If you haven't planted garlic before, please don't be afraid of it. It is wonderful and easy to grow.
In the Fall (after your garden had been tilled)
#1 separate the pieces of the bulb
#2 plant the larger pieces (there's no decision making with hard neck garlic because all the cloves are large)
#3 dig a trench about 3 or 4 inches deep
#4 space the cloves 3 inches apart
#5 cover the cloves with soil
#6 water regularly all summer (I use a drip line and timer) and when the soft neck garlic starts to fall over around the middle or end of July, pull it out of the ground.
#7 dry in a place out of the reach of birds (they'll peck holes in them - um just trust me on this)
#8 store in a cool dry place, saving a few cloves to plant next year.
Just a note: unless you have amazing soil make sure to fertilize with a great organic bone meal. (Always test your soil before adding anything to it)
So how does this compare to my regular every day life. In the fall, we think about putting our gardens to bed for the winter. But there is something about knowing I've got garlic growing. Knowing is going to pop up in the spring. Usually when it shows up I know it's time to plant peas. It's a motivator to start gardening again.
The Daily, weekly, yearly stuff can become mundane. Sometimes we just need a little something to get us going again. By planting something good in my garden in the fall, I'm more likely to plant other good things in the spring.
A few months ago, I held a baby during church so a young mom could get a little more out of the lesson. Today that mom put her arm around me and gave me a hug when I cried during the closing hymn. It's those moments of kindness that keep us going.
You harvest what you plant whether it's in your garden or in life. Let's be more kind, thoughtful, and willing to help others, myself included.