Every Season Has Its Standouts-
These are the 2019 Amazing Garlics
THE NEW FREEDOM BULB SALE IS THIS WEEKEND.
SATURDAY-SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12-13, 2019
IN THE PARKING LOT NEXT TO 60 EAST HIGH STREET,
NEW FREEDOM, PA.THIS WILL BE COLUMBUS DAY WEEKEND,
NOT THE WEEKEND FOLLOWING COLUMBUS DAY.
ALL OF THE GARLIC VARIETIES DISCUSSED IN
THIS NEWSLETTER ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR
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Each year, in October, we dedicate one newsletter to describing for you the garlic varieties that are real standouts in the yearly harvest. They are standouts because of bulb size, clove size and coloration. The 2019 crop was an especially good crop for most of the garlic varieties we sell at Harvesting History, but the garlics described in this newsletter were truly exceptional.
If you have never grown garlic, this would be an excellent year to start. We may never see garlic like this year’s harvest has produced.
Korean Mountain is looking very good this year. The bulbs and individual cloves are much larger than normal. This Asiatic garlic usually produces medium sized bulbs with fairly large cloves. The Asiatics are not well known in the US.
The plants are vigorous. The bulbs are, in general, smaller than other hardnecks, but the flavor is so rich and intense that the smaller sizeproves not to be a deterrent.
These garlics tend to mature very early and very quickly. Instead of waiting until 2/3 of the stalk has turned brown, with Asiatics, you should harvest as soon as the tips of the leaves begin to turn.
Korean Mountain is a rather rare variety. It was found in the Republic of Georgia. The purplish bulbs are long storing and contain relatively large cloves.
The flavor has an initial hot burst, but then becomes mild.
Korean Mountain is a good choice for southern climates, but also produces good sized bulbs for an Asiatic variety. It is fast becoming one of our favorite garlic varieties.
The Turbans are an Artichoke sub-variety. They are slow to bolt and mature early. They should be harvested early in the summer, not at mid-summer like most other garlic. Chinese Purple is a stunning garlic.
The bulbs are streaked with deep purple, and the cloves are wrapped in burgundy to rich brown skins. This year the bulbs are about the same size or slightly smaller than normal. It is the size of the individual cloves that is remarkable. The individual cloves are huge this year (compared to other years).
This garlic is one of the few that does really well in climates with mild winters.
Chinese Purple, unlike most other Turban cultivars, stores fairly well. Raw, the cloves produce immediate heat, but the heat becomes milder when the garlic is cooked.
Each year when we are harvesting this garlic, we are always pleased that we have chosen to plant this cultivar. As the bulb is extracted from the soil, you cannot help but be impressed with the color. It is like finding a jewel in the middle of the garden.
Silverskin garlic is the type most frequently found in grocery stores because it is a very long storer. Silverskins are the highest yielders and do well in a variety of climates: hot, maritime and cold northern.
Mild French is a misnomer in every way possible. It is not French. It is not mild. Mild French is one of the few garlic varieties that can withstand the heat of the Southeastern and Southwestern United States. It was introduced by the legendary seedhouse, Porter & Sons, of Stephenville, Texas (1912-1994). Porter & Sons spent more than 80 years developing fruit and vegetable varieties that would flourish in the hot dry environment of Texas. Mild French was one of its most successful introductions.
When grown in the north, the garlic becomes quite hot. This variety grows taller and matures earlier than most Silverskins. It is a softneck.
This year Mild French is a true standout, and if you are looking to build or improve your garlic collection, this is the year to purchase Mild French. The bulbs are HUGE and the individual cloves are HUGE.
The first thing you need to know about this garlic is that the bulb size is quite small, but the clove size is quite large (given the overall size of the bulb, the clove size is downright huge).
Having made this statement, you need to know that this year’s crop of Rose du Var has produced the biggest bulbs I have ever seen of this variety.
Rose du Var is a Silverskin garlic. Silverskins are softnecks and very long storing garlics. Silverskins are high yielders and will do well in a variety of climates: hot, maritime and cold northern.
I am fascinated by this garlic variety. It can be grown in the South as well as the North in Zones 4-8. I have found the large cloves to be full of flavor and not as hot as rumored. Others will tell you that Rose du Var is shockingly hot, but I have found it to be otherwise. The large cloves are easy to work with and beautiful in their brown or purple wrappers. Even the inner cloves are quite large.
Rose du Var was imported from France more than a decade ago for commercial testing in California. It has become popular with garlic aficionados who understand that a small bulb does not necessarily mean a bad bulb.
Rose is a lovely lady worthy of all the attention you might be willing to give her.
The Marbled Purple Stripe garlics are frequently classified as a subgroup of the Purple Stripe family. They are hardnecks and traditionally they do better in climates with colder winters, i.e. Hardiness Zones 3-6.
Khabar is a personal favorite for many reasons. It performs reliably and has great flavor. The bulbs are fairly large because the cloves, though fewer in number, are quite large. This year, for Khabar, the bulbs are very large and the individual cloves are huge.
The bulbs are mottled purple and the cloves are purple, brown and tan. It is not a particularly hot garlic, and when baked it produces a very nice flavor.
Khabar takes its name from the Siberian town of Khabarosk where it was collected by Alaskan garlic grower, Bob Ellis. If you are just getting started as a garlic gardener, but you want to dabble in the exotic, Khabar would be a good choice.
The winner this year for the Best of the Best of the 2019 Garlic Season is (drum roll) the Turban Garlic Xian. In more than 15 years of growing and selling garlic I have never seen Xian look like it does this year. The bulbs are easily twice the size they normally are and the individual cloves, for Xian, are gigantic. They are also very purple in most cases. I have a feeling this is a ‘once in a lifetime’ crop, so if you have contemplated growing this garlic, this is the year to do it.
A delicious favorite of garlic expert, Chester Aaron, and a garlic of some mystery. Purportedly Aaron purchased this garlic in San Francisco’s Chinatown for $30 a bulb in 2001. However, a Xian garlic was offered by the Seed Savers’ Exchange in 1999 and Greg Czarnecki, a seed saver member claims to have purchased this garlic in 1992 in Chinatown. Xian is an ancient Chinese city. This garlic has some heat when raw.
Don’t miss our “Hottest Garlic” newsletter
on Tuesday, October 15, 2019. In that newsletter we
will reveal the garlic varieties that produced the
greatest heat this season.
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