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  • Artichoke | Gourmet Garlic

    Artichoke Garlic Group Mid Season | Med ium Storing | 10-20 cloves The Reliable: The best all-rounder loving most climate zones, is happy in a braid, and has a clean taste Artichoke garlic is named after the appearance of the clove layer pattern which looks a bit like an artichoke flower bud. This garlic is a popular mid-season softneck garlic and is considered to be the most adaptable garlic for all soil conditions and climate zones. This garlic group produces many cloves per bulb and can be plaited despite its wide leaves. It is often cropped commercially due to its high number of cloves, no scape removal required and its relatively long storage life. It grows best in a mild to cool winter climate ​ . This is a non-bolting garlic type meaning it does not send up a flower stalk known as a scape unless under stress. Under stress it does produce neck bulbils and a large, wide scape. This garlic has a mild simple vegetative flavour. Characteristics Clove & Bulb Appearance The bulb is normally a flattened oblong globe shape , generally white to tan in colour with purple blotches on the bulb wrapper (skin) particularly in cold climates. The bulbs contain between 10-20 cloves. The bulbs are generally larger than the other soft neck silverskin group. Artichoke garlic normally has multiple layers of cloves. There are often at least ten plantable cloves per bulb. The remaining inner cloves are small, tall and angular thus being less suitable as planting stock. The clove skin is often a dull, matt-white or cream colour. The outer cloves are typically plump square, flattened wedge with three flatish sides shaped with long tails on the outer cloves. The inner layers of cloves are tall, thin, roughly square sided or angular. Artichoke garlic typically stores for 7-9 months in ideal conditions. Bulbils T his softneck garlic generally does not send out a scape (flower stalk) unless it is stressed particularly by cold weather. Under stress they can produce clusters of neck bulbils on the lower half of their pseudostem . Those plants with bulbils will not be able to be plaited. Their skins are normally purple to dark purple in appearance and extra large (7-12mm) in size - the largest of any garlic . Leaves & Scapes Artichoke garlic has more sideways leaf growth compared to the silverskin softneck group. The leaf is very wide compared to other garlic groups and they tend to have leaf-flop halfway up. Thus they can be described as having a more horizontal spreading leaf appearance. Plants can tend to lie over close to harvest time. The leaf is a yellow- green colour. This garlic is easy to distinguish from silverskin and other garlics as it has a visible pink arrow at the stem of each leaf and is a softneck. Under stress ( particularly with chilly spring weather) this garlic can (rarely) produce a large scape with a purple blotch.

  • Planning | Gourmet Garlic

    GARLIC GROWING GUIDE The ten steps of growing garlic Planning It is important to determine your climate zone before choosing the type of garlic you wish to grow, and thereby knowing when to plant and when harvest. Climate Clim ate Climat e has one of the g reatest influence s on growing garlic. While all ten global garlic groups can be grown in N Z , some grow better in different parts of the countr y than others . In general, garlic grows best in regions with cool to cold winters and hot summers. NZ is in the mid-latitudes (between the tropics and polar), and has a temperate climate with rainfall spread across the entire year. We have mild to warm summers and cool to cold winters compared to other countries. Wild garlic originates from the cold mountains of central Asia. The 10 garlic group s originate from this wild garlic and the chilling of winter is a natural p art of the garlic growing cycle . Sprout and c love formation is quick when cool temperatures are 5-10°C for 1-2 months , otherwise, bulbs and cloves may not properly develop and you will harvest more leek-like garlic with stumpy rounds and no cloves. As a result garlic needs a cold winter period to vernalis e to initiate growth - which in warmer climates garlic bulbs can be tricked by putting them in the fridge at the pre-planting stage . The young cloves can survive -10 °C and new shoots can survive -6°C without cellular damage. It would be rare for a bulb to be affected by cold NZ conditions unless the soil freezes very quickly and deeply. Garlic remains in dormancy with juvenile shoots only having up to four leaves until the temperatures rises above 12 °C and they begin to grow secondary leaves. As a result t here are few places in NZ where people reside in which garlic cannot thrive. Also the colder the climate the hotter the ga rlic tends to taste and bulbs tend to be larger. Climate Zone Map NZ Garlic Climatic Zones MILD WINTER COOL WINTER COLD WINTER Those that live in the more northern coastal parts of our country with mild winters need not be disappointed. There are ways to artificially vernalise garlic in preparation for planting. Also consider planting garlic types like turbans , creole and asisatic garlic groups which grow well in areas with mild winters. Our temperate climate can be divided into three main garlic growing zones of winters that are 'mild', 'cool' and 'cold ' . Unlike most plants, garlic might not be as successful if collected from a local source. It is a fact that acclimatization for garlic is best when garlic bulbs come from a colder climate to a warmer one, and from a higher altitude 300+ to a lower one. The opposite will result in the garlic taking years to acclimatize. Porcelain or rocambole prefer very cold winters . Before choosing a type of garlic consider your garlic- growing climate zone or where best to source garlic from within the country . Types Garlic Diversity Garlic is not just garlic. Between the different garlic groups there is a massive range in planting/harvesting times, storage and flavours. There are ten global garlic grou ps and each have a particular climate zone pr eference. Consider picking a few groups or try all of them so see what works in your zone and your unique home micro-climate. Try our garlic group picker ​ to help decide which garlic to grow. The ten garlic groups are: Mild Climate Garlics MILD CLIMATE GARLICS These five garlics are the best performing for mild winter zones Creole Mid Season | Long Sto ring | 5-10 cloves The Flamb oy ant: this small one is hot, dresses in vibrant rosy clove skins, and is a real c rowd-pleaser Turba n Early Season | Short St oring |6-12 cloves The Earlybird: Likes to arrive early at the garden part y and prefers to be eaten first Asiatic Early Season | Med Storing |5-10 cloves The Oriential: this one enjoys the warm humid clim ate of the north Silverskin Late Season | Long Storing | 10-30 cloves The Keeper: A long storer that loves being braided, produces plentiful cloves, and is easy on the taste buds Artichoke Mid-season | Med Storing |10-20 cloves The Reliable: The best all-rounder, loving most climate zones, is happy in a braid and has a clean taste Cool Climate Garlics COOL CLIMATE GARLICS These five garlics are the best performing for cool winter zones Silverskin Late Season | Long Storing | 10-30 cloves The Keeper: A long storer that loves being braided, produces plentiful cloves, and is easy on the taste buds Artichoke Mid-season | Med Storing |10-20 cloves The Reliable: The best all-rounder, loving most climate zones, is happy in a braid and has a clean taste Standard Purple Stripe Late-season | Med Storing |8-12 cloves The Godfather: The easy-peeling garlic from which all other garlics originate ... best of all: this wild one's the sweetest Marbled Purple Stripe Late-season | Med Storing |4-9 cloves The Baker: An easy-peeler is know for its tastiness when roasted Glazed Purple Stripe Late-season | Med Storing |6-12 cloves The Dazzler - Has an easy-peeling glossy sheen of silver and gold ... it's a real head-turner Cold Climate Garlics COLD CLIMATE GARLICS These five garlics are the best performing for cold winter zones Standard Purple Stripe Late-season | Medium Storing |8-12 cloves The Godfather: The easy-peeling garlic from which all other garlics originate ... best of all: this wild one's the sweetest Marbled Purple Stripe Late-season | Med Storing |4-9 cloves The Baker: An easy-peeler is know for its tastiness when roasted Glazed Purple Stripe Late-season | Med Storing |6-12 cloves The Dazzler - Has an easy-peeling glossy sheen of silver and gold ... it's a real head-turner Porcelain Late-season | Med Storing | 2-6 cloves The Beauty: Large teardrop form, produces a few massive cloves, is at the top of its field Rocambole Late-season | Short Storing |7-14 cloves The Chef: Culinary perfection and renowned as the tastiest with a sweet nutty flavour Seasonal Plan Seasonal Plan Before preparing for, planting or harvesting garlic it is good to have an idea of the various timings needed to grow garlic. Based on your climate and the garlic groups you are planning to grow there will be different timeframes to plan around. Planting garlic in NZ generally occurs from late autumn to winter (March to June) while harvesting takes place in late spring and into summer (November to February). The old saying 'plant on the shortest day and harvest on the longest' is only a rough guide which doesnt account for the type of garlic nor the latitude at which it is planted. Our calendar gives a practical method of determining when to plant each type of garlic and other key tasks .

  • Top 10 Tips | Gourmet Garlic

    TOP 10 TIPS Disappointed each season with small, weak and poorly performing garlic bulbs? These are our top 10 tips for the best chances of harvesting the largest, healthiest and the best looking garlic bulbs. 1) Choose the right garlic type Each of the ten garlic groups prefers a particular climate zone. We have divided the country into three main garlic growing zones . Choosing the right garlic for your climate zone is the first step for growing big healthy garlic bulbs. 2) Prepare your garden bed Pick a sunny spot . I f possible use a garden bed which has not had any allium species (leek, onion, chives) in it for the past couple of years and ensure that your soil is rich in nutrients, light and well drained. Our guide offers more detail on garden preparation. 3) Pick the best time to plant The old saying 'plant on the shortest day and harvest on the longest' is a very rough guideline. Planting really depends on your climate zone and the type of garlic grown. Check out our planting guide for when to plant. 4) Find big cloves from big bulbs It's so important to only plant big cloves from big bulbs - research shows this provides the best results. Planting small cloves will almost always return poor results. If possible try to obtain bulbs from a higher altitude and southern latitude from your garden. These cloves from such bulbs will have more vigour when taken to a warmer and lower elevation. 5) Follow best planting practices Plant cloves not bulbs. The clove tip should sit to the top, and ideally planted 20x20cm apart and 2-7cm deep (the colder the deeper). For more planting information following our planting guide . 6) Dispose of the rogues Find the rogues! Keep a close eye on your crop for common problems or unusual coloration of leaves. Whether this be yellowing (nutrient or an infection), brooming, or multiple shoots. If it's affecting the occasional plant then dispose of it, if there are many then it might be a nutrient deficiency, a disease or a pest. 7) Fertilise y our soils While it is important to have your soils rich in nutrients prior to planting, it' s more important to put on th e right fert iliser at the right time. Choose organic slow release nitrogen fertiliser at regular intervals in spring (eg. blood and bone) for leaf growth. At maximum leaf number ( in most places 10-12), stop and change to an organic slow release potassium fertiliser (eg. potash) to enhance bulbing. 8) Weed, weed and weed! Garlic hates competition. Some growers use mulch to suppress weeds , while others do the hard mahi by hand. Either way, weed free soil ensures the best chance of larger bulbs. 9) Remove the scapes Most hardneck garlic will produce a scape, especially if you live in a cool to cold winter climate. While some hardneck garlics respond differently to scape removal, but it's best to remove the scape to give you a greater chance of a 10-30% bigger bulb. 10) Know when to harvest Harvest time depends on your climate zone and type of garlic grown. Harvest too early and bulbs have not matured, while harvesting too late results in the bulb skin splitting and will not store as long. Stop watering a month out , and follow our harvesting guide to know when to harvest your big healthy garlic bulbs.

  • Storing | Gourmet Garlic

    GARLIC GROWING GUIDE The ten steps of growing garlic Storing Unless eaten green, preserved or dehydrated garlic should be stored as fresh bulbs. Once garlic is dried it needs to be sorted, hung and left ready to be eaten. This is the second part after harvesting where the garlic goes through a dormancy period. Prepare Preparation Once garlic is dry it needs to be sorted to make sure that is has no disease. C hoose the best bulbs for next years crop and prepare it for storing. Trimming It is necessary to remove the roots and the dirty bulb wrappers before storing. Unless you are looking at plai ting your softneck garlic, also to remove the false stem or pseudostem (what most people think of as the stem) prior to storing. This can normally be done with a pair of scissors, although the hardneck garlic (less so the semi-bolting turbans , creoles and asiatics ) are likely to need to be cut with secateurs as the stem is very tough. While removing the dirty bulb wrapper and trimming, watch for any bulbs with damage or disease. Any in poor condition should be destroyed. We keep the necks on the bulb quite long, the longer the neck being stored the longer it should keep as it reduces air and moisture entering the bulb. The same can be said with keeping on as much bulb wrapper as possible for storing. Si zing Sizing is a process more important for commercial gro wers but is necessary for the home gardener to find the best bulbs for replanting next year. Bulb s izing names vary in the industry both here abroad. We use a wooden template to poke bulbs through to decide the various grades. Premium prices are obtained for larger bulbs which contain larger cloves, as generally larger cloves will grow large bulbs next year. A small bulb could o nly weigh 20gm, while a extra large could weigh in at 100+gms. This is a five fold difference to any returns for a commercial grower if selling by weight and for the home gardener a larger bulb and cloves are easier to use in the kitchen. Garlic grades are based on the width of the garlic. Commercial garlic grade within the trade is based on a numbering system. Size 3 is 30-35mm, 4 is 35-40mm, 5 is 40-45mm, 6 is 45-50mm while grade 7 is 50-55mm. We prefer a grade based on a description of the size. Our preferred sizing scale would be: • Small <50mm • Medium 50-60mm • Large 60-70mm • Extra Large 70mm+ Stati stics If you are a commercial grower or a re an interested home grower, then the best time to record the results of your harvest is after grading . We collect information on bulb size, average bulb weight and other records between the different garlic groups. In this way we know how much garlic to grow next year, whether our trials worked, and our growing regimes for the next season. Our goal is constant improvement. Pl aiting Garlic One way to keep your softneck garlic (silverskin and artichoke ) is to plait them before or after curing. While the strongly bolting garlics cannot be plaited due to their thick scape, in some warmer climates some of the semi-bolting hardneck (turban , creole and asiatic ) garlic groups might be able to be plaited. There are plenty of online videos describing how to plait garlic. Store Storing When to Store Storing garlic is the final stage of curing. In NZ even in cold climates where the late harvesting garlics occurs in early February, the start of Autumn in March is a time when culinary garlic (not planting stock) should begin to be stored. This is because in March in NZ the weather typically begins to change. Daily tempe r atures below 1 6 °C and moist air from rainfall (>65% humidity) are the seasonal triggers for garlic bulbs to develop green internal shoots in preparation for shooting. Naturally garlic is capable of shooting two months after harvesting - particularly turbans . Therefore it is best to bring culinary garlic inside whe re temperatures are more stable and where garlic can be enjoyed for the rest of the year. How to Store Garlic should be stored in a dry, mild, low humidity environment out of direct light. Ideally , garlic should be stored between 10-20 °C. The optimum temperature is 13-14 °C. If the garlic is stored too cool (between 4-1 0 °C) it is likely to sprout. Storing temperatures above 20 °C results in quic ker bulb shrinkage and decreases their storage life. Garlic is best stored at 45-50% relative humidity. Low humidity will result in the bulb withering, too high (70+%) and it will encourage molds and roots to form. Ideally garlic should be stored in a stable temperature zone without significant fluctuations. While it is difficult to obtain ideal home conditions, try to find a spot that will be satisfactory. Put garlic in a space with good air circulation (not air tight containers). A good place is a paper bag, woven or netted bag/basket similar to those used for onions. Do not use glass or plastic containers as garlic will generate condensation and molds. Garlic matures in storage. At their freshest and juiciest after harvest the clove skins are hard to peel. As garlic ages the flavour is enhanced, the clove shrinks making it easier to peel. In storage all cloves will eventually dry out, go moldy or sprout . Depending on the type of garlic and how tight their bulb and cloves skins are garlic will continue to lo se weight through moisture loss. Softneck garlic is known to lose 4-5% of their weight during normal storage, some types (porcelain , standard purple stripe and glazed purple stripe lose 5-10%), while the remaining garlic types can loose 10-15% of their weight due to continued drying. In the kitchen it is great to have a small amount of bulbs ready for use. It is best placed in a breathable container (not plastic), basket, terracotta pot or metal container with holes. Keep out of direct light and in or nearby the kitchen. Garlic types have different storage times. If you are growing a variety of garlic then consider using turban garlic first as it has the shortest storage duration. Consider the storage chart as to the length of storage for various types of garlic. Preserving Preserving Garlic Dehydrating G arlic This is a safe way to keep garlic long term. Pick healthy, firm cloves and remove their skins and slice them lengthways or into small pieces. Place on the dehydrator's drying trays until dry and crisp. Keep in an airtight container away from direct light. The dry flakes can also be made into powder with a mortar and pestle. The taste remains distin ctly that of the original garlic group. Freezing Garlic Another proven storage technique is freezing the cloves which keeps much of their flavour. You can put the cloves with or without peeling them, into a ziplock bag and freeze. If pre-peeled you can also chop them before freezing. If the clove skins are on it is normally easier to remove them after they are frozen. Garlic in Vinegar Garlic can be preserved in vinegar or wine but it does change the flavour. We advise against preserving garlic in oil because of the risk of botulism. Garlic is prone to botulism due to it's pH being between 5.3-6.3 which is considered too high for preserving in this way. Smoked Garlic Garlic can also be hot or cold smoked. For hot smoked use whole bulbs and remove any loose wrappers (skin), brush olive oil over each bulb and smoke for 1-2 hours depending on the temperature of your smoker. The smoked cloves' contents should resemble a paste like roasted garlic. Cold smoking takes between 1-10 days. Black Garlic Using standard garlic bulbs, garlic can be turned into black garlic - a licorice like food with a non-garlic umami flavour. Black garlic can be made by importing a specialised cooker or alternatively by using a rice cooker, slow cooker or dehydrator can be used to keep garlic bulbs (wrapped in two layers of tin foil) at a low heat for 30-40 days. Black garlic is ready when the cloves are black and their contents treacly. It is not fermented as no bacteria or micro-organisms are used. Black garlic goes through the Maillard reaction of chemically changing amino acids which causes the browning. It's a treat.

  • About Us | Gourmet Garlic

    ABOUT US 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. Our Garlic 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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