It’s not too soon to think about next year’s garlic crop and I discovered that Blythe’s garlic seed crop at Barbolian Fields is disappearing fast. I could – and will – use some of this year’s garlic crop to seed next year’s. But Blythe sells a veritable rainbow of interesting and exotic garlic, making it impossible to stick to the tried and true. And I find it really hard to keep from getting excited when talking garlic with Blythe. She holds them with the gentle reverence of an artisan. In her hands garlic heads become beautiful jewels as she points out richly colored stripes, discusses their origins, or compares one head to another. She has collected garlics from garlic growing regions worldwide – Romania, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Czechoslovakiah, Asia. Who can resist planting a United Nations of Garlic?
This is a little more than half of Blythe’s remaining crop, much of which she sells by mail order. Needless to say, it wasn’t a quick visit or easy decision-making.