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Here we offer a sample from The Garlic Press issue: #47 - page 2.

Out of My Head

by Bob Dunkel

The journey of garlic exceeds our memories, both culturally and historically. Whether from papyrus, rock wall or stele. it has made its mark on our oldest artifacts and even then, that memory is much newer than the clove or bulb. Even in the dichotomy of part or whole is reflected a greater mystery that propels it forth each Spring as the parts wane and the vision of fullness emerges. Garlic is! The world, however, is changing. The non-locality of physics has become the produce of the world. Markets of old in dusty byways are all now stirred by the influx of trade and lubricated by the arbitrary nature of currencies. Farmers from Ireland are short on quality garlic seed and contacting us, as well as New Zealanders and Aussies and even tiny nations that see the flooding of Chinese garlic and wonder what in the world is going on. Those of you that have computers should type the letters FAO into a google search bar and take a look at world trade flows by commodity. It is a real wake-up call if you think things arenít changing rapidly. Look at what crops we produce and lead production in, and then check China. Exploding populations may not have environmental wisdom, but they know the land supports them. Here we seem to believe more in stock markets than farmers markets. For a while, I must admit I harbored anti-Chinese sentiments and out of that McCarthy era paranoia that fears terrorism more than communism, I came to realize that we cannot rest on our laurels. Our falling dollar cannot buy the fruits and veggies that we were accustomed to years ago. Iíve researched production systems in China and besides having the numbers to produce what is nearly 80% of the worldís garlic, they also have built the laboratories to do the necessary work of improving quality. Itís our government that has dropped the ball on agricultural research and quality controls. Budgets are falling like overripe fruit and farmers are dying quicker than they are being replaced, and so we need to get our heads and hearts back in the game. We donít buy health, it has to be incorporated into our lifestyles and we need to fuel our bodies with food that is not just safe, but fresh, nutritious all know the drill.

So let that garlic emerging each Spring reinvigorate your commitment to the Earth and take a moment to sink your knees into the softened soil and ask to be reminded as to your role on this planet and give thanks to this land you have to work with and the crops of garlic or beans or whatever vision of growth you have. Spring is the true new year, as true as the cycle of moon, and Now is the season of intention. Out of the long nights of winter bring forth your dreams and insist on stepping up and into being a part of the great changes happening worldwide, and revive the heart to give service and strength to your endeavors and know that this garlic which has chosen you to be a part of its path, is older, wiser in its ways of survival and, therefore, a teacher to us all!

Garlic is.

There is only one clove, eternal. It borrows from you, fingers, arms, intention and is only ever always now growing. In planting it is already harvested, in growing it rests. We hold ourselves in our hands and it speaks through these lips, yours and mine. In families of bulbs, that same eternal self now shines and beckons. In endless variety it is the same. The knees that bend and fall upon this one earth have eyes Chinese, or Italian or our very own, and there is no difference at all. We create those divisions of type or nationality or seen as climatic change and yet there is one clove, planting itself through you and through me. The crow calls forth to remind us there is only now. The rains and winds dance to its melody and sing a simple song...and this earth of which there only is everything reminds us again and again and again to sing along, to whistle while we work and to celebrate now! Its cycle is our life, relived every second in a thousand different faces and forms. The fire it fuels and burns within and without us is the eternal flame. Garlic is. Out of compost heaps and dumpsters it rises, raising its green flag, that eternal flame of youth that seeks out its very self as we mirror also everything. It does not die and yet is always dying to form as it rises again from dust and the debris of yesterdays to arrange the future that is still ever only now. The miracle of seed, the cycle of acorn and oak, seasons unending still send forth the promise of rebirth, and the constancy of change that itself is changeless. Behold the clove in all things. It is the smile, the rainbow and the storm. The sulfur regardless of form. That self same moment of recognition that you and me and it and them and all that really is, is a dance of color and sound and one breath planting and harvesting, breathing in and out the same one light that sustains us.

Garlic is. (B.D.)


The Garlic Press is the newsletter of the Garlic Seed Foundation and has been published since 1987.

Subscription to The Garlic Press is included with membership in the Garlic Seed Foundation.

In each issue we try and cover topics on growing, eating, botany, medicine, and history laced with some culture and humor. We welcome member submissions.

Back issues are bound and available by mail or at festivals.


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