There’s no denying it. We’re growing garlic here because our after dinner conversations always seemed to end up discussing garlic. Eventually I said, “Let’s give it a go and grow some.”
So in 2007, we grew our first small garlic crop using our special bulbs. It was such a success we planted more.
We knew we had the ideal climate and soil type for producing top quality natural garlic. And the long standing Lucerne paddock in front of the house had just the right nutritional history for the job.
Garlic does best when it’s grown through a cold winter and finished off in warm weather. A typical temperate crop. It relies on clear seasonal messages to move from its dormant, growing, and then onto its reproduction stage. As long as there’s moist soil, good drainage and nutrition it will do very well through a cold winter.
To create the perfect bulb of garlic, a slow, steady, natural pace is needed. It just should not be artificially pushed along with chemical additives and artificial fertilizers.
Organic garlic is a very labour intensive crop.
Australia has been swamped by inferior imported garlic as the local garlic industry dramatically declined – it’s the second biggest decline of an Australian horticultural industry after tobacco, (perhaps no great loss.) But unlike tobacco, quality garlic is very good for you. Poor quality garlic is not!
Taste Patrice Newell’s ‘glamour garlic’, alongside the cheap Imported ( especially Chinese) offerings and you’ll reach the same conclusion. Yes, it costs more. But it provides much more in quality, flavour and nutrition.
Here’s the advice of the Australian Garlic Association:
Chinese garlic food growing standards and regulations are inferior to Australia’s.
All Chinese imported garlic must, by Australian quarantine regulations, be fumigated with methyl bromide. This is to ensure Australia remains free of the 101 bugs and diseases to be found in China. Methyl bromide is a seriously dangerous broad spectrum, highly toxic, sterility agent. As well as being a particularly hazardous chemical for agricultural workers to have to handle, its acceptable consumer safety credentials have been withdrawn in numerous countries, industries and crops over the last couple of decades.
Chinese garlic may be subjected to cold and over storage and treated with growth inhibitors to prevent sprouting.
So, don’t buy imported garlic!