Notes on Our 2018 Garlic Crop

We have 30 varieties of hardneck and softneck garlic in the ground for our summer 2018 harvest. Green garlic will be one of the first spring greens for sale at market in May after a long winter of storage crops. In June we'll cut scapes from our hardneck varieties and offer them for great pestos, stir frys, and pickles. We expect our garlic bulb harvest to begin at the end of the June with the Turban and Asiatic subvarieties, and continue through July with the harvest of other hard and softneck bulbs.

Knowledge about the taxonomy of garlic was first popularized in 1991 when a garlic farmer in the Northwest, Ron Engeland, published the book Growing Great Garlic. Although some of his categorization has now been superseded by genetic research, the basics are the same. 

Softneck garlic has a relaxed neck of leaves, making it excellent for braiding. When softneck varieties are cracked open, several circular layers of cloves are discovered. The wrapper around each clove is tight, making these excellent storage bulbs. For the 2018 season we are growing nine varieties of softnecks-- six artichokes and three silverskins. 

Hardneck garlics are grown for their fantastic flavors. Hardneck varieties produce larger, easier-to-peel cloves. In the 2018 season we are growing 21 varieties of hardneck garlics, including at least one from each of the hardneck subspecies-- asiatic, turban, purple stripe, rocambole, porcelain, and creole. 

Garlic Samplers & Memberships

We list our two Garlic Membership offerings first because we know so many garlic lovers enjoy an assortment of different varieties. Below that we share photos and descriptions of our rocamboles, porcelains, elephant, purple stripes, creole, artichokes, and silverskins. If you have any questions about varieties that we can answer for you, please feel free to contact us at raindanceorganic at gmail dot com.

Astute customers have noticed that not all of our varieties are listed above. We want to be conservative in committing to garlic sales before our harvest. Five of our varieties are trials this year and we're not sure if they'll grow well in our climate or meet our quality standards for market: Thai Purple Turban, Persian Star Purple Stripe, Oregon Blue Artichoke, St Helens Silverskin, and Rose de Lautrec Creole (the famous pink garlic from France!)

There are an additional six varieties we may not have in sufficient volume to sell at market in 2018. If our production exceeds our need for seed stock, we'll offer these for sale to our Garlic CSA members first: Early Portuguese Turban, Pyong Yang Asiatic, Montana Zemo Porcelain, Filaree Artichoke, Stull Porcelain, and Ann Arbor Porcelain.