Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Green Garlic Patch

I continue to ponder Garlic Leeks which I recently realized are conventionally known as Green Garlic. My husband is the official vegetable gardener in our family. He treats everything with proper care: weeding, mulching, feeding, watering. I on the other hand am more of a throw-it-in-and-see-what-you-get type of gardener. If it can survive in my garden, I know it's strong.

In my last post, Garlic Leeks, I wrote about eating the stalks of garlic bulbs that were missed in the harvest. They were really superb! And so much more to eat than in a clove.

Last fall after we planted a bed of garlic I decided to plant a bed for myself using some of the previous year's garlic bulbs that we never got to eat. They were getting soft and drying out but some were sprouting. I separated most of them and planted them in close rows in my herb patch. A few bulbs were tiny and not having the patience to separate them, I just planted the whole bulb.

I wanted to see if they would grow at all. This spring I have a healthy patch of garlic plants, certainly not of the size and caliber of the plants in the official, well-taken-care-of bed, but certainly good enough size to eat as stalks sauteed with other veggies. The tiny whole bulbs that I planted are a cluster of skinny greens that I will separate and replant when I have a minute.

Another benefit of these stalks is that we can eat them so early in the season because they've wintered over and sprout early in the spring. We've been eating them for about 3 weeks and it's only early May! For New England that's almost a miracle! I'm curious to see how long they will stay tender.

I like the idea of having a garlic patch for stalk eating and another patch for bulbs to cure for the fall and winter. It seems to me to be a good use of space yielding more food in the end.

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