GARLIC WILL NOT SHIP UNTIL SEPTEMBER. Garlic is one of the oldest human cultivated crops. More than 5000 years ago Egyptian and
Indian cultures were growing garlic. The Babylonians grew garlic 4500 years ago and the
Chinese were growing garlic 2000 years ago. Garlic was originally native to much of Asia,
India, Africa and parts of Europe, and related garlic species grow throughout the world
including North America, but today true wild garlic is only found in the parts of Central Asia
centered in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. This true wild garlic is the
only garlic that produces seeds. All of the garlic grown today outside of this region is grown
via the planting of cloves - asexual reproduction. All of the cultivated species known today
have lost the ability to produce fertile flowers and consequently seed.
There are two basic classes of garlic: hardnecks (Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon) affectionately
known as "ophio" garlic and softnecks (Allium sativum var.sativum). Hardnecks
produce a hard flower stalk which must be removed in order for the plant to produce fat,
healthy bulbs. Hardneck garlics usually produce bulbs with a small number of large cloves.
Softnecks usually do not produce a flower stalk, and their bulbs have smaller, overlapping
cloves. Hardnecks are much more winter hardy than softnecks and most perform better
when exposed to frigid winter cold. Softnecks are better planted as a spring crop in areas
with harsh winters. Softnecks store much better than hardnecks.
Within the class of Hardnecks, there are 3 "types" described in this catalog: rocambole,
purple stripe and porcelain. The rocamboles produce very large bulbs, 6-11 cloves per bulb,
with a deeper, more full-bodied flavor than softnecks. The purple stripes produce slightly
smaller bulbs, 8-12 cloves per bulb, and the flavor is as good or better than the rocamboles.
The porcelains produce bulbs with huge cloves, 4-6 per bulb, with outstanding flavor.
Within the class of Softnecks, there are 2 "types" described in this catalog: artichokes and
silverskin. The artichokes produce bulbs with 12-20 cloves per bulb and are mildly flavored.
These are great garlics to eat raw. The silverskins produce bulbs with 12-20 cloves per bulb
and a very mild flavor. These are the best storing garlics.
All hardneck garlics should be planted in the fall about 6 weeks before the ground freezes for
the winter. Plant the clove one clove deep. The goal of the fall planting is to establish roots,
but not to allow green top growth. Softnecks can be planted in the fall, but in areas with very
cold winters, plant softnecks in the spring as early as the ground can be worked. Garlic must
have well-drained soil. The garlic is ready to be harvested in mid to late summer when over
half the leaves have yellowed and become dry. Cut back on water in the weeks before the
harvest. After harvest, bring plants immediately inside out of the sunlight, and allow to cure
by hanging bunches of 5-10 plants in a dry airy place for several weeks. Bulbs will be fully
cured when the necks, trimmed to 1/2" above the bulbs, are dry and contain no moisture. OUR HEIRLOOM GARLIC IS SOURCED IN THE OKANOGAN VALLEY OF WASINGTON STATE.