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We are boutique garlic growers in the deep south. We love the varietal quirks so much that we wanted to share them with other garlic growers so they too could sample the unique flavours, shapes and gourmet garlic growing habits.
We have grown garlic for our own use for many years in Kingston, Lake Whakatipu. The height of the Covid-19 pandemic gave us time to develop our spare residential section by building retaining walls, preparing the soil and raising growing beds and then growing our first commercial garlic crop.
We have had some challenges. We thought it would be easy to source the 10 global garlic groups from a few suppliers around the country but it proved challenging in several ways.
First of all, the demand for planted garlic was massive. So we struggled to find any bulbs in order to scale up our production. We found other kiwi gardeners loved planting garlic too.
Secondly, we quickly found that suppliers only sell one or two types of garlic, generally the same, most commercially-viable softneck silverskin and artichoke garlic types.
Thirdly, the nomenclature or the naming of the different types of garlic as they are all mixed up. Along with other confusing names, Russian Red and NZ Purple could be one of at least three different types depending on who was selling them. There is no way to identify them until you grow the bulbs and look for subtle indicators over a few years. We have standardised our garlic into the recognised ten global garlic groups to make things simple.
We sourced much of our range from keen individuals that grow heirloom garlic. It took a few years to identify the types in order to build our special gourmet garlic sampler pack - the first and only such selection in the country.
Today we grow all of the ten global garlic groups including a range of garlic bulbils. As a result we have amassed the broadest range of garlic in the country in order to grow bulbs with the gardener in mind.
Our Plot & Ethos
Being nestled in the southern mountains, at altitude with a constant cool lake breeze gives us the unique climate that helps us grow all the types of garlic - it has some similarities of the conditions wild garlic experiences in its homeland of Central Asia.
Like most home gardeners, we grow all our garlic using hand tools on a small plot on our spare residential section. By living on the land and at this scale we can keep an eye on the crop by just walking a few paces from our door. We do not use machinery, and care for our garlic with more gentle hand tools.
We grow our garlic to the highest quality we can achieve in our climate zone. It's not easy to maintain all ten global garlic groups in one location. We grow our bulbs using organic principals with no artificial fertilisers, sprays or additives. We use fully compostable packaging and fillings where we can to will enable you to put them in your compost bin to help build your own soils.
We hope you will consider our range and enjoy learning from our garlic growing guide as much as we have enjoyed building it - it's the best resource of information for growing garlic for NZ's unique climatic conditions.
We have put alot of effort into building and maintain the garlic growing guide. Please consider supporting us by following our social media links below.
Happy garlic growing!
Gary & Kim
Gourmet Garlic NZ
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