The garlic from this week’s share traveled from Baja and has a great story.
Here is the story from the garlic importer:
Below, you will find a brief description of our journey, the farm and family which produces the garlic.
Travelling over 7,000 miles to obtain this organically grown purple garlic from deep within the baja peninsula is a chore, but nonetheless, a rewarding one. We would not do it if we did not truly believe in our product, the family whom produce it, and the health benefits it shares with those who consume it.
On the same one acre parcel of ground his father before him grew this strain of garlic, Felix Meza and his extended family have kept to the traditions of the family farm, and clean healthy food that has kept these people tucked back in the sierras of the southern Baja peninsula sustained for so long. The farm is within a desert oasis arroyo which floods annually bringing nutrient and mineral rich volcanic soils across the ground in which the garlic is grown. This is his version of crop rotation. Being a farmer myself, I am amazed by the annual health of the soil. In addition to the new enriched soil brought by the floods, Felix also uses amendments such as goat and cow manure to invigorate his rich red earth before planting.
Kelly and I arrive usually in the beginning of April to help with the harvest, all which is done by hand. It is an amazing feeling to be part of this as the hard work is paid off by the hundreds of laughs and smiles you receive in the field daily. After the roots are removed in the field, the plants are left out to cure and dry, where care is taken not to burn the bulbs in the sun. After they are dried and cleaned by hand, they are brought under cover where they are wetted down the night before they will be braided into 10, 15, and 25 bulb braids, as well as small cones of garlic. We stay to help harvest, cure, clean, and braid the garlic for a couple of weeks. It is hard work, but a special time when we get to witness how wonderful it can be to work amongst friends and family producing something so healthy for the outer world.
As a garlic farmer in Idaho, I know a bit about garlic. The garlic strain we buy from the Baja is a truly superior strain of softneck. Its deep purple color alone attests to the rich flavor and spice contained within. Not only is it the first fresh garlic to hit the U.S. saving us from the onslaught of sprouting chinese garlic when we most need it, it is a genuine true keeper. On the braid, you will experience freshness and peak flavor for over 4 months. Therefore, you have a source of fresh garlic from May until September when, in my opinion, the truly great northern cold grown garlic are ready for fall harvest. I have eaten this particular garlic in fact an entire year after it was harvested and it was still delicious! And, of course, I need not speak of the health benefits of garlic in general as a power food. I can only say one negative thing about this garlic, which is true of most softnecks. It does have relatively small cloves that are a bit more time consuming to peel.
I hope you are as excited about this product as we are, as we would not undertake such an incredible migration from the Canadian border to southern Baja if we did not believe in it wholeheartedly. Thank you and enjoy!
Ben and Kelly Ronniger