My elephant garlic borders on massive. I have been to the farmers market and seen signs on the cute little baskets labeling some tangerine sized bulbs as elephant garlic. I have fantasies about having a stand at the market when I retire and having to use an extra large roasting pan to display my mutant sized elephant garlic. I would set up my stand right next to the little puny tangerine sized specimens and smile at them in a patronizing way.
A very generous man from somewhere in Alabama that I connected with on Gardenweb sent me my first bulb. I don’t remember his name but if you are him and you are reading this; I owe my elephant garlic success to you. Because my first bulb was gifted to me I give away one bulb each year. One. Period. I tried to buy this stuff one time through mail order and I paid TEN DOLLARS for one mediocre sized bulb.
Hubby is very proud of the garlic. I think it is a man thing. It is large, bulbous, and has a stick on the end of it – sort of like a weapon – a mace from medieval times. He likes to take them to work to impress his friends and coworkers. He also makes a mean pizza from the cloves, sliced the size of silver dollars sautéed in bacon fat. And slices roasted to a slightly crispy brown, chewy like eating garlic candy. We don’t care about the smell. We were hoping you would go away before you got here anyway.
There is one catch to growing all of this massive garlicky goodness; we can’t eat all of it if I am to have any to plant the next year. My rule is to eat one third of the harvest and replant two thirds. I keep reminding the love of my life that we do have baskets of smaller true garlics to eat; Polish Whites, Georgia Crystal and some Red Toch. But they are not as impressive as the elephant garlic with each clove the size of a large mouse or a small rat. That isn’t exactly appetizing is it? How about cloves the size of … I don’t know – I’ll have to come back to this. O.K., so how about the size of an egg; that sounds like something you would actually want to eat.
So anyhoo, I set aside an entire day for planting my fat little garlic babies. I have prepared every bed for garlic planting and have even made new beds for planting the other stuff next spring. I am starting a garlic empire.
…………….There are twelve bulbs of elephant garlic. Twelve. Sometime between June and September a large tub of bulbs turned into twelve. One…. Two…. 12.
Remember Mutley the cartoon dog? “Mutley is Dastardly's bungling canine sidekick. He rarely speaks, and when he does it usually takes the form of just cursing to himself indistinctly, usually following some misfortune that has befallen him; there are times when distinct single words can be discerned amid his mutterings" (wikipedia).Those distinct single words that could be discerned coming out of my mouth will not be repeated here. And where did all of the bulbs go? Nobody knows. Like I used to tell my children when they were little, “If I ever find Nobody I am going to kick his or her little behind for about three hours or until my foot gets tired – whichever comes first”. I know – it was the Garlic Gremlins, or the Orbs that live in my back yard. WhatEVERR!
So my dreams of gloating at the farmers market are squashed – I guess that’s what I get for even thinking of being so prideful. Out of the twelve maybe eight will sprout since they didn’t store very well this year. I will finish my rant here and leave all of my mutterings on this page and start again the building of my garlic empire.
Next year there will be inventories and padlocks and control logs.