about the garlic

i know where to plant the garlic, now.

it is late in the season. very very late in the season. i planted the first garlic in october, then some up til christmas. i did it in sections, dug little beds, whatever i could manage at the time.

so i carried this box of garlic around, left it in the car, so it could chill. it has been in the house for a few weeks now, so it is starting to sprout, and the texture of the cloves is different, and i take out the green part in the middle, because some drunk guy walked through a party one night and made me just about promise to always take the green part out of the garlic, because otherwise it would be bitter. he was probably a cook, i know that now.

so there is an empty field, a triangle field at the crossroads after the crossroads, the fork after the fork, the non-turn after that other non-turn.

you know, there is a teaching philosophy based on individual modes of learning, like how some people process aurally, some visually, some kinetically. those kinetical people sure get the wrong end of the stick, the raw part of the deal. i have known many who are dyslexic. i hung out in sam well’s non-bar one night with a bunch of surfers who looked around and said, hey, we’re all dyslexic. geniuses, every one of them. well, anyway, there is also a method for figuring out how you learn and process, and you tell someone how to get somewhere, you give them directions, and it is the way you describe the trip that tells. for instance, some people say, ‘turn at the red sign’, some people remember other things.

but anyway.

there is wild allium (onion or garlic) in the field at the fork, unfortunately there is not a word for the way it is rippling along from a sweeping fog caress, on this day, the middle of a three day rain.

but it’s not really blowing. not like a nor’easter. not that much rain, either. last spring we had a nor’easter that brought the bay up over the bulkheads, this one girl was all surprised, and i thought, wait until it comes over the island.

so this garlic bed is in the middle of old germantown with a newer road going past it. for some reason, people honk when they drive by. maybe for the kids. others kind of speed, and for a while, people were dragging their tires in my gravel driveway, who knows why.

so we’re a car culture, that’s ok.

in the baja was a car culture. the baja5000 runs right through, monster buggies made by the car companies and sponsored by the oil. and you can still drive along the beach, and some use it to get from town to town, at low tide. so essentially it is a road.

this road, the one that forks at the garlic bed, is dirt. good dirt, too. but i don’t know who owns it. i think i am going to offer half the garlic, if i can plant some there.

and the garlic is ready to grow.

garlic is generally planted in october or november, in these middle states, in oregon, and i think in the ukraine. i do not know when they plant in italy. the garlic then chills in the ground for three or four months, and grows its roots. snow doesn’t bother it. it likes snow. snow makes for a slow melt, and the water seeps down to the roots for a few days after.

so this garlic grew here last year, some of it, and some of it i ordered from big john’s garden in oregon. it is growing well, as it is this variety, silver white softneck, that i planted in the fall.

as i write this, about farming, i keep thinking about tobacco, this is because i just found out there is a sudden $20 increase in the tax on loose tobacco. it went from $1/pound to $20+ dollars per pound two weeks ago. it is to fund a children’s health thing. i thought the last tax on cigarettes was for health costs of tobacco? or was that what tobacco companies had to pay. i honestly don’t know. i guess i trusted everybody, and paid, because i thought we were working it out, and because i am addicted to smoking. i smoke far less since i started rolling my own.

it is curious, tho. how does a $20/lb increase happen, anyway? weren’t those percentage increase on the packs of cigarettes?

i think it is the chemicals put into the cigarettes causing cancer.

so i am wondering now if it is legal to grow tobacco for yourself, in my state, and for how long it might be so. and how it is i don’t even know, or how to find out.

so the garlic is ready to grow. it has happily bumbled along in my car, getting tossed here and there, and gettin rustled around all winter. it is time to put it in the ground, hopefully at the fork.


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