All hail 'l'ail'!
Good news from our little 'prison farm'. The garlic has sprouted!
"Let me out!". "Not until December, although with good behaviour, we may consider your release in November." (Sounds like someone has started talking to the plants!)
We were a little delayed in actually planting our Allium sativum bulbs. They only went into the ground on 1 June 2018. With the cooler temperatures here in Liffey, we probably could have planted them in later April, early May. More time to store that precious sunlight energy before harvesting the cloves in November or December.
Fingers crossed we will have enough garlic to harvest to get us through one year of consumption. We put fifty bulbs in. So if each bulb grew into a clove containing ten bulbs, then we could potentially produce 500 bulbs of garlic!
The garlic is sprouting next to its close cousin, the leek (Allium ampeloprasum). Both the leek and the silverbeet (Beta vulgaris 'Fordhook)' have survived throughout summer and are still with us in these cool temperatures.
Now you are probably wondering why the 'high security'? What did these poor little buggers do to deserve such harsh treatment. Well it is for their own protection of course (isn't that what they always say in the movies?). We have quite a few native and introduced animals seeking a free lunch here. Usually we just see wallabies, echidnas and wombats, although there are possums and rats about. Not to mention the deer. Oh dear!
Last Monday we spotted seven juvenile deer prancing on the lawn at the bottom of the hill below the house. With their hard hooves, I want them well away from our lightly-tilled soil. And with their voracious appetites, I am not game to see whether or not they like garlic. I do!
Bambi and co ... not so cute in the vegie plot!
I clearly prefer garlic to Bambi. That won't change anytime soon I am afraid. So the garlic will have to stay caged up until its release later this year. I can't wait. I love the stuff. I just hope we will have enough to get us through the next year. Although between myself and the Frenchman, we do use more than just a little bit in our cooking.
Anyway, there is still a little time until harvest. So I don't want to get ahead of myself. Fingers crossed we have a bountiful supply. If not, there is always the local farmers' market.
Jusqu'à la prochaine fois!
PS. L'ail is French for 'the garlic'. In the proper sense of translation, not as in 'Yoplait is French for yogurt'.