Latent Menace in the All-American Pantry
It’s time to plant garlic. So my mother tells me, and the world wide web confirms it.
I’m still new to this business of growing food in the yard. I cite years of experience sprouting this and that on window sills, in buckets on dorm balconies and by the back doors of apartments. All that practice, as it turns out, did not automatically qualify me to bring my half acre into overnight permacultural abundance. It can be treacherous, this direct-into-the-dirt stuff.
When Mom told me her order of garlic had been delivered and to come pick up my share, I pictured seed packets, dried sprouts rubber-banded together or maybe something just poking out of the dirt in little black plastic cartons. Imagine my surprise to learn all the fuss was over this:
Allegedly, you just put the cloves in the ground and… they grow.
I think every child imagines her toys moving around about when she’s looking elsewhere. A reputedly sensible adult these days, I am now extremely wary of the suspicious quiet behind the closed doors of my pantry. When I look in every night before dinner, the onions and potatoes, the little packages of dried beans and lentils, the winter squashes and the jars of tomatoes are all sitting quietly in their places. But if the garlic is any indication at all, I’m one slow roof leak away from opening the doors on a ravenous food jungle.
At least I know what I’m up against. Black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, you loaves of bread, I have my eye on you. I know you’re just biding your time.