I don’t consider myself a gardener, but today I donned my gloves, grabbed a shovel and hoe, and planted eight garlic cloves in the clay beside our house. Tomorrow my husband will mulch some fallen leaves and spread a layer over the tiny garden. Then we will wait for November, December, January, February, March, April, and May to pass, hoping to harvest garlic in June. I have a good bit of confidence that the harvest will come despite the weather’s unpredictability and the various critters who munch on our foliage. Why? Because in the two previous years, I have planted garlic this way and been blessed with success.
My first attempt, though, was a failure. I bought a head of garlic at the grocery store, broke it apart, and planted it in the spring. Some plants came up, but failed to produce garlic heads underground. Then, in the summer of 2015, I met a man who was selling garlic at a festival. He was passionate about his products, and I took a bit of time to ask him some questions about growing garlic. I took some home and followed his instructions, confident that I was starting with better seed and knowledge. I separated the cloves of one head and planted them in the fall. They sprouted in the spring and put on scapes (surprise!). I waited until late June to carefully dig around the plants and found a crop. Seven heads of garlic from one!
I treated myself to that cute little pot to hold the fruits of my labor.
There was satisfaction in growing fresh garlic to add to my recipes. I kept the largest head aside so it could be divided into cloves and planted in the fall. The garlic I planted today is the result of that planting – and waiting.
I expect each of these cloves to produce a head of four or five cloves.
Growing things takes time and patience. Garlic is really easy. After it’s in the ground and covered for the winter, I don’t do anything but wait. I find wonder in the way a plant grows from a seed. The resulting homegrown ingredient is a blessing, but not a necessity for us. The gentleman who sold me the garlic depends on having a product to sell. A family who grows and preserves their own food knows the stress of waiting and hoping conditions are right for a good harvest. The farmer’s patience is held up as an example in the Bible. James says to Christians who are being persecuted, “See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You, too, be patient and stand firm, for the Lord’s coming is near.” (James 5:7,8)
My last writing was called Waiting for the Sun – Patience Part 1. I had begun a post about patience before and put it aside, waiting until inspiration came with the Morning Star. Today, as I completed little tasks and thought about patience, many seeds began to sprout on the topic. Mustering some discipline, I’ve been jotting them down today – putting them in the ground, so to speak. My faithful Father God gave inspiration again, this time through garlic planting. I’m not putting a limit on this series about patience. It may be continued for weeks. I may insert something else and later come back to it. The topic is relevant in my life and, I believe, in the lives of the people around me.
How about you? Is patience something you would like to cultivate?
My little Oregano and Garlic garden. Planting while the sun shines!