Garlic and the Start of the Great Vegie Patch – Hopefully!

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The best way to know the story behind what you are eating is to grow it yourself. You know it has travelled the minimum distance to your plate, plus what conditions it has been grown under, what’s been applied in the way of fertiliser and if anything has been used to fend off the attack of the insects. You are also in control of the timeframe from when it is picked, to when it is eaten.
So the plan here is to have a great vegetable garden, which is a nice idea but its rainy and cold outside. Winter isn’t the best time to be enthused about having a grand vegie patch, overflowing with goodness. But you have to start where you are. I do have a rather neglected patch, from which I pulled up half a dozen beetroot and two carrots last week. All that’s left in the way of vegetables is some kale and three self- sown broad bean plants. We won’t mention the weeds. I was thinking of letting the ducks in there to clean it up for me and then plant some garlic. But I’ve been thinking about doing it for so long now, that the garlic needs to have been planted yesterday, it’s sprouting! The ducks are in around the raspberries and that is all free of weeds and muddy, so the garlic can go in there and the ducks in the vegie area. Well, as soon as I put up a mini fence to protect two myrtus berry bushes and a little apple tree that has started growing under the Lady in the Snow apple tree.
Garlic is definitely worth growing and a great place to start for beginners. As long as your soil isn’t straight clay and you can take the time to keep the weeds down, it will pretty much do its own thing and grow. There is great satisfaction in seeing it grow, harvesting it and using what you have grown. Much of the garlic in the shops is imported and bleached, looking unnaturally clean and white. I’ve a mix of garlic to plant, some I’ve saved from last season, some I bought from a local vegie shed, that is from The Tasmanian Garlic Company and I have some elephant garlic given to me by a friend. Now, just to get planting!

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