The Garlic Harvest

Last year I planted three varieties of garlic from Salt Spring Seeds. Music, Persian Star, and Salt Spring Select. All suffered a few casualties from expanding the fence this spring, and replacing the fence a few months later with some free, higher quality fence we received from a friend. No mold or slime issues, which is great! The year before I lost over 70% of the crop to slime.

Today I harvested them. I also had a taste test party with six of my friends, and rated the harvest and the size. Because science.

Music

Total Harvest: 41 bulbs
Number of Small Bulbs: 9
Average size: large

Music hit your mouth immediately with a strong garlic flavour – delicious! One friend said it was musky, almost like a wild garlic.

Persian Star

Total Harvest: 40 bulbs
Number of Small Bulbs: 13
Average size: medium large

Persian star started small and ended big. A crunchy, mild flavour builds into an intense garlic flavour, I found a little stronger than Music. One friend noted it slowly saturates in the mouth. Another found it pleasantly woody tasting.

Salt Spring Select

Total Harvest: 24bulbs
Number of Small Bulbs: 9
Average size: medium

Salt Spring Select has been grown on Salt Spring Island for over thirty years! That attracted me enough to give it a try this year. However, as far as garlic goes it was quite mild. Quite crunchy, almost sweet, and onion like. This variety seemed to be hit the hardest by the two fencing days, almost half the harvest as the other. The bulbs are a beautiful purple red.

Verdict

Music was the clear winner out of the three, though Persian Star I found to be a close second. We are big garlic lovers in this house, and I was hoping to find a very strong garlic. None of these matched my definition of extra strong, but Music and Persian Star were both delicious and fairly strong.

I’m not sure if drying them will affect their flavour, we did eat them fresh. Maybe cured garlic tastes different?

Most of these I’ll be saving for seed to plant in October so that we’ll be able to meet our yearly needs of garlic one day – hopefully! This harvest came from $80 of seed garlic (three or four bulbs each, if I recall correctly).

IMG_2867

Here they are bunched, labeled, and hanging to dry in my room.

What about you? What is your experience with growing garlic? Any favourite varieties?

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