Growing Back, Almost Like Magic by Jody Feldman

Garlic plants, summer.
My Uncle Sonny used to make barbeque sauce and blue cheese dressing. He also grew garlic in his garden which he’d share with my mom. In turn, she’d share with me. After my uncle passed away, I still had a head of garlic in my possession. I took it out to add to dinner one night, but couldn’t let it go like that. Instead of cooking with those cloves, I planted them. From that one head of garlic, I’ve been harvesting a bounty for years now.

Understand, I am not a gardener. I love the idea of gardening, especially of food gardening, but there’s a big problem; a collection of problems, actually. I forget to plant in the proper season. I fail to thin my crops. I don’t like to weed or water or otherwise tend to things like that. And yet, year after year, the garlic comes back, full and healthy, producing ramps and seeds and the type of heads you find in stores.

Garlic plants, yesterday.
 It’s dawned on me, more than once, how magically similar growing garlic is to my idea process. I’m guessing that if I actually took time to cultivate my ideas, I’d be able to grow so many more. And yet, when I’ve plucked out all I have at the moment, I can turn around, and even more have taken their place. Sort of like these young plants have in my garlic bed. They’ve just appeared. In November. Maybe when they shouldn’t.


  1. I'm with you on loving the IDEA of gardening. We'll get there yet, Jody...

  2. I'm definitely not a girly-girl, actually love rolling up my sleeves and getting to work, but the combo of the dirt and the sweat and the cracking knees (which I've had since 1st grade, really) and all that bending just gets to me. I'm thinking, maybe, container gardening next year.

  3. Yes, let us all have faith in our garlic.


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