, and that the event was supervised by fairies. She asked if they looked like the tooth fairy that she saw as a child.

I'm not too sure about fairy nomenclature, but I predict a bumper crop of garlic next summer.

“Stop automatically discounting modes of experience that most human beings have treated as just as valid as the material senses, start paying attention to all the ways in which natural processes behave like subjects rather than objects, and you’ll find yourself stepping into a living world—or, more to the point, realizing that you’ve been in a living world all along.”
- John Michael Greer


  1. Anonymous12/06/2017

    Garlic is thought to have a powerful essence and is used in medicinal cuisine in China. The Chinese name for garlic is dasuan, 大蒜. Not sure if you know that one of the nicest parts of the garlic plant is the leaves which you can buy by the bunch in China. Only seen them in Chinese shops in the UK.
    Enjoy your planting.

    1. Alex,

      I did not know about the leaves. So the whole plant is edible. Will try leaves next spring.

  2. Greg and Linda, sending caring thoughts your way. I only started gardening a few years ago and at the moment I have about 10 kg garlic harvested and more to come. Tonight I will try to make black garlic for the first-time in my rice cooker. Saffron


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