We are watching this year’s garlic with eager anticipation. After a long winter, the spring has been warm with just enough rain. A far departure from the last two seasons!
Again this year, we focused on those varieties and cultivars that have performed the best for us over the years. The seed stock is from our own, saved bulbs, ensuring that the garlic is well adapted to Eastern Ontario’s growing conditions. Below is a general description of the three varieties that we grow followed by more detailed descriptions of the cultivars which fall within each of those three varieties.
Last year, we were pleased to have expanded our Rose de Lautrec- a special garlic that we worked to build up over the last several years. For 2018, we are pleased to reintroduce an old favourite, Italian Purple. This wonderful Rocambole garlic is sure to please with its wonderful flavour and storeability.
We are expecting harvest to begin late July and will have fully cured garlic available three to four weeks later.
Our Garlic Varieties and Cultivars
General Variety Descriptions
Porcelain garlics produce 3 to 6 large and fat cloves enclosed in a smooth white wrapper. Porcelains are our longest storing variety, lasting well into late spring and early summer.
Our Porcelain cultivars include:
- Georgian Fire
- German Red
- Northern Quebec
- Susan Delafield
Rocamboles are among the most flavourful of all garlics with moderate storability (5-6 months). They contain 6-10 symmetrical cloves per bulb and are best known for their excellent flavour.
Rocambole garlic is a hardneck that typically has 6-10 symmetrical cloves per bulb that are easy to peel. Rocamboles typically have a moderate heat and full, well rounded flavour that make them a culinary favourite
Our single Rocambole cultivar is:
- Italian Purple (newly reintroduced in 2018)
Purple Stripe garlics provide good storability (6-9 months) combined with a flavour intensity and complexity that becomes hotter (but not sulphurous) as the bulb ages. They contain 8-12 pointed cloves per bulb.
Purple Stripe garlics are genetically closest to the origin of garlic as we know it today. It is believed that all other garlic cultivars were derived from Purple Stripes. Purple Stripes are further divided into Standard and Marbled cultivars.
Our single Purple Stripe cultivar is:
- Persian Star
The Creole garlics are a unique and beautiful variety of garlic that are unlike other garlic in appearance, colour and clove configuration. They have 8 to 12 cloves per bulb arranged in a spiral configuration. Bulb wrappers are very white, the clove covers vary from a beautiful rose colour to dark purple.
Creoles can be eaten raw due to a taste that is full but pleasantly warm rather than hot. They retain their garlicky flavour well when cooked but are the ideal garlic to add raw to salads and dressings. Our Rose de Lautrec creole has stored for up to a year, retaining its crisp cloves and flavour into the following summer.
Our single Creole cultivar is:
- Rose de Lautrec
Detailed Cultivar Descriptions
German Red (pictured above)
A Greenwood Organics favourite, German Red has 5 to 7 large cloves and a strong, full flavour often described as “nutty”. It’s one of our best storing varieties and we often eat German Red into June of the next year. Listed in Seeds of Diversity as a heritage variety.
Italian Purple (reintroduced for 2018)
Italian Purple is a culinary favourite for a reason. Medium to large bulbs with a single row of uniform, easy to peel cloves with moderate heat that pairs well with most vegetables, soups or meats. It can be eaten raw or chopped into salads but will be spicier than either our Creole or Purple Stripe varieties. This heritage variety is sure to be a favourite.
6-10 moderate sized cloves per bulb.
Good strength, flavour, size and vigour. Based on excellent storage results, reliable production and intense, hot flavour, we have slowly been increasing our production of Northern Quebec and consider it a much preferred alternative to the more familiar Music for its flavour and long storage capability. Listed in Seeds of Diversity as a heritage variety.
4-6 very large cloves per bulb.
Our hottest garlic and a great storage cultivar. Susan Delafield has white bulb wrappers, very large cloves and incredible heat.
Averages 4-5 very large cloves per bulb.
Persian Star (pictured above)
Persian Star is a standard Purple Stripe, medium in size and sweet when roasted. The clove wrappers have distinctive, long, sharp points that resemble an eight-pointed star, hence the name.
Persian Star originated in Uzbekistan and is considered a true heritage variety. It is full flavoured with only a small bite and a more mellow than hot intensity. It stores well for at least 6 months.
Rose de Lautrec (pictured above)
Originating in a small region in the south of France, this Creole garlic has become legendary for its flavour, has its own festival and website and is now a protected name under France’s Protected Geographical Indication program. (Perhaps we should be calling ours Rose de la Tay!).
Renowned for its subtle heat and rich aroma, we are reminded of flowers and herbs and think that this is the best garlic we’ve ever eaten. We started with one bulb and have scaled up to the point of being able to offer these for sale for the second year.
One of our customers who tested our Rose, told us “the cloves were small, but they were easy to work with because the paper and skin came off easily. The flavour was really lovely, strong and smooth, not peppery and spicy. I wanted to see how they stored and just took my final bulb out last week [April 23] and it was still juicy and only the slightest hint of green in the center.” –JL
Ordering Your Garlic
What we offer
Garlic is available in bulk or as individual bulbs. Some varieties sell out faster than others and some are available only in limited quantities.
Fresh garlic: Fresh garlic is made available after harvest and before garlic has been fully cured. Approximate dates are between mid July and mid August.
Cured garlic: We ensure that our garlic is fully cured which takes up to 4 weeks after harvest. If you are interested in garlic for seed or for storage, please contact us for estimates of available dates by variety.
How to Purchase Your Garlic
- On Farm: We welcome you to come to our farm to pick up your order but suggest that you call to arrange your order ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
- Via Phone or e-mail: We will accept orders by phone or e-mail and make arrangements for either pickup or shipping. Please note that we will ship orders after receiving payment by cheque.See here for contact information
- Perth Farmers’ Market: We attend the Perth Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 8:00 until 1:00 from May until Thanksgiving weekend. All available varieties are available by the bulb at market and we can arrange to have your order packed for pickup at our market stall on any weekend.
We price our garlic by the bulb based on size. We will be pleased to discuss your specific pricing when you contact us about your order.
A Note on Storage of Our Garlic
Storage times noted above are an approximation based on our experience with each variety and cultivar under proper storage conditions. Proper storage is essential to retaining the flavour, texture and health benefits of your garlic for several months.
Curing: With the exception of “fresh garlic”, the garlic you buy from us has been cured long enough and under proper conditions to ensure sufficient numbers of outer wrappers and properly cured inner wrappers for maximum storage capability.
Storage conditions: Garlic should be stored between 15 and 20 degrees C in a dark and dry location. Refrigeration is NOT recommended. Garlic should be stored in a breathable container such as mesh or a paper bag. Enclosing garlic in plastic or closed containers will lead to mould and sprouting.