The Local Food Report: cloves in droves

Forgive the pun, but it's true. Cape Cod farmers are growing garlic cloves in droves, and I, for one, am fascinated. Following is a list of who's growing garlic, and what varieties they have. Enjoy!

Barbara Purdy, Forbidden Fruit Farm in Dartmouth:

Purdy says she's saved her garlic seed for so many years she is no longer certain of its parentage. She thinks it was a Russian variety, soft neck and braidable, with red stripes, that started her crop. This year, the strain has been so prolific that she has over 1200 bulbs for sale at the farm.

Ben Chung, Caroline's Corner in East Orleans:

Chung is new to garlic, but he's hooked. Last year he grew a few varieties for fun, and this year he's expanded in an effort to have garlic for sale at the Orleans Farmers Market all season long. He started with a softneck, Chinese Pink, in late May, and these days, he's on to Music and Elephant, an incredibly large variety that's actually more closely related to leeks. This fall, he's looking forward to a harvest of Russian Red and German White.

Clare Bergh, Bon Terra Nursery in Brewster:

Bergh is officially obsessed. She grows 43 varieties of garlic—everything from Brown Rose to French Germinador to Hokkaido Zai Tai. (She is also, not so coincidentally, the woman who grew 150 varieties of tomatoes last year. She has a thing for collections, you could say.) She sells at the farmers markets in Hyannis and Orleans, and she's always happy to tell you about what varieties she's growing, and why. If you're looking for a spicy head or a mild head or one that lasts well or one with a sweet, lingering taste—or anything in between—she's your woman.

Weston Lant, Lucky Field Organics in Rochester:

Lant grows one variety—German White, a hard neck that he's had good success with over the years—at farmers' markets in Plymouth, Falmouth, and Provincetown. He says that on a farm as busy as his, they discovered the hard way that the different varieties simply got mixed up, so he decided to stick with the one that's performed best.

Ron Backer of Surrey Farms in Brewster:

Ron was stuck in Florida, delayed by storms when I tried to get in touch, but he says he's growing two varieties, an organic Italian hardneck that he bought in oregon, and a German hardneck, for sale at the farmers market in Orleans. He was on a golf course when I called, and he couldn't remember the names, but he promised to get them to me just as soon as he makes his way home.

P.S. If you have any farmers or varieties to add to the list, please let me know!


A Plum By Any Other Name said...

Ha! Love the pun. And garlic! Keep up the good work!

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