Each year we produce roughly 10 000 heads of garlic, growing a number of different varieties, all planted, weeded, tended and harvested by hand.
The growing season begins in March, when we split apart garlic saved from the previous year's crop into cloves for planting.
Garlic has a long growing season, from March until October-November for the varieties we grow. It shoots up quickly in Autumn, before slowing down over Winter. As the weather warms up in August-September, the bulbs begin to form. It’s around this time that Spring garlic is available.
As the garlic puts more energy into the bulb, the leaves begin to die off and we know that harvest time is approaching. Harvest occurs in late October into November, depending on the variety. After harvest, the garlic is hung up to cure. This is a critical part of the growing process. If not cured properly, the garlic will not store for any length of time, and may begin to rot very quickly. Properly cured garlic will keep for 5 months for turban varieties, to 8-10 months for artichoke varieties.
Our garlic is available for sale from late November at markets in Maitland and Newcastle, and the Dungog Growers stall.
Most garlic sold in Australia is imported and Australian grown garlic can be difficult to find in shops. By stocking up on local garlic when it is available in summer you can avoid buying imported garlic and support your local food community.