Growing the Stinking Rose

Yesterday I did something I’d never done before.

I planted garlic.

In the past I always followed the motto “only grow it if it’s pricey to buy or highly perishable”.   This meant that I grew herbs and tomatoes but not much else.

A few things have changed my thinking; I am usually too busy/out of town on Saturday mornings to shop for local produce at the farmers market, we bought a house with plenty of garden space, and I now want to consume as much organic produce as possible.  More organics mean more $$$, it’s just a fact.

Gardening does cost money but it’s pretty minimal really, I have enough lettuce, kale, collards, and mustard greens in my garden to eat greens everyday for months and the seeds cost me less than $5.

I digress, the real reason I wanted to plant garlic is because it’s super simple, you just shove some cloves in the ground and nine months later you’ve got garlic!  The websites I read also mentioned something about watering, mulching, and fertilizing but I’m a pretty lazy gardener and usually my “throw it in the ground and forget about it” approach works so I’m going with that.

Another reason I wanted to grow garlic is because most of the garlic I find in the store is from far, far away-like China!  I am okay with buying bananas from Central America but garlic shipped all the way from China?  Is that really necessary?

So out to the garden I went.

I broke the bulbs into individual cloves…

found a garlic-clove-sized-stick to make holes about an inch deep…

…and shoved in a clove!

If all goes as planned, the cloves will shoot up sprouts in the spring and be ready to harvest around July.  Each clove grows a whole bulb and I planted about twenty.

I am already planning my garden for next year, I definitely want to grow some okra.  Look at how gorgeous this red okra plant is!

There are still two things that I am leaving to the real farmers are potatoes and onions…for now.

When Three Worlds Collide

Tate and I have two sets of house-guests right now.

First, let me say, I like hosting.  I enjoy sharing my space and town and understand how lovely it is to be welcomed into someone’s home rather than book into a hotel.  Also, hosting creates a pretend holiday, a chance to explore your home through new eyes and drink a bottle of wine on a Thursday night. 😉

Our first guest, Josh, is a friend that we made in Portland in 2006.  He left Portland a few years before we did and we lost touch for a while.  A few weeks ago he wrote to say he was going to be in Charlotte and wanted to drive up to Charlottesville for a visit.  We quickly fell back into laughs and conversation and, for he and Tate, sports.  They spent every bit of daylight either on their bikes or throwing a frisbee!

Our other guests arrived late last night, they are three young women from Norway.  We met one of them, Mette, in June 2010 while we were traveling through Tibet.  We spent 8 days together in a tour group and Mette said many times how interested she was in traveling to “The States”.  I didn’t know if she’d ever make it but I told her she was more than welcome to come stay with us if she came.

And here she is!  She’s been working her way across the U.S working on organic farms through the organization called WWOOF.

I feel like three of my world’s are colliding today; my Portland-world, my traveler world, and my current C-ville world, and I love it!  It reminds me that the real heart of life is connecting with people.  No matter whether I am making new connections or fostering old ones, this is what makes life interesting, special, and memorable.

This is why I love the blogging world.  Blogging is all about making connections over commonalities, like chia seeds or Tabata training!  Thanks for being a part of my blog world!  It wouldn’t be the same without you!