A few years ago a good friend of mine asked me to grow some garlic in my garden. I’ve been a gardener for most of my life having learned some basic gardening skills from my dad as a young boy. Of course by now I’ve honed those skills and can grow most crops pretty well, but I didn’t know a thing about growing garlic.
Well, after I did a little research I thought I would give it a try and grow some garlic. I ordered eight bulbs of both the hardneck and softneck variety and set about planting the popped cloves in the ground in October of 2004. It was a small crop but I was pleased with what I grew and went about saving the bulbs I had harvested for the next growing season. It was all I could do to keep my wife out of the garlic bucket, but I managed to replant a little more stock the next growing season. By the end of the second year I was beginning to get the hang of how to grow, harvest and store the garlic I planted but still had a lot to learn.
Our family bought a hundred acre farm in Gilmanton, NH in 2008. During the winter we had over six acres of trees logged on the property, had the stumps removed in late spring, early summer, and planted some perennial rye grass to start adding nutrients to the soil. By having the trees cleared this will give us an opportunity to expand our garlic offerings well into the future. There’s enough open fields to grow the kind of garlic that we’ve been dreaming about growing for a while now, naturally grown, big and clean, and very robust and aromatic!
I’m now in my seventh year of growing garlic. We are very excited that we had over 40 different varieties of softneck and hardneck garlic growing in our fields for 2013. Most of the varieties are small in amounts at this time in order for us to determine which ones grow best in our soils. We continue to plant larger numbers of German White and Northern German White which are great tasting Porcelains and will be our mainstay garlic varieties well into the future here at the farm. However, for our 2012 harvest we are adding an additional 21 varieties for testing in our soils and climate. This will bring us up to about 65 different varieties grown in our fields for 2012. Please be on the lookout for one that we call Rubicon Red which we hope will develop into a remarkable Rocambole for us at the farm. We had great success in growing it in 2011!
So now it’s time for garlic festivals and getting ready to plant in October. If you are local we invite you to stop by the farm. If not, we hope you visit our website often to check for updates on what’s happening at the farm. And if you’ve had the opportunity to taste some of our gourmet garlic powder or granules let us know what you think. We really would appreciate it!
The Garlic Guy