We currently grow the following types of garlic. Hopefully more will be added over time.
Artichoke type garlic tend to be very productive and produce large bulbs. They are ready for harvest early and can adapt to a range of growing conditions. They provide great satisfaction whether you are a new gardener or experienced.
- Sicilian Gold — softneck (good for braiding) with 10-12 cloves per bulb. Stores 10-12 months which is nice once all the others have long since been used or thrown to the compost. — NOT AVAILABLE IN 2016
- Inchelium — Variety discovered in Washington state this softneck (good for braiding) has LARGE bulbs and typically 10-15 cloves in layers with a mild flavour. It stores very well 9-10 months. Hopefully we will have enough braid!
The giant among the garlic family, Porcelains are large, typically white, intense garlic. Huge cloves are a hit amongst people who dislike peeling and chopping. This garlic requires adequate moisture and good soil if you are growing them.
- Music — Ubiquitous in Canada, Music provides huge cloves that are hotly garlicy. It does well in cold climates. Stores 6-8 months, if you haven’t already eaten them all. I love these ones baked and drizzled with a good olive oil.
According to Mr. Meredith’s “Complete Book of Garlic”, Purple stripes are the ancestors (or closest we can get) for all garlic types. Numerous cloves on each bulb and excellent for roasting. They require a little more ripening time, so focus on other varieties first, leaving these for mid-winter feasting and when you need a good garlic hit.
- Chesnok Red (or Shvelisi) — From the Republic of Georgia, these densely packed bulbs have 12-16 cloves with fine white to red skins, which become easier to remove the longer you have stored them. They have a medium length storage life similar to Music but while Music has large, Chesnok has many, many finer ones. Good eaten raw as well.
The mostly widely grown, Rocamboles are what most people think of when they think “garlic” . Sweetly providing that intense garlic flavour in dishes where garlic is definitely the star, these cultivars can be the best garlic you have ever eaten. These are not, however, long storage varietals so eat them up!
- German Red — Raw, this beauty is hotter tasting and stronger in its “garlicness” than other types of Rocamboles and only mellows a bit when cooked.
- Spanish Roja — This is an heirloom variety of Rocamboles and, according to “The Complete Book of Garlic” by Ted Jordan Meredith is “a bit more finicky about growing conditions than some other Rocamboles, and it performs less well in mild winters” (p 276). However, all reviews we read point to Spanish Roja’s excellent, complex and sweet flavour. That was enough for us to put this Roja into production.
Turban garlics are the earliest to harvest in the garlic world and are a welcome early addition to an otherwise bland diet once the longer storing varieties have been used. They are a strange little garlic, often not looking very healthy in the garden, but the taste is open and simple garlic.
- Chinook — This is a great garlic in dishes where you want chunks of garlic present or don’t like all the work of finely chopping. You won’t be disappointed in the 3-5 month storage period because you will be eating these beauties first.
These cultivars are suited to hotter climates. They tend to have red to deep purple skins, smaller bulbs and cloves but have a fine taste that is described as sweetly hot. Good storage properties make this a Foodie’s delight in the kitchen. Their ability to tolerate moderate drought conditions mean the Creoles are a good choice for drier climate areas.
- Rose de Lautrec — averaging 10 cloves per medium to small bulb, this beauty is from Southern France where farmers peel off the outer layers of skin to reveal the beautiful red to purple colours. According to the Rasa Farms website “There are 4 different Creole cultivars that can legally be named Rose de Lautrec if they are grown within that region. Those cultivars are Iberose, Goulurose, Edenrose and Jardirose.” We are not sure which cultivar we have but she is a gorgeous little garlic.