Rot Threatens Oregon Seedstock Growers with
is planted on only about 2,100 acres in
Oregon but garlic seed is one of Central
Oregon's most profitable crops. The specialty
crop, which supplies seed for the California
garlic industry, netted almost $4 million
For more than 20 years, seed companies in
the San Juaquin Valley have relied on Oregon
farmers. But the same seed companies that
have pumped millions into the local economy
also, unknowingly decades ago, started introducing
disease into their own fields.
Already blanketing more than 10,000 acres
in and around Fresno, California, and responsible
for the collapse of the garlic seed industry
in the Tulelake Valley, white rot has only
lightly affected Central Oregon in past
story from The Bend Bulletin
Daily Mail reports that J
Sainsbury, a leading UK food retailer is
to stock Elephant garlic. Elephant or greatheaded
garlic (Allium ampeloprasum) is more
closely related to the leek than garlic. This
form of garlic produces very large bulbs that
may weigh a pound or more. These huge bulbs
consist of a few large cloves which are much
milder than those of ordinary garlic and can
be eaten raw.
those gardeners who would like to try to grow
it rather than eat it there is a fact
sheet available from the University
of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental
Sciences. And just to show how seriously some
folk take their Elephant garlic have a look
Worlds 7th Annual Elephant Garlic Festival
Website - unfortunately it's just finished so
you'll have to wait another year before you
can go and sample the delights!
Expert growers are Bob and Jean Gnos who farm
Elephant garlic near Portland in Oregon. They
run Gnos Garlic Company and their
site is well worth a visit.
Curing and Storing
recent article in a local US newspaper, The
Great Falls Tribune, offered some good
advice for garlic growers on how to cure and
store their new crop.
“Be careful. Try not to break or disturb
the skin. Loosen the nearby soil with a spade
and pull the plant. Gently shake soil out
of the roots, but leave any soil that remains
on the heads. It will dry and easily come
off after the skins are dry and the curing
Leave the stalks and leaves on. During curing,
the last nutrients are pulled into the bulbs
and that's good. The stalks and leaves can
be trimmed after they are fully dried. The
Montana Extension Service recommends curing
garlic for at least one month.
An old screen door on sawhorses works perfectly
for curing. We want airflow. I use a piece
of narrow mesh fencing. Stack the garlic in
layers. Use the stalks and leaves to shade
Covered with a light-colored sheet they go
under a big pine in the back yard, largely
out of the direct sun. The white sheet reflects
more light and keeps things cooler. Keep a
tarpaulin handy for rainstorms. Your garage
might work fine if it's ventilated and doesn't
get too hot.
Once the curing is done, snip the stalks and
leaves a half-inch above the heads.
Here's where vegetable gardening and cattle
ranching are alike. Carefully select and set
aside the best heads for replanting in October.
With care, the genetic line of stock, will
keep improving. Each year, ours get a bit
Store your harvest in breathable mesh sack
or paper grocery bags in a cool dry place.
Last year, we had our own garlic to eat all
the way into May.” Full
To see garlic being cured on a larger scale
have a look at photographs from our last visit
to Spain or
visit the Hungarian site of Gyakorlati-Agroforum.
a couple of photographs taken in Spain showing
the local method of curing. Garlic is bunched
and the leaves used to protect the bulbs from
the direct sun. In the UK a shaded greenhouse
For more information on garlic
growing in Spain click here