Locally Grown Heirloom Garlic

Garlic Braid -- 8-14-12In August 2012, I posted about a bumper crop of garlic.  It grew so well that I had full intentions of using some of it for seed.  Unfortunately, that October had heavier rainfall than normal.  Any marginally clear day had to be devoted to salvaging what little bit of the harvest I could, and there was no time to plant my garlic.  With a heavy heart, I realized that I would have no garlic for the next year.  However, I promised myself, I would order the same varieties next fall no matter what, so it was only one season that I would have to do without.

Then life happened.

As of now, it has been two full seasons without garlic.  That cannot be allowed to continue.  This year, even while I am in the midst of reclaiming my garden, I am making sure to order my garlic.  Like other Spring bulbs, this needs to be done now, so that I can get it in the ground before the first true freeze.  On the Southwest Washington Coast, this usually happens in late October/early November.  However, as in 2012, the non-stop winter rains can arrive as early as mid-September.  Getting garlic in the ground as early as possible is a must, so that means that ordering early enough to be able to do that is also a must.  Even though it is still early August, I ordered my seed bulbs today so I can get them as soon as possible.

As I have mentioned before, I prefer to order locally.  Along with limiting my carbon footprint and helping my local economy, I believe these seeds are more likely to grow well in my garden than seeds that were ordered from far away.  Last time, I ordered my garlic bulbs from Irish Eyes Garden Seeds, an organic seed catalog based out of Idaho.  Since the garlic grew so well, I had planned on ordering from them again.  A couple of days ago, though, I was poking around on Pinterest and came across a list of heirloom seed providers.  Lo and behold, one of the three providers based out of Washington, Filaree Garlic Farm, specializes in garlic.  As happy as I have been with Irish Eyes, I decided to check this place out, especially when the two varieties I chose to try, Nootka Rose (also available at Irish Eyes) and St. Helens, were both originally developed in Western Washington.

With any luck, I made a good choice and these varieties will thrive in my garden just as well as the old varieties did.  If not, I will go back to the tried and true the next time around.

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7 Responses to Locally Grown Heirloom Garlic

  1. Carol Speake says:

    I’ve also heard that organic garlic that you get in the grocery store can be used as seed garlic but have not tried it yet.

    • Sarah Sarah says:

      I have heard that as well, but I prefer to hunt out varieties that aren’t as easy to find. Partly because I find that they have more flavor, but also because it ISN’T something I can just buy at a grocery store.

      Our compost pile frequently has other ideas, though. For instance, I have no idea what variety of potato is growing right now, but I bet it is Yukon gold, not the fingerlings we plant on purpose. 🙂

  2. Cajun says:

    I have a black thumb so gardening of any kind is really impressive to me. But Garlic? I can’t imagine how wonderful it tastes! Found you on the LTB Post Party on Facebook!

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