Thursday, September 02, 2010

Sentimental Garlic

This story starts with my father's father, my Grandpa Slim. He lived in Port Angeles, Washington, and he loved to garden. One of his favorite things to grow was garlic. Over the years, he worked hard at finding/developing a strain of garlic that thrived in his garden and he grew lots of it.

Well, my mom's father, my Grandpa Kirk (aka Granddaddy) also loved to garden, down here in Santa Cruz. So, many moons ago, my Grandpa Slim gave my Grandpa Kirk some of his homegrown garlic to use as seed garlic. Soon enough my Grandpa Kirk was successfully growing his own abundant crop of garlic from those very bulbs.

Today, sadly, both my grandfathers are no longer alive to grow and trade garlic. But when my Grandpa Kirk died, my aunt Laura and I divvied up the remaining garlics and made a vow not to let this sentimental line of garlic come to an end! Garlic is a bit finicky to grow. It doesn't have very deep roots, so it takes lots of water, and some fertile soil... and then at some judicious point, you must totally stop watering it and allow it to do its own magic. You can imagine the pressure I felt to get it right! I'm not always the best about watering my garden, but I was determined not to drop the ball on my very special Two Grandpas Garlic.

Lo and behold, just this weekend I finally harvested these beautiful heads of garlic. I am so happy! For now, I've braided them together and hung them in our garage (I learned later that I shouldn't have cut the roots off just yet, so next time I won't make that mistake), where the air is cool and they can cure for about a month or so. Then, I will pick out the biggest heads of garlic, and use the most robust cloves from those for seed garlic, and slowly try to grow back up to a larger and more abundant crop. What's left will be distributed amongst the family so we can all enjoy the tasty lineage of my grandfathers' glorious gardening efforts!!


  1. What a beautiful story! We grew garlic for the first time this year, too. And I cut the roots off too early, too.

    You'll taste the love in every clove of that garlic. So awesome!

  2. That is such a beautiful story. I'm a sucker for family history and, as such, am actually a touch misty eyed. You are so fortunate to be able to continue the garlic lines of your grandfathers.

  3. That is such a lovely story. How fantastic that you can keep this link to your family alive and strong. :)

  4. Awww! This is such a beautiful story. Food really does bind us all together, doesn't it?

    Garlic goes into everything I make. I seriously consume at least 3 or 4 cloves a day! I wish I could grow my own, I bet it is even more delicious.

  5. That is such a lovely story and you did a great job of growing the garlic! I hope your family enjoys it for generations to come :)


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