Post-frost Planting

Garlic Patch Oct. 15, 2019

After missing last year I planted garlic on Oct. 15. A couple of clear days dried the ground sufficiently to mow the plot, turn it, and put seeds in the ground.

I increased the number of rows from two to five which if all goes well will yield plenty of scapes and about 60 head of garlic.

Whether I’ll harvest anything next July is always a question. A gardener learns to live with unanswered questions that remain so until season’s end.

This photo highlights a developing process of minimizing the amount of ground I turn over for planting. Garlic needs space with 18 inches between seeds and 36-inch row separation. There’s no good reason to plow up all the ground in the plot. Even though the soil was cold earthworms were near the surface. That’s not to mention the unseen organisms that make soil fertile. I no longer use a mechanical tiller and do everything by hand. It’s good exercise that doesn’t use fossil fuels.

Fingers crossed there is an abundant harvest.

At a meeting of our home owners association board, I announced I’m looking to exit responsibilities as board president. I’ll finish my current term, I said. If the other board members are nice to me I might be convinced to re-up for one more three year term. That would be it. I will have lived 68 years in December and it’s time to focus on other things.

Because of the board meeting I missed the televised Democratic debate. That’s a joke. I haven’t turned on our tube-style television in years. Now that Elizabeth Warren is leading in the polling averages the knives are out. Read last week’s post here for my take on why support for Warren persists now that she is the front runner.

As responses to my email to Solon School Board candidates come in, I’m impressed by the field. Three men and three women who would each bring something positive to the board. Because of a scarcity of information about the election, yesterday’s post really took off, becoming the most viewed new writing on this blog in 2019. The majority of views are coming from Facebook, but I don’t see much discussion in my feed. What that usually means is a group in the district has latched on to my post and discussed it in a private group. Last time that happened, someone trolled me with a letter to the editor of the local paper. Any discussion will be good for what is expected to be a low-turnout election.

I’m sitting on four bushels of apples and need to get to work processing them. It won’t be today or tomorrow as I’m back at the home, farm and auto supply store. I’m blown away by the quality and quantity of this year’s crop. Years like this make gardening rewarding. On deck are more dried apples, small batches of applesauce and apple butter, more juice for vinegar-making, and baked goods for potlucks. Some of the last-picked apples will go into sweet cider, and of course some of them will be eaten raw.

It is fall in the gardening year but even after first frost we are busy planting and processing the harvest. It’s how we sustain ourselves in a turbulent world.

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