Thursday, November 13, 2014

ice and inspiration

Today the weather took a turn towards winter, showering Gresham with snow followed by freezing rain, and leaving everything covered in a sheet of ice. Meanwhile, the wind continues. So my thoughts naturally have turned towards my garlic, still unmulched in the field. I keep worrying about it, but luckily I'm also reading the fantastic book, Growing Great Garlic, in which the author assures me that my garlic is just fine. In fact, he says, based on his 10 years of fairly scientific investigations, garlic will even keep growing while the ground is frozen and the weather is nasty. He continues:
We're on the verge of another winter now, and I can't help but feel a bit nervous as I gaze across mulched fields lying still and quiet beneath winter skies. I suppose all farmers know the feeling. But I suppose the garlic will survive and flourish again this winter despite all Nature's surprises and all my thoroughly human anxieties. Indeed, I don't seem to be psychologically prepared for real winter yet. But the garlic--it's just ended its period of natural rest and started its season of growth.
Encouraging words, these, and just at the right time. I'm not ready for winter yet, either. But there's something deeply satisfying, even moving, about the idea that the garlic I planted last month is already starting its odyssey towards next summer.

Still, at the first opportunity this weekend you better bet I'll be out there, spreading the mulch.


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