Today is the day we plant the garlic. The past few years we have been fortunate to have Bill Mewaldt as one of our "go to experts" on gardening and all things organic. A retired college professor of biology, he also owns and runs with his wife Korena, Mewaldt's Organic Produce here in Fallon. They sell their amazing produce to gourmet restaurants in Reno (4th Street Bistro, LuLu's...etc..) and last year they started a CSA -Community Sponsored Agriculture - subscription service that Bob and I have been enjoying most of the summer. Every week a lovingly prepared basket arrives for us at Flower Tree filled with whatever goodies they harvested and accompanied with delightful recipes and history of the particular vegetable or fruit.
Back to the garlic. Those of you who read this on a regular basis will remember that I am from the South. We don't grow garlic there, heck - we didn't even really use garlic in our household, except for Mom's spaghetti sauce, and that was used sparingly and always came out of a little shaker can. It was when I had my first cooking lessons at the right hand of Bob's Mother Sharon, I started to learn the fine art of garlic. When my husband and I had been married and living in New York City for just a short year, the Coast Guard saw fit to send him to "isolated duty" in the Marshall Islands for the next 13 months. Back home I went to Miami, and after a month or so I started my Every Thursday Night cooking lessons with Sharon. My own Mother who worked full time all during my childhood was a basic cook. Sure she could whip out one of her famous meatloaf, or put on a show with some incredible Macaroni and Cheese, but the basics were what she excelled at. Sharon on the other hand was a self taught gourmet cook. She subscribed to all the magazines, she watched the early TV shows, and she used a LOT of garlic. Her spaghetti sauce was famous in her circle of friends, and over the year of lessons, I got pretty good at it too. I have never used shaker garlic since then.
But what I didn't know until I met Bill Mewaldt was just how easy and fulfilling it was to grow your own. With little effort, and even less care, you can harvest your garlic every summer and have enough to last the entire year. It doesn't go bad, it doesn't rot or smell and it is just plain pretty....to see it all lined up in a row. So, stop by today, about noon, and plant some garlic with us. I may even give you some secrets to Sharon's Famous Spaghetti Sauce. See you there, Susan