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Bullet Garlic

June 13, 2010

(This will turn into a garden post. I promise.)

Bullet casting consists of melting a lead based alloy and casting into projectiles using custom molds selected by the caliber and intended application. In the “hand loading” or “reloading” process, the projectile or bullet is then loaded into a primed brass cartridge case that contains a carefully selected and weighed powder charge. The process is a blend of science and art; I find it an enjoyable extension of my shooting hobby vs being a chore. It provides the most accurate custom ammunition available for my specific guns at a fraction of the cost of commercial/factory loaded ammunition.

Last year when participating in a conversation in a reloading & casting forum, I offered to send a few samples to a fellow reloader to try out. Note: I did not offer loaded ammunition as the BATF and Dept of Treasury might take offense; I sent just a few cast bullets for him to load himself and decide whether he might want to invest in the same mold himself.

For the curious, I sent some of the bullets pictured below, 44 caliber 300g copper gas checked ones produced by a loaned RCBS mold. Seriously, who wouldn’t be tempted to try these works of art ….. 

A few months later in another forum, the same person saw some posts about my garden and remembered me as the person who had sent him the samples earlier. (A benefit of having a unique made up screen name; seriously, how many “cohutts” could there really be out here on the interweb? ) He contacted me and offered to send a few cloves of garlic for me to try in my garden. I hadn’t considered this before but graciously accepted the reciprocal offer after reading that even serial-plant-killing-garden-fools can grow garlic.

What he sent was a few cloves each of both the softneck and hardneck varieties he had been planting. He had forgotten the variety of each as they had been ordered a couple of seasons earlier; like most garlic growers, he saved some of the early summer harvest each year as seed stock (or clove stock I suppose) for planting the next fall and the specific names had long since faded from memory.

I planted the cloves last November and mulched with some fallen pecan leaves. A little green appeared before winter set in but I didn’t worry as garlic was purported to be pretty cold hardy. This turned out to be correct as we ended up having a pretty cold winter (for Georgia anyway) and the plants handled it well.

By early April a nice stand of garlic was leading the arrival of the main growing season:

This is the time that garlic really puts on the green and is the time to make sure the plants are well fed. Consider that these leaves are the solar panels that fuel bulb growth later in spring and early summer; more panels = more energy to the bulbs = larger potential bulbs = more garlic = a good thing. 😉

Later in the month, the plants had grown noticeably so I was optimistic about the ultimate harvest.

Next: What lies below

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