At Creek’nTree we grow and sell award winning garlic! In August 2016, we won “Reserve Champion” at the Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards.
Truly, our garlic is great. We take great care at all stages: harvest, cleaning, curing, handling, sizing and selling. We love garlic and we know that it is delicate. If a bulb is bruised, bumped, nicked or dropped, it goes right in to our kitchen to be eaten. Every bulb sold and every clove planted has been handled carefully. And, the soil has been prepared for a number of years to ensure optimal growing conditions.
Over the years we have honed in on three favourites: Susan Delafield (Porcelain), Red Russian (Marbled Purple Stripe) and Sicilian (Artichoke).
The artichoke garlic is the type most often found on supermarket shelves. It stores really well and can be planted with roots up or down, making it possible to plant by machine. We don’t, of course. I have come to love it over the years because it is so different. It produces lots of small to medium cloves. The bulb wrappers are fine and smooth, usually all white.
” They perhaps contain the greatest diversity in flavor between strains, some are quite spicy and rich while others are the mildest of any strains that we sell. Colors range from bright white to red and purple streaks”.http://www.filareefarm.com
Sicilian is a funky, beautiful garlic. It’s cloves often grow in layers on top of each other that start to resemble an artichoke. It produces really well and stores even better. It is the garlic to have if you want to still be eating fresh garlic when the scapes start coming in again next June.
Apparently it comes from the Island of Sicily. I got my first bulb from my dad who bought it it from The Cutting Veg in Toronto.
Its flavour is described by We Grow Garlic Farm as “fiery raw flavor, smooth when cooked”.
Susie D is a Porcelain garlic that has a thick, tough skin that makes them excellent for storing. The heads are plump with just a few large, fat cloves. According to Daves Garden, Porcelains are all full-flavored, generally running to musky hot and pungent in taste.
Susan Delafield has been our favourite garlic for the last 10 years. We bought our first bulb from Rob Wallbridge of Songberry Farm. It took some research to pin down it’s origin. For years, we called it Brook, after the street we lived on. It is a beautiful, big bulb that produces well each year. It is realiable and grows well in our climate.
Apparently it is more tolerant of wet conditions than most garlic varieties but it also did well in 2016 during an officially “severe drought”. Susan Delafield is listed in the Seeds of Diversity Canada catalogue of heritage varieties.
The cloves are large, crunchy and easy to peel. They are protected by a relatively thick skin and therefore likely keeps so well. Into March, sometimes May, if stored properly.
It is very spicy when fresh with the taste becoming somewhat milder as it ages.
Red Russian is a Marbled Purple Stripe and a great garlic for selling and admiring. They produce large bulbs with at least 4 cloves, usually a few more. Their cloves are large and quite consistent in size. They don’t keep as long as the Porcelain nor Artichokes but you should still be admiring them well into the New Year.
If you are not gobbling up your Red Russian super fast, I suggest opening up the skins a little around the stalk, to allow air in. They have thick skins which can trap moisture and lead to mold. If stored properly, they will keep 6 – 8 months.
Rasacreek Farm describes the taste of Red Russian as “hot but not a scorcher”.
Thank you to Boundary Garlic in Vancouver and Rasa Creek Farm in Nova Scotia for their wealth of garlic knowledge and experience as well as Filaree Farm and We Grow Garlic for their discerning garlic taste.