So, last November we planted garlic, with help from family. It's up now (we were down there again in March), so clearly it's time to finally get the November garlic-planting post up, huh. Here goes. Garlic, Allium sativum, is closely related to onions and to Allium tricoccum, the ramp or "wild onion" so popular where I grew up in western NC. Ramp festivals continue to be a favored spring and summer pastime thereabouts. Garlic is a little less closely to amaryllis and lillies. Like all of these, garlic has bulbs--a meaty base for the leaves, that provides food for the leaves during dormancy. When you pull a mature plant, the bulb--which neatly divides into 6-12 cloves--provides the planting stock for next year's crop. We hauled a box of garlic cloves with us on to our Canton land, in November 2010, and got help from our cousins and their kids to plant them. The bed we double-dug was lightly amended with some minerals, marked to set cloves at 6" intervals throughout the bed, and then planted with garlic. 600 tamped-in cloves later, the bed is tucked in for the winter! In keeping with our generally favorable view of child labor, our 2.5 and 4.5 year-old first cousins once removed were readily pressed into service...except when they were playing with that big ball or clambering all over their garlic-planting parents.