While I have a good supply of garlic bulbs, there’s another plant that can provide the flavour, and it’s available fresh from the garden between early May to late October. This plant also provides greenery for the dish, whether that be scrambled eggs or soups.
The perennial that everyone can grow and that thrives from being cut regularly is garlic chives. It’s so easy to grow and propagate that once you have one small plant in your garden, it won’t take many years before the clump grows to a fair size and new plants pop up around the mother plant. Don’t consider these new plants as weeds, though they may be mistaken for blades of grass in the early stage. Move them to the location of your choice or share them with a friend.
Garlic chives are so resilient, they survive our harsh Canadian winters. It’s a food source that will be there even in a dystopian world. This prompted me to use them Natural Selection.
Here’s the section where I spoke about them.
Eloise skipped away, glancing back several times, giggling as she disappeared from sight to enter the garden behind the cottage. The evening meal would be splendid because she’d have someone new to talk to, Sawyer would tell stories and they’d enjoy his company late into the night.
With determined hands, she snipped the necessary chives to flavour the food she’d prepare. Tiny sprouts easily mistaken for blades of grass sprang up around the mature plants, telling her the chives had multiplied in abundance since last spring. Three years ago, after tending the plants since she’d arrived at Larkspur, she had discovered that if she allowed the flowers on the chives to age and dry, the following year was a bonanza of new growth. To increase her stand of chives, she had snipped only those that did not show signs of flowering. Her efforts rewarded her with a large patch of garlic-flavoured cuttings that seasoned her dishes fresh in summer and dried in winter.
Her uncle believed she performed magic in the garden when in truth, she had learned to let nature take its course. While she removed pesky weeds that might invade and outgrow plants she desired, for the most part, she provided guidance to the food plants and gave them all they needed to thrive. That included adding fallen leaves to the garden in the fall that protected the plants and by spring melted into the soil to make it easier to dig.
She hadn’t learned this from books she’d read; they instructed to take a strong hand when tending plants. Many of their techniques prevented healthy growth. Her goal was to not do anything that prohibited growth. That was the key.
Natural Selection is now available as an eBook. Buy it here.