Garlic (Allium sativam)
Garlic has two sub-species softnecks and hardnecks. We grow only hardneck garlic.
Scientific name: ophioscorodon variety of allium sativum.
The name possibly originates from the Greek "ophis" meaning "snake". Hardneck garlics have a "scape" - stalk - which coils from the top. The scape grows a number of bubils which are often mistakenly referred to as garlic flowers.
Hardneck varieties of garlic have larger bulbs with fewer but much larger cloves. Hardnecks prefer cold winter climates. Scapes can be harvested and used for creative cooking before the garlic itself is actually harvested We will have garlic scapes for sale in June.
There are three main types of hardnecks: Rocamboles, Porcelain, and Purple Stripe.
- Rocamboles grow better in cold winter climates and produce large, tan or brown colored cloves, easily peeled skins, with a deep full-bodied flavor. They have up to a dozen cloves.
- Porcelains produce a beautiful plant and impressive bulb. They have a satiny white wrapper with four to six large loves around a sturdy scape. Porcelains are easy to peel and great for cooking. As a group, the porcelains have the highest yields of allicin, the sulfur compound most associated with garlic’s therapeutic benefits. Porcelain garlic is often mistaken for Elephant Garlic. The porcelain types we grow are: German Extra Hardy, Romanian Red, Majestic, Armenian, Northern White, Georgian Crystal, Georgian Fire, Amish, Zemo, Montana Zemo. We grow mainly Porcelains, as they do very well in our climate "3a/4".
- Purple Stripes are named for their purple strip on the bulb wrappers and cloves skins. Their taste is strong, complex and richly garlicky. Purple stripes are further broken down into two groups: Glazed and Marbled. Purple stripe garlic is highly distinctive because of its coloring. In the purple stripe category we grow Chesnok Red.
Scientific name: allium sativum var. sativum.
Almost all supermarket garlic is a softneck variety. This is because softneck garlic is easier to grow and plant mechanically. Softneck garlic is recognized by the white papery skin and an abundance of small cloves, often forming several layers around the central core. The flexible stalk allows you to braid the softneck garlic.
There are two main types of softneck garlic: silverskin and artichoke.
- Silverskin garlic is most common simply because it's easier to grow and keeps longer.
- Artichoke garlic tends to have fewer but larger cloves and a more mild flavor. The artichoke bulb wrappers sometimes have purple blotches.