Wednesday, July 18, 2018 – Harvesting Garlic and Making Memories

The fruit of the garden is not restricted to what we eat. Every garden lends something more to the imagination – beauty.

 Vigen Guroian, Inheriting Paradise: Meditations on Gardening

Makiya and I go to the garden early, while it’s still relatively cool. It’s a beehive of activity with many gardeners thinking along the same lines. Today we’re harvesting garlic.

I dig the first few bulbs out with my garden trowel, tap off the dirt that clings to the roots, and lay it out on the gravel next to our plot. Meanwhile, Makiya picks peas. There aren’t many; pulling those vines out is a chore for the following day.

We get a routine going: I dig out a garlic bulb, hand it to Makiya who taps the dirt off the roots, and lays it out on the gravel. Then I hit a snag: a stubborn bulb that, despite my digging and tugging, refuses to budge.

”Let me try Grandma.”

She gets down on the ground and, with great determination, digs and tugs, and digs and tugs, and still that bulb refuses to budge.

”Let me try something, Sweetie,” and I push my trowel down as far as I can and push the handle over like a lever. Snap.  That wasn’t such a good idea—good thing that was my trowel.

We head over to the shed where the communal tools are stored, choose another trowel and a long-handled small shovel, and she resumes coaxing the stubborn bulb out of the soil. The shovel does the trick. The bulb is huge: no wonder we had trouble with it.

Makiya, liking the idea of using the shovel take some over harvesting and I take the role of tapping off soil and laying out the cloves. She works hard and is careful not to pierce the bulbs as she digs them out.

We load 47 beautiful bulbs of Red Russian garlic in the back of the car. It’s a pungent drive home; loaded with garlic, and Swiss chard, and salad turnip, and carrots, and—best of all—memories.

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And now . . . a special guest post from Makiya.

Grandma and I enjoyed harvesting garlic today. I picked some peas at the starting of the visit to the garden and then I started harvesting garlic with Grandma.

She did the first couple of them and then I started with her. I took the job taking the garlic and shaking them off to get soil off of them. Then I took over and I started digging and pulling, digging and pulling, until I got them out. I only pierced two of them luckily.

We got to a really stubborn one and I am trying and trying to get out but it’s no use.

“Do you need help?”

I shake my head but then the shovel gets stuck. I yank it out and hand the shovel to Grandma she tries and tries to pull it out of the ground but the stem breaks and then her shovel breaks snap!!

We go to the shed and get a new shovel and then I got it out as Grandma gets one more shovel.

When we get all them out we load them into the car . The car stinks bad but we can make do with it. We get home with 47 garlic cloves and boy am I glad to return home.



I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things.
1 comment
  1. Mikaya does a great job of writing dialogue . . . and gardening with her Nana!

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