Operation: Rescue Garlic

Operation: Rescue Garlic


This next story will probably sound a bit strange to some of you. Or most of you. But those gardeners out there will understand. On Friday afternoon I headed over to our old home on Hudson. I was set on digging the garlic up before it rotted in the ground after all of this rain we’ve been having here in Oklahoma. The new owner and I had an agreement that I could dig up the fig tree and the garlic. In fact, we worked it into the contract. The fig tree was removed in March and is doing quite well. It was an anniversary present from my dear husband and I just couldn’t let it go. The garlic has been in the rotation for the past four years or so and was purchased from Horn Seed Company, which closed in 2012. I just couldn’t let it go either.


As I pulled up to the house I noticed that there had been a lot of upkeep done to the front bed of the garden, so I was completely thrown off when I went through the gate to the backyard. Nothing, I mean nothing had been touched back there since we moved out back in February. I was absolutely shocked! Sunchokes and sunflowers were coming up everywhere and they were taller than me! The garden was being over run by weeds. I had that same feeling I get when I drive by an abandoned farm, a feeling of loss and sadness, but I kept on. The home is no longer ours and what happens with it should no longer be our concern, especially since we have 20 acres of trees and poison ivy to contend with—and besides, not everyone is a gardener. I entered the gate to the garden and worked my way through the thick vegetation only to discover that the garlic was nowhere near ready to harvest. Tall overgrown weeds combined with a very cloudy spring kept all that precious garlic from maturing.




I had that same feeling I get when I drive by an abandoned farm, a feeling of loss and sadness, but I kept on.


I had two choices…weed the garden and come back in a month to harvest, or dig it up now and figure out where to plant 100+ heads of garlic. This was supposed to be my last time coming over to the old abode and I was set on that. I’m stubborn and when I’m emotional I don’t always think things through. I started digging in the mud and mist only to realize that 100+ heads of garlic is way more than I remember it being only one year ago. To top that I hadn’t arrived properly equipped, but lucky me there were still 5 gallon buckets and our old recycling trashcan on the side of the house. I gathered those up and filled them to the brim.


The Dig


At this point I do the only thing I know to do, call my dear friend Ron Ferrell, fellow gardener and like mind. “Ron, do you have any place I can plant some garlic? I have 100-150 heads and it all has to come up and I have nowhere to plant it.” He replied, “That’s a lot of garlic! I only have one small bed, but you can use it. You will probably have to cram them in there.” So an hour or so later I find myself digging in Ron’s wonderfully rich soil—composted sheep manure supplemented with all kinds of other yummy nutrient rich ingredients from his compost tea. The garlic couldn’t have wished for a better home. He’ll be rewarded with some delicious garlic scape pesto, as well as a portion of the harvest.


The new home


I have asked for more favors in the past few months than I’ve asked in the whole of my existence. Asking favors is really hard for me, just ask my husband. It has been a whole process because I’ve always had the mindset of “I’ve got this!” I am learning to accept help and to be okay with it, but it has been a process for sure. I have a feeling I’ll be working on being ok with asking favors for a really long time, but at least for now operation rescue garlic is complete.


Ron to the rescue

Stefanie Leland
  • Debbie

    Love that you got them in a safe happy home.

    May 29, 2015 at 2:38 PM
  • So sorry you found your beloved back garden in a mess. Hopefully they will get it back in shape soon. Probably the best thing you did was go ahead and rescue your garlic and move on. What a wonderful friend you have to give your garlic a temp. home. Asking for help is a bit hard to do at times, but we all have to do it! Be thankful you have so many that want to help. 🙂

    May 29, 2015 at 3:07 PM
  • Dian Bower

    Very cool story, thank you

    May 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM
  • Beau

    Thanks for reading!

    June 3, 2015 at 6:52 AM

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