Garlic bulbs and books

We planted garlic today. We do it every fall, so there’s nothing remarkable about that.

One thousand six hundred and sixty five bulbs. That’s pretty typical for us, too.

What’s not typical? I was in shorts and a tank top. 

It’s always a family affair, but instead of waiting for the weekend, we were able to sneak the planting in between the kids’ remote learning classes. 

I always plant each bulb and wonder how it will turn out. I always think I should be mapping them out better. Did the bigger cloves result in bigger plants? Did the ones I shoved deeper take longer to sprout? Which ones give the curliest scapes? With this many plantings, it’s impossible to keep track unless I write it down….And another year goes by with me thinking about it, and that’s about it.

Also in my head: What will the world will be like when we harvest next August? Will we be back to normal? 

We will most definitely know more by then, based on the simple fact that we learn more every day, right? So, even if we don’t like the answer, we will at least be more educated about it. I’ll try to find some solace in that.

After we washed up, I checked the mail and a new release from my favorite author, Deborah Madison had arrived. I own every book she’s written and every one is a cookbook. Until this one.

I haven’t started it yet, obviously, but it’s a memoir about her life as a chef, how her talents helped mainstream vegetables into everyone’s diets.

Madison isn’t a vegetarian, and neither am I, but I fell in love with her cooking about 15 years ago. You don’t need to be a vegetarian to appreciate what she brings here, a real respect for food. 

It’s funny to me now. I had no idea when I first dicovered her cooking (I was a vegetarian at the time) that I’d one day be a vegetable farmer. I didn’t know how much I’d learn in the meantime. I didn’t think how every bite I take started in the same earth I now till. 

I didn’t know I’d end up changing my mind about meat. That I’d I take a better look at the meat sources, get to know my farmers and choose only to eat from those that respect the animal in the same manner I do.

There’s so much I still don’t know about all this, but one thing I know for certain, I’m going to keep learning, and evolving and growing, just like that garlic, whatever the future holds.

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