Unless you're a vampire, you know that garlic is a critical element in good eating. For most people, this knowledge comes from happy experience with garlic-laced cuisines (and what notable culinary tradition is without it?), not book learning, and not working the fields to produce the aromatic bulb. For Stanley Crawford, the love of garlic comes from both scientific study and three decades of labor in the field to produce the exquisite bulbs, knowing full well that "if you grow good garlic people will love you for it." Crawford deserves similar affection for Garlic Testament
, a lyrical memoir of his work as a farmer in northern New Mexico, one that combines autobiography, gardening hints, and a quiet philosophy of life. "Farming and writing are both labors ... conducted on flat planes in relative solitude," he writes, but in this fine book--which compares well with the work of fellow farmer-writer Wendell Berry
--Crawford opens his gate and invites our company. --Gregory McNamee
From Publishers Weekly
More than 20 years ago, Crawford ( Mayordomo ) and his wife Rosemary settled in a mountain valley an hour outside of Santa Fe. They made the adobe bricks with which they built a house and started both to raise a family and to work what is now a four-acre farm. While the author writes that they "were a little too old to be hippies, though we tried," the couple's turning to the land was a thoughtful, considered move. This elegant and unsentimental account of how Crawford learned to grow his principal crop, garlic, and what that process has revealed about himself and his place in the world is probing. An eloquent paean to physical effort and to the land he cares for and depends on, his chronicle is a treasure trove of planting lore, from the autumn planting of garlic cloves to the winter-long "hibernation," the sighting of first shoots in spring, the formation of seed stalks in early summer, the harvesting soon after, and the less satisfying process, to him, of selling his produce, including statice and squash, at farmers' markets in Santa Fe and Los Alamos. Crawford's keen observations, penned in well-hewn prose, are as reflectively nurtured and pungently powerful as his crop of choice.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.