The garlic I planted last fall started to look sad, as in dying back. The first few I tried pull out by their tops to harvest left the bulbs securely in the ground. I had to ding them out by hand. It seemed the smaller cloves garlic that I planted last fall needed to be dug out by hand. The tops were small and just too far gone to pull the heads out of the dirt. The larger cloves produced a larger head and more substantial stems and easily came out. All of the heads still attached to the stems were hung up to dry. I tried to braid the stems but failed miserably. I am hoping some of the nutritional in the stems will go into the bulbs. The ones that were broken off were washed and dried before I put them into the refrigerator. The aroma and taste of the freshly picked garlic was wonderful. I used 4 of the small cloves to make a pot of split pea soup. Yes it might be a bit warm for hot split pea soup but I love it and it is good cold, too.
Garlic seems to appear in so many recipes and folk medicine. As usual Wikipdeia has some good information on garlic.