Oct 21 Garlic Planting - it's a little later than most years, but this October has seen incredibly warm weather (upto 30C), sunny days with mild nights. We just kept harvesting from our summer beds: lettuce, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, chard, basil, and didn't feel ready to pull plants out and prepare the beds for winter.
Finally near the end of October I decided I had to plant the fall garlic, or it would have to wait until spring. I pulled the entire basil bed, made a few last batches of pesto, and then I put in one full bed (5x8 raised bed) with about 150 garlic, which will make only a reasonable dent in the amount of garlic we eat in this household. Next year I will consider claiming two raised beds for our garlic planting! 9 rows of organic elephant garlic (don't know the variety - saved from our CSA farmer, Martha); 1 row each of heirloom organic garlic from a friend on Salt Spring Island in BC - White Polish, Salt Spring, Red Russian, and Chinese Rocambole.
We recently heard a friend talk about his father's cafe, which uses nearly 10,000 garlic bulbs in a year to supply the cafe kitchen (garlic is a staple to start nearly every dish!). All this garlic is planted each year, diligently on the father's nearby farm. I love the connection from farm to table, with the work done by the same hands - and the idea of measuring your cafe status by the amount of garlic used!