|Garlic harvested from my garden|
Garlic is the most reliable, useful and satisfying crop that I've planted. It is a perfect addition to any garden especially one for children. Like any spring flowering bulb, garlic is planted in the fall before the ground freezes. The children plant the garlic cloves separated from the bulbs, watch for the beautiful spring green foliage emerging from the ground in the spring and harvest the bulbs in late summer.This is a hands on learning opportunity for children to see for themselves that "like produces like and experience the full cycle of a plant". The big bonus is bringing the garlic home and using it in a recipe! Download this sample lesson plan from EAT THINK GROW.
I recently prepped my garden bed and planted three rows of garlic using bulbs from my current crop and one purchased from the farmer’s market.This is the third season that I have planted garlic and each year I have added another row. I admit,I get a little greedy for more as the fresh strong flavor is far superior to anything purchased in a store. I've also discovered easy and delicious ways of using the sculptural green scapes such as in a pesto paste.
Keep in mind: if you're looking for garlic bulbs to plant do not use the ones from the grocery store as they are treated with a growth inhibitor. Any agricultural supply store like Blue Seal has bulbs if the farmer's market near you has closed for the season. You can find out more about planting and harvesting garlic from UNH Cooperative Extension.
|Sculptural garlic scapes in June|
If the ship has sailed for this endeavor, make a note for next year's to-do list. Garlic is a great addition to a garden with the added benefit of a curriculum connection. And don't forget to look for garlic scapes at your local farmers market next summer!