Sunday, August 15, 2010

All the Garlic We Grew

Here is the list of the garlic we grew and the numbers of heads of each.  Descriptions are adapted from Fillaree Farms, Hood River Garlic, Seed Savers' Exchange, Boundary Garlic Farm, We Grow Garlic, and Territorial Seeds.  I'll also be adding a bit of our own thoughts, so this is a bit of a work in progress.  Hopefully eventually I'll add pictures of each.  

Thus far in my farming career, I have managed not to know what artichoke, rocombole, etc. mean.  I've lived in the simple world of hard- and softneck.  I suspect I'll be trying to figure it out, and I'll post it when I do.  In the meantime, either disregard, or look it up and post a comment explaining to us all.  I'm not sure all of these are correct as to category yet--would like to confirm with the actual product.

Asian Tempest--251--hardneck, artichoke
From South Korea via Horace Shaw in Oregon. Beak on bulbil can reach 18 inches in length.  Is positively wonderful in baked dishes.  The taste when baked is somewhat sweet with a bit of a baked sweet garden pepper flavor to it.  It is positively breathtaking if eaten raw.  Averages about 5 cloves per bulb.

Brown Saxon--72--Rocombole
This is a unique Rocambole with large brown cloves; harvests late.  Double cloves are rare.  A strong character and a great storing qualities.  Averages 7 cloves per bulb.

Chesnok Red--491--Hardneck
Characterized by its beautiful purple stripes, this Middle Eastern hardneck comes from Shvelisi, Georgia. One of the best all-around cooking varieties because its clear, bold, full-bodied flavor lingers and is retained after cooking. Especially nice choice for baking as it has a very creamy texture. Easy to peel. Stores 4-6 months. 10 - 12 cloves per bulb. 50 - 60 cloves per pound. Mid harvest. Stores 5 months. Small bulbs store the longest. [Hot] (a.k.a. Shvelisi) It has large easy to peel cloves. 

Georgian Crystal--568--porcelain, hardneck
Large bulbs with 4 to 7 beautiful, fat cloves. Clean white appearance. Good flavor, mild, smooth, yet zesty; smooth buttery taste when roasted. Long storing. Great for salsas and pesto.  A healthy choice for its high allicin content: allicin helps lower cholesterol, increases circulation and boosts the immune system. Tear dropped shaped bulbs with large cloves. 4 – 6 cloves per bulb. 35 – 45 cloves per pound. Mid harvest. Stores 6 months. [Medium] From the Gatersleben Seed Bank (#6819), also known as Cichisdzhvari.  

Georgian Fire--156--hardneck, porcelain
Similar to Georgian Crystal. A raw taste is strong with a pleasant hotness. A good salsa garlic or salad warmer. From the Republic of Georgia. Great in chili or mixed into garlic burgers. The skins range from yellow to purple in color. 5 - 9 cloves per bulb. 30 - 45 cloves per pound. Mid harvest. Stores 6 - 7 months. [Hottest] Obtained from the Gatersleben Seed Bank (#6822) in eastern Germany. Described by chefs as a truly “white hot” garlic. Raw taste is strong with a nice hotness that is not at all unpleasant. (AKA Cichisdzhvari #4)

German Brown--224--Rocombole
This strain came to Fillaree Farms mixed with German Red, but was distinctly different. Bulbs uniformly large. Cloves colors exhibit a distinctive brown hue rather than red.

Killarny Red--196--Hardneck, rocombole
Most likely a mutation of German Red or Spanish Roja but now it is superior to both. Better adapted to wet conditions than most others. Only drawback is frequency of double cloves.  The cloves are large and easy to peel making them a favorite in the kitchen.  Averages about 10 cloves per bulb.

Korean Red--86
A  lively Rocambole.

Metechi is a Marbled Purple Stripe.  The plants are more upright and broader leafed than others and has large bulbil capsule and bulbils.  The bulbs are nicely colored and very firm.  Cloves are few, but large and fat, with blushed and lined skins that are thick.  Long storing.  Raw it tastes fiery but with a nice finish.  Averages 6 cloves per bulb.

Montana Giant--53--Rocombole
This strain is said to produce consistently extra large bulbs, but we at Arrowleaf Farms often feel it's just a cruel joke.  Montana Giant is consistently tiny, in a pathetic sort of way.  Full rich garlic flavor.  Averages 8 to 10 tight cloves per bulb. 

Music--107--Porcelain, hardneck
In trials at Michigan State University, Music out-produced all others with a harvest of over 13,500 pounds per acre! White skinned with just a blush of pink, this garlic makes big cloves that are easy to peel. The taste is a good, sweet, pungent, medium hot, true garlic flavor that lasts for a long time. Music will store 6-9 months to a year. Very cold tolerant.  Also known as Ontario, Music was named by the Ontario Garlic Growers Association in recognition of Al Music, who brought it to Canada from Italy. Music has a high content of allicin, which helps boost the immune system and increases circulation. 4 - 7 large easy peeling cloves per bulb. 25 - 30 cloves per pound. Mid to late harvest. [Medium] Hailed as one of the best varieties for consistent production of 2½" to 3". Sweet pungent flavor, very tight, durable heads.

Persian Star--338--hardneck
(a.k.a. Samarkand) This variety was collected in Samarkand, Uzbekistan by long-time SSE member John Swenson. Pleasant flavor with a mild spicy zing. Good all-purpose variety that produces reliable yields year-after-year. Hardneck, 8-12 cloves per bulb.
Vivid clove colors. Outer bulb wrapper sometimes smooth white but inner wrappers purple streaked. Red-tipped cloves with marbled streaks on whitish or yellow-brown back ground. 
Persian Star is a lovely garlic - fun to grow, an elegant flavour, and beautiful looking. 

Premium Northern White--419--porecelain, hardneck
Mostly 4 cloves per bulb. Easy peeling and great for baking. The heritage of this unique garlic can be directly traced to northern Germany. It could possibly be the most cold-hardy variety known, having been documented to -18°F in Eastern Oregon. One grower, who had cultivated this variety in New York for more than 10 years, claims it withstood -60°F. Does not keep particularly well.  Heat comes on late in the tasting.

Romanian--420--porcelain, hardneck
Came to British Columbia from Romania. Cloves streaked and lined on buff brown background. Very good storage.  Hot and pungent with a healthy, long lasting bite. Huge easy to peel cloves. 4 - 6 cloves per bulb. 25 - 30 cloves per pound. Late harvest. Stores 6 months. [Hot]Romanian Red  (porcelain hardneck variety)  Bulb size will be noticeably reduced if you lose control of the weeding around this variety.  

Wildfire--no count, more than 100--hardneck
Asiatic.  A hot garlic that lives up to it’s name. Averages 6 cloves per bulb.  Early variety, subject to injury.  Very hot. 

Large bulbs and 4 to 5 cloves per bulb. Cloves well streaked on back but soft brown-pink with lines on inside. Raw taste strong and pleasant with no aftertaste. From Republic of Georgia. Praised by Cook's Illustrated magazine. Porcelain variety. Another variety from the Republic of Georgia.  Zemo has a high content of allicin. The creamy white bulbs have large tear drop shaped cloves with a beautiful pinkish tone. A spicy garlic flavor with moderate heat. 2 - 6 cloves per bulb. 25 - 35 cloves per pound. Late harvest.

Inchillium--321--Softneck, Artichoke
In 1990 taste test at Rodale kitchens this one was a top rated softneck. Discovered on the Colville Indian Reservation; original source unknown. Mild but lingering flavor with a tingle, great baked. Stores very well for 6-9 months. Light purple blotching on very large bulbs. Compound bulbs have 8-10 large outer cloves and 10- 15 small to medium cloves in the center of the bulb. 

Nootka Rose--441
Well colored strain; a northwest heirloom from the San Juan Islands off the Washington coast. From Steve Bensel of Nootka Rose Farm in Waldron, WA. Mostly 5 clove layers and 15 to 24 cloves with up to 35 cloves possible if large outer cloves subdivide. Cloves streaked red on mahogany background with solid red clove tips. Colors fade in rich soil. Medium to large bulbs and very attractive braider. Strong flavor.  Nootka Rose is a beautiful bulb, silky smooth skins with some pink blush on outer cloves.  Great flavor for a softneck variety.   It has a long shelf life and makes for a great looking braid.  

Oregon Blue--119--Softneck
Vigorous plant with deep green leaves. Good storage. This maritime Northwest heirloom is a real producer! A few years back, we received a sample of this variety along with several others, and Oregon Blue topped the yield charts. It has nice hot flavor, dark green leaves, and a purple cast on the skin. Good storage variety.  Braids nicely, particularly because the heads do not get too big.

Polish Softneck--737
Introduced into North America around 1900, Polish Softneck is larger than most softnecks and has proven to be one of the most winter hardy. An excellent choice for northern gardeners, but it also performs well in southern regions. This one's for lovers of hot garlic! Even after roasting, when most garlic mellows out, Polish Softneck maintains impressive heat that's not too overpowering. Tasted raw, it will remind you of the last hot pepper you ate. Good choice for braiding.

Saint Helens--Softneck
baked it has a subtle, nutty flavor. Hot raw. Heirloom from Western WA.Brawny heads of zesty, spicy garlic are explosive like the fiery Mount St. Helens. Bulbs are covered with silvery skin touched with purple; inside, the round cloves have buff-colored wrappers. St. Helen's Red has excellent storage capacity, makes stunning braids and makes for a savory, roasted treat.

Thai Fire--No count, more than 100--softneck
This typical Turban was purchased at Bangkok market.  Complex full flavor with rising heat level. Early variety, beautiful purple stripes.

Commercial strain from France. Impressive, large, long storing bulbs.

Transylvanian--225--Softneck, Artichoke
Originating in the heart of the Transylvanian mountains, this variety specializes in vampire repelling.  Nice size bulbs produce plump, firm cloves. Slight rosy blush, patches of crimson red on bulb wrappers.  It has a buttery smooth start that finishes with some heat. Withstands cold winters. 12 - 16 cloves per bulb. 85 - 90 cloves per pound. Early harvest. Stores 5 - 6 months. [Medium]

It gets its own category, because I believe I read somewhere it's more of a leek than a garlic.  (And what is the difference?  Beyond the visuals I don't really know.)  Anyway, there are 109 heads.  There was a planting mixup and the elephant and some regular garlic were planted in the same place, so neither was particularly happy.


  1. Wow! Great job. This catalog and the pictures of the garlic shed are truly impressive!

  2. Wow! That's a lot of garlic!!!!! Yum yum yum...
    What a great resource this post is!!!

    And I love your photos on the other post!