[ Navigation Menu - Click these links to go to other pages on our website. ]
[ Home ] [ Garlic Overview ] [ 70 Varieties ] [ Growing Garlic ] [ Cooking Garlic ] [ Preserve Garlic ] [ Garlic Pills, Etc. ] [ Health Benefits ] [ Garlic Chemistry ] [ FAQs ] [ About Us ] [ How to Order ]
Red line.
[ Buy Garlic Here ] [ Artichoke Garlic ] [ Asiatic Garlic ] [ Creole Garlic ] [ Porcelain Garlic ] [ Purple Stripe Garlic ] [ Rocambole Garlic ] [ Silverskin Garlic ] [ Turban Garlic ] [ Buy samplers Here ]
Red line.
[ Our Online Farmers Market ] [ Grow Garlic in the South, CA & Texas ] [ Tour our Garlic Garden ] [ Paint Rock Pictographs ] [ Newsletter ] [ Garlic is Life ] [ Good Growers Wanted ] [ Spring 2007 ]

Gourmet Garlic Gardens logo

Beautiful original artwork of Burgundy Garlic

Burgundy Dream - An original digital artwork by Tommy Sellers.
- Click on Picture for full size image. -

The Garlicmeister's Newsletter 2012.

Click here to order gourmet garlics for fall shipment

Periodic Reports of the Garlic Growing and Harvesting seasons and life around our ranch.

Newsletter Table of Contents
- [ 2011 ] - [ 2010 ] - [ 2009 ] - [ 2008 ] - [ 2007 ] - [ 2006 ]

- [ The Full Newsletter Archives ] -

Excerps from the Newsletter Archives

- [ 2005 Excerps ] - [ 2004 Excerps ] - [ 2003 Excerps ] - [ 2002 Excerps ] - [ 2001 Excerps ] - [ 2000 Excerps ] -

Scroll down towards the bottom to see this year in passing.
Scroll further down for glimpses into prior years.

Garlic Growers Grab Life by the Bulbs!

The Full Newsletter Archives

Click on the archives below to read about prior years in more detail.
Click Here to Read the 2010 Newsletter. Click Here to Read the 2009 Newsletter.
Click Here to Read the 2008 Newsletter. Click Here to Read the 2007 Newsletter.
Click Here to Read the 2006 Newsletter. Click Here to Read the 2005 Newsletter.
Click Here to Read the 2004 Newsletter. Click Here to Read the 2003 Newsletter.
Click Here to Read the 2002 Newsletter. Click Here to Read the 2001 Newsletter.
Click Here to Read the 2000 Newsletter. Click Here to Read the 1999 Newsletter.

Back to Newsletter Table of Contents

Pic of a big dead tree near our swollen tank.

Click on picture for a larger, clearer image.

- Added May 30, 2007 - Pictures of our Fabulous Wildflowers in Spring of 2007. -

- Updated September 25, 2013 - Click Here for A Pictorial Tour of a Year in our Garlic Garden. -

NEW! - Click Here if You Want to Make Money Growing and Selling Garlic.
- Updated September 21, 2013

Bob Phillips' Texas Country Reporter did a story on me and the garlic for their long running Regional TV program -
click here to see the 6:28 video on youtube:

NEW! - August 28, 2011 - We now include an online garlic gardeners market where you buy direct from each market gardener - just like at your local farmers market.

Click Here to order Gourmet Garlics direct from the growers -

The 2011 newsletter.

Updated December 31, 2011 -

Well, 2011 was yet another turbulent year out here in the middle of nowhere and we are thankful we survived it. It got hot earlier than ever before, the temperature was 100 F on April 1 and remained over a hundred almost every day into October. There were a few times when the daily high temp dipped under a hundred but very few. Our high temp was 110 with 106 to 108 the usual range. It was intense and thousands owe their survival to the man who invented air conditioning.

Our creek has never been known to be completely dry and the last time it came close was 12 years ago and the creek has held water since then until summer solstice when it was almost dry and we were making plans to begin hauling water. Fortunately, we got 4” and it refilled the creek but the summer was so hot that almost all of it evaporated and by summer’s end we were again planning to haul water when we got 3” of rain on the Autumnal Equinox and again it filled our creek, due to heavier rains upstream.

Our main cattle tank went dry during the summer for the first time since it was built in the 1920s. The drought was so severe this year that we had to sell off half our herd to allow the others to survive and we used the money to bring in a couple of bulldozers and deepen our main tank so it will again capture and hold a few acres of water for a long time. Because there was little for our herd to eat and no hay grown locally due to the drought, we had to order three semi loads of alfalfa hay brought in from North Dakota to feed them through this winter. Sometimes the price of food goes up for a reason.

One of the big reasons why I planted only a small family garden instead of a commercial crop this year is that I knew we were going to have this kind of drought and sure enough my small crop had to be harvested in mid-April because of the intense heat. As expected, the bulbs were small. I have never harvested in April before and only occasionally in May. I have again planted only a small garlic plot in our family garden this fall.

Business-wise, our growers were even more successful this year than last. We expanded from nine to 14 growers this year and had 580,000 pageviews on our website in 2011 and our growers sold more than twice as much as last year. All our growers plan on being back again in 2012 and we will be adding quite a few more new growers this new year.

Updated August 14, 2011 -

Lots of things have happened since my last post, most of them hot and dry. We have been over 100 every single day up until today and no rain at all for the last seven weeks. Today we got two inches and the high was only 88. Life is good. we are hoping things will cool down a little now and a little more when we get our first northern cold front, which sometimes comes in August.

I've been cowering inside out of the heat over the last several months and I finally completed a major upgrade of the website I started last November. The website is a lot easier to read and get around in now than before.

Our part of the country is in a slow desertification trend and we are trying to fight it by building lakes and increasing surface water. Our current hot drought has been a major oppression on the land for about two years and has been intense.

Our large main tank finally dried up completely and the only water we have on the place is the creek and it is diminishing faster than I had thought it would due to increased usage as well as increased temperatures. We discovered just how much our main tank had silted in over the years and had become only a few feet deep but wide and it dried up steadily over the last two years.

We have brought in some bulldozers to clean it out and greatly deepen it to 20 feet when full and enlarge it so that we will have much greater capacity to store more water longer over the coming years. It is costing so much we are now calling it the money pit but it will be a great investment in the future operating viability of this ranch as we face increasing times of water shortages in the years ahead. If it ever does really rain again, we're ready for it.

We have now had three rounds of culling our cattle and selling down the herd due to our diminished grazing (Where do you think the money came from to deepen our tank?) We are grateful that our tank dried up, just as we are grateful now that we had to sell cattle and so had the money at the same time as we discovered a great need. Easy come, easy go. All it takes is a few years of one's life.

We hope the two inches of rain we got today will make enough grass grow to feed the cattle so we don't have to sell any more. We also hope it has broken both the heat wave and the drought and we can get back to more normal temps and get our lives and gardens back. Life is good, sometimes moreso than others.

Updated July 31, 2011 -

This has been one of our hottest and driest Julys on record with every day over 100 and no rain at all. The dead skeletons of our lifeless grasses and the weeds that we call wildflowers crunch beneath our feet again as we walk around the ranch. Life outside the window of my air-conditioned office has become quietly more desperate and dreary.

Inside; however, I work in comfort and when the work is done for the night, I watch some Irish dancing to help me relax and lose track of my worries and concerns for a while. The music is always bright and happy and enthusiastic and the dancers add their rhythm to the total sound. Whether it's a traditional Ceili dance or something more contemporary like Michael Flatley's works, it always takes my mind off whatever it was on. In the early evening I enjoy the tap-like step dances but later I prefer the softshoe dances that really relax me so that sleep comes easy.

Over the past seven years I have become a big fan and have bought a couple of dozen videos from the major groups and watch many others on YouTube. My favorite group of all is Kate Watson's Iona Troupe from Sharon Springs, NY. Their choreography is magnificent, their choices of music exquisite and their performances are, for me, the most authentic form of Irish dancing today even though they do not compete, they dance purely for performance. They are just plain delightful to watch. If you like Irish dance, be sure to catch them on YouTube: click here to see their videos on youtube.

If you are are ever lucky enough to be in Gloversville, NY, when they are performing at the little Glove Theatre, Be sure to see them in person. Or, you can catch them at the Great American Irish Festival in Frankfort, NY, the last weekend of July every year. For most of us YouTube is the only way but however you see them, Kate and Brigid Watson, Rose Carballeira and the others will bring joy to your heart and put a spring in your step. Their choreography is amazing and they are truly delightful.

This is a special time for me because they dedicated a dance to me when they performed this weekend. I mentioned something I liked to Kate in an email and it turns out they had been discussing that very move and used my comments as a basis to keep that part in the routine and so they dedicated the next performance of that particular dance, Daughters of Erin, to me. It may not be a big deal to some but no one has ever done anything like that for me before and it makes me feel about ten feet tall. It's a sweet memory in the midst of this long and terrible drought.

Outside, the average high temp for July 2011 was 104. The swallows moved on when the mosquitos died out. Only that hardiest things that sting, bite, are venomous or armored or just plain mean are surviving out there. The hotter and drier it gets, the more the wry west Texas humor comes out in people, like gallows humor. "Fishin' is a lot easier since you can tell where the fish are by the cloud of dust they raise. Just wet your hook good and throw it out there, they'll go for that water every time." "I was carrying a bucket of water from the well to the house and a school of bass mugged me and stole it."

One has to be able to laugh at their troubles to have any chance of surviving very long out here.

Updated June 23, 2011 -

2011 - the year without a spring

We went directly from an extremely cold but somewhat dry winter that saw some single digit temps and a couple of weeks with temps in the teens and some snow and ice with much freeze damage to suddenly change to 100 degrees on April 1, 2011 and we have been mostly very hot and dry ever since.

We are still hot and dry here and have had but little rain and our creek and tanks and wells all are all dwindling daily. Most of May was upper 90s and over a hundred. In late May we hit 107 one day and 110 the next. We have been hovering around 104 to 108 all of June so far. It's not just hot, we're getting 15 to 30 mph winds along with the high temps and our garden has suffered greatly with much of it withering and perishing in the hot winds and my small crop of garlic was forced into early maturity by the heat wave and is small this year. That's not a problem because I get a lot of premium garlic every year sent to me by people wanting me to inspect it to make sure it meets our qualifications to sell in our farmers market so we will have garlic. I have to buy the garlic but I'm always willing to do that.

We are having exactly the kind of weather we thought we would have this year so it is no surprise. That's one reason why I did not plant very much garlic - I doubted it would survive long enough to build a bulb, even a small one. I knew this was going to be a very hot and dry year, we get those down here every once in a while - every time there is a La Nina summer. It's been hovering around 108 the last few days but the next two days the National Weather Service is forecasting temps to drop back into the 90s and even a chance of rain so we are hoping it is peaking and will cool off.

Our biggest dugout earthen runoff-fed water tank, which when full is the size of two football fields and is now about tennis court size and gets shallower and smaller every day as does this part of the creek.

The prospects for real rain anytime soon seem doubtful so we are getting ready to start sell down a little of our Hereford herd, starting with some barren cows and then the least desirable cow-calf pairs will have to be considered as we pare down the herd so that we can adequately feed and water what we end up keeping, which will be half or more of our herd. Our backup plan is that we have a 200 acre pasture further south along the creek where the water is much deeper and we will keep the breeding core of the herd down there and move a few bulls into a different pasture in a different part of the ranch and hand feed and water them if need be. If it rains we will probably try to keep almost all of them.

Our cattle aren't ordinary, they're some of the most tender grass fattenable cattle to be used as breeding stock for the grass-fed/grass-fattened producers. They are the product of decades of development that Merridee's father put into these lines and Merridee and her sisters have re-focused the genetics on the ability to gain weigh rapidly and finish on grass rather than having to grain feed them in a feeding lot. They are irreplaceable so we will do whatever it takes to get them through this drought.

Our once green pastures so often covered with wildflowers in the spring bore none this year due to lack of fall and winter rains and all are now dressed in khaki and tan and brown. Now when we walk across the pasture, it crumbles under foot with a sickening crunch like when you step on bugs. I feel as though I am violating the pasture when I walk on it. I remind myself it will rain when it rains and until then the best thing I can do is be patient and do whatever I must to get through it until then. Now would be a good time to deepen the tanks so that when it does rain again we can hold more of it.

Most of the insects are gone except for the grasshoppers, the ubiquitous fire ants and yellow jackets and dirt dobbers. Merridee quelled an outbreak of blister beetles in the garden using orange oil and eventually Diatomaceous Earth but outside of that there are few insects, even flies and mosquitoes are barely noticeable and there are few birds except the buzzards.

When you live in Landlady Nature's boarding house, you have to take what she serves. It is less depressing when you expect it just as over time you will expect the rains when they return, at the Landlady's leisure. It's yet another of the cycles of life. We may wind up having to haul water in barrels again before it is over but we have done it before and we will find ways to persevere through it just like last time and the time before that. In time, this drought, too, will pass.

After our last great drought was over, in two weeks the place was so lush you could not tell there had even been a drought. The land, plants, animals and will all recover from this one quickly also, the only question is when. The most troubling issue is that our water level is already lower going into summer than it was at the end of the last drought in October of 2000 so we may be hauling water soon but that won't last forever.

Life is good, anyway.

I wrote this on the morn of Summer Solstice, June, 21, 2011 and emailed it to my friend, Kate Watson of Sharon Springs, NY. (Kate and her daughter, Brigid are truly excellent Irish dancers and she owns an Irish Dance school, Scoil Rince Criost an Ri and its performing troupe, Iona. They are very talented and very creative, their choreography is magnificent and they are an absolute delight to watch. Here's a link to their youtube page: click here to see their videos on youtube.)

That evening, what was predicted to be a light shower suddenly blossomed out into a full blown thunderstorm, dumped 3" of rain on us and filled up our creek and altered our plans for the better. It will hereafter be known as the summer solstice rain. We may eventually forget what year it came in but we will remember this rain. My record of predictions with Kate isn't very good right now.

Looks Like I missed my forecast a little. We were hoping for a short light shower and a big thunderstorm came up and we got 3 inches of very windy rain and our more northerly neighbors did also and so our creek came up several feet and is now full and slowly flowing. It was unusually calm as the clouds built up to the north and west of us and then moved south and suddenly 30+ mph winds hit with rain that seemed to by falling sideways. Our Davis Instruments recording anemometer showed a gust that reached 44 mph. It was quite violent and the power went out and came back on three times. There were a lotta limbs blown down and laying around but no real damage done. We didn't care, it was wet and wonderful.

It was only in the mid-90s today, cool and delightful. With the temp in the 70s this AM, Merridee and I took a tour of the place so we could determine the effects of the rain on our place and that's when we discovered the creek was full again due to runoff from rains to the north of our place.

Our tanks and well are still perilously low and we are still in a drought but the creek is full of fresh rainwater - Yay!!!! Right now it looks like coffee with cream but the silt will settle out in a week or two and it will become clear and delicious. The biggest thing this rain brings for me personally is that we (I) won't have to be hauling barrels of water anytime soon.

We can now last through the summer without cutting another cow but we will cull a few anyway. This rain will assure good grazing for another two months so we are still in the cattle business for the summer and if it rains again in that time, we'll be on the way to recovery maybe. Maybe this La Nina drought is coming to an end. The weather service said the other day that La Nina has faded away but I'll believe it when it rains again.

Updated May 1, 2011 -

It's cold and windy again like late winter and our string of 100+ days is over for a while and we may even be in danger of a frost or light freeze over the next couple of days. We continue to have these constant 15-25 mph winds. We still have gotten no rain even though the lightning bolt that started our fire (about 200 acres burned between us and our northern neighbor) brought lots of rain to those NE of us all the way to Dallas but Landlady Nature didn't see fit to give us any. There are times I wonder if she even likes us anymore but then we have good chances of rain over the next couple of days and she is already teasing us with a few drops on the sidewalk.

May is usually our rainiest month and I hope it is again this year. We are ready for it. If May is as dry as it has been, we'll be selling back to just a few of the best breeding stock in early to mid June but at least cattle prices are presently good.

The wildflowers are few and far between but at least the prickly pear is starting to blossom and we'll have beauty on the beast for a few weeks. They make big beautiful yellow to cantelope colored flowers about 4" across. They bloom in the spring and produce edible fruit in September and excellent jellies and syrups are made from them. The young pads can also be scraped and sliced into strips and cooked like green beans or made into excellent pickles. The Indians used to laugh at settlers starving to death when food was all around them and they didn't know it. The cattle loved the fire because it burned the spines off and they feasted on prickly pear for days afterward.

Updated April 24, 2011 -

The other morning I wrote my friend, Kate Watson of upstate NY that I wasn't concerned with the wildfires all over Texas as the nearest one was 90 miles away. That afternoon I was fighting one. A mid afternoon heat-related thunderstorm arose over our ranch and a powerful lightening bolt struck about 3/4 mile away from the house and sparked a big grass fire that was fed by 15 to 20 mph winds and quickly spread. we called 911 and went to fight it with garden sprayers and wet burlap bags and we tried to contain as best we could until the volunteer fire departments showed up and by then it was quite large and roaring. Many pieces of equipment from four communities and the Texas Forest Service showed up and help poured in and worked furiously to contain it before it burned anybody out - like us or our neighbors. They were here until ten PM making sure it did not restart. I was sore for three days afterward. My hat is off to these guys

We didn't get any rain out of it but everybody for about 200 miles to our northeast got plenty. Our turn will come, the only question is when. Life is good, anyway.

Updated April 10, 2011 -

Looking back at 2010, it was a very turbulent transitional year as we added our online farmers market to the website and changed the way we do business. We started off with four growers and expanded to nine during the year and sales were brisk as expected and all of our growers did well and are eagerly looking to return in 2011.

What's new for 2011 is more growers and more varieties to choose from. There are also several more growers who are already interested in getting on board for 2011 and we expect to be able to add a few more growers this year and that means more cultivars and more local growers.

We got off to a slow start this year due to some computer problems that kept us offline for a couple of weeks at a time. Here it is April 10th and we have finally opened up the shopping cart to begin to accept early orders for shipment in August/September, 2011.

This year everything will be bought directly from the growers, including sampler assortments and we will be adding some peripheral things such as garlic scapes and shallots.

What's new this year is a table of contents at the top of each page that makes it easier to get around to all the main parts of each page without having to scroll so much.

Another thing that's new is easier to read text size and background and the new font makes it easier to print out parts of our webpage for reference.

In short, the website has undergone a quiet revolutionary change since last year and has become easier to read and get around and makes it easier to get to know who grows your food and what their growing operations are like.

We will continue making innovative changes to our ever-changing website as we have since 1997.

Our weather continues to perplex. It's a La Nina year and we expected it to be hot and dry but in the midst of it we had several real cold snaps with commonly in the teens and twentiesand one main severe winter storm with ice, sleet and snow that dropped temps into single digits and stayed in the teens or under for almost two weeks. All of out pipes froze, some burst as did one of our pumps and we were without running water for several weeks. It's amazing how much work goes into the simple act of turning on a faucet and having it actually work or flushing a toilet.

I cut and burned a lot of oak firewood this winter. Our fireplace is our main source of heating for the house although there is a small open face gas heater in the dining room - yeah, like we're in the dining room a lot. We are not one of those families who eat while watching TV; no siree, we are a family who eats at our individual computers unless we have company for dinner (rarely) so we don't use the dining room often.

When I was younger and stronger I preferred to use a hand bow saw to cut wood but these days I take along a gas generator and an electric chainsaw and it makes it go a lot faster. I used to split them with a sledge hammer and a wedge but a few years ago I bought a hand cranked hydraulic splitter that makes it go a lot easier. It's hard work out in the cold but I love it. May as well make the most of my geezerdom.

The 2010 newsletter.

Updated December 31, 2010 -

Looking back at the agony and the ecstacy that was 2010, it was a very turbulent transitional year as we added our online farmers market to the website and changed the way we do business. We atarted off with four growers and expanded to nine during the year and there are several more who are already interested in getting on board for 2011. Adding to the ecstacy, sales were brisk as expected and all of our growers did well and are eagerly looking to return in 2011. My best friend, Tommy Sellers, who created the Burgundy Dream artwork above, passing away added to the agony as did one of our farmers market growers losing his crop to the weather.

We're still uncertain how the new Modernized Food Safety Act will affect us but it will have some affects on how we do things. Under the guise of protecting the safety of the public food supply, congress enacted the legislation to protect the interests of their big business contributors at the expense of the small farmers and small businesses and the general public as well, in other words, business as usual.

There were widespread weather-related crop losses all across the northern tier of states this year and the Canadians were hit even harder than the Americans. This means there was not as large a crop planted this fall due to lack of suitable planting stock and I expect shortages of some varieties in 2011. Shortages usually mean higher prices for what is available since supply and demand always rule the marketplace.

My advice is to order early as the earliest orders get the best choice and in times of shortages, ordering early may be the only way to get any of some varieties.

We have had many favorable comments on our farmers market and lots more growers are expressing interest in selling through it so I expect to have lots of new growers selling theough us in the next year or two.

We opened our farmers market in the spring and added growers as word spread of what we were doing and the opportunities that presented to growers of superior gourmet garlics. Things went pretty much as usual until in late summer I started to get inquiries about garlic diseases, in particular garlic rust from Canadian growers and then growers on the US side of the border. It was mid-September before one of our growers realized his garlic was not going to cure but rot in storage due to excess humidity and he had to cancel all his orders. Fortunately, we were able to find other growers who were able to fill almost all the affected orders so almost all of our customers got the garlics they ordered even if they came from a different grower. That's the advantage of a farmers market; you have multiple sources instead of just one.

Fortunately, we were prepared for the possibility of just such a crop failure by allowing customers at the time of the sale to choose whether to accept substitutes or get a refund in the event of crop failure and most wanted substitutes so we were able to provide them with gourmet garlics even in a market with widespread shortages.

We feel that our farmers market is a grass roots entrepreneural opportunity that is exactly what this country needs right now. For good or ill, this country has gone from a manufacturing economy to a service economy and growing and selling gourmet garlics fits perfectly in that niche. Our farmers market is a place where ordinary people can participate in this new economy and aid in the recovery as well. It also gives Americans a chance to buy food and planting stock direct from the growers and get to know where their food comes from. It is a good thing to know exactly where your food comes from - something you can't say about supermarket food.

We're in a La Nina cycle and for us in our location that always means hot and dry weather so not having a crop this year may be a blessing. We usually irrigate a lot in La Nina seasons but sometimes a hot day in spring can force early maturity before the bulbs get to commercially viable size.

Another big change in 2010 is that I did not plant a commercial garlic crop this fall for the first time in a decade and I hardly know what to do with myself. I am so far behind in so many things I hardly know where to begin, now that I have a little time. I have become so busy with the website that I no longer have time to be a commercial grower and also I do not wish to compete against any of the growers in our farmers market.

I worked harder and longer hours with less time off in 2010 than ever before so not having to spend all spring hand weeding seemingly endless long beds of garlic will give me time to recover from my exhaustion and get some chores done that I have been putting off and also add some more growers to our farmers market and maybe get caught up with my email as I have fallen way behind.

Updated March 22, 2010 -

At last, buy direct from the growers and save.
Everybody talks about high prices, we're doing something about it.

Finally, the gardener's marketplace is up and running in rudimentary form, but it is up and running on the website. There are many things yet to be added on or updated or amended but those refinements will come over the next few weeks.

By using the popularity of my website as a drawing card I hope to bring grower and buyer together and the result should be higher prices for the growers and lower prices for the customers.

I opened it up over the vernal equinox weekend and it had around a hundred viewers. There are several more growers who have signed up and I'll generate webpages for them over the next few days.

It has been a few years in the making in that I have envisioned it for years but couldn't find a way to bring it together without me having to do a lot of webpage design and building.

In order to be able to find the time to do it I had to let go my commercial garlic growing operation. I have contracted out all our growing to a local grower and will sell it all in Creole assortments. I am maintaining only a small experimental garden in which I grow a few rare things to preserve the species.

This has been the busiest January and February we have ever had with 40% increases in website visitors over last year, which was our previous busiest year so I expect good things this year in terms of sales.

More later, got work to do.

Updated February 14, 2010 -

Big changes as we put in a garlic growers farmers market in 2010.

Last year was our largest volume sales year ever and we maxxed out our storage/shipping facility and if we want to be able to sent out more garlic we have to build a bigger building and get more furniture and computers and hire more people. That adds complication to my life rather than simplicity so in order to avoid all the rigamorole surrounding bigger everything, I have decided to put in a market gardeners farmers market and let my customers buy from the same people I buy from.

We, Gourmet Garlic Gardens, will sell nothing but sampler assortments consisting of garlic from our market gardeners so people can try a smaller amount before deciding on what variety from which grower to buy in larger quantity. Customers will know who grew each bulb in their assortment. I think this will result in more sales for the gardeners and more competitive prices for the customers. Sounds like a good thing to me. All sales of bulk garlic will go straight to the market gardeners, we will not compete against them.

Since most small market gardeners do not accept credit cards and that makes it more difficult for consumers to buy, we have decided to use our credit/debit card processing gateway to facilitate customers and market gardeners alike. We serve both the buyer and the seller as a mutual convenience but will remain neutral in any disputes that may arise between buyer and seller. In order to function properly it's going to need some cooperation among all parties involved, buyers, sellers and Gourmet Garlic Gardens, too.

Our purpose here is to use the popularity of our website as a way to help buyers and sellers find each other. I really don't anticipate any insoluble problems though I can see some things that will need to be dealt with. One being people cancelling an order and then buying from a cheaper seller. The customer gets their money back but we get stuck with the original 6% processing fee and another fee to cancel it and some clerical time. This is a problem that needs to be prevented somehow but most our customers are gardeners and we have been on friendly terms for over 12 years on the internet now.

What I'm trying to promote here is a way for local people to grow some of their own food and sell some to their neighbors. Market gardening and selling to your neighbors is good business and so is sending garlic to other places where they may not have it locally available.

You must settle up your order (check out) from one grower before buying from a different grower - just like at your neighborhood farmers market.

How Our Garlics are Grown

Some of our growers are Certified Organic and some are Certified Naturally Grown, which we regard as equal to Certified Organic in every meaningful way but without all the bureaucratic rigamarole. All our market gardeners grow organically/sustainably but not all want to be certified and are among the best available sources of sustainable/organic Garlic We do not allow growers who use synthetic petroleum-based fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbacides to participate in our farmers market.

All garlic in our farmers market is grown in the USA, no imports allowed.
This farmers market is strictly for small-scale American market gardeners/growers who live and grow sustainably.

Back to Newsletter Table of Contents

The Ongoing Newsletter and crop update as of December 31, 2009.
Click here to read the archived complete 2009 Newsletter

2009 was our biggest year ever and there will be big changes coming in 2010.

2009 was a very good garlic year. There have been some farmers whose harvests have been affected by adverse weather that never did really warm up well all across the northern tier of states. The crop losses; however, are not as widespread as the previous few years so we had a lot more garlic than last year and our sales were the best ever but we have maxxed out our facility and will have to do some things differently next year.

Our own crop was planted late because we couldn't get to it as we were too busy with the normal fall madness of receiving and orders and processing credit cards and arranging with growers to ship to us as well as packing and shipping more packages than we have ever sent in a year before.

I have been too busy to write a newsletter this year until long after the fact. It dawned on me that I might have too many full time jobs and I decided I had to quit at least one of them. I have made an agreement with a local guy with whom I have worked in the past to plant and grow my crop for me in exchange for a share of the crop.

We had an excellent crop going until the big hailstorm hit in early May forcing early maturity and so we lost a little bulb size but still had a very good crop of good size and I was happy with it. I planted only a few thousand plants, far less than I have planted for many years. It was all I had time to tend to so as to insure a good crop. Once again, the Asiatic and Turban garlics did not do well for us although everything else we grew was well above average in size and quality.

I did grow out some of the allegedly virus-free Duganski but so far it has not lived up either expectations or hopes. I sure hope that turns out to be as good as I hope it will as I think it has a future in this country if growing conditions are favorable. It's hard to grow good garlic in some of the weather conditions we in this country have endured of late.

The people growing the virus-free garlic have had such horrible garlic growing weather the last couple of years that I have felt forced to close down my recommendation of it at least until growing conditions improve.

2010 will be very different because we will be adding a garlic growers farmers market in to our website so people can buy direct from small growers all over the country. We will be doing some things differently and I think it will work out well for everyone.

2008 was a fairly good garlic year. There have been some farmers whose harvests has been affected by a long cool spring that never did really warm up all across the northern tier of states. The crop losses; however, are not as widespread as last year so we will have a lot more garlic than last year.

The most notable losses in 2008 were the Porcelain Rosewood and the virus-free Bulgarian Rocambole, Sofia and there was a shortage of the Rocambole, Spanish Roja.

Back to Newsletter Table of Contents

Click here to read the archived complete 2008 Newsletter
New September 20, 2008 - Now you can buy two different kinds of Virus-Free Garlic.

Big News - We have two cultivars of very rare Virus-Free garlic available this fall.

We were very lucky to be able to get two of the three cultivars of Virus-Free garlic , some Duganski, a Marbled Purple Stripe and some California Late, an Artichoke but the Sofia, a Rocambole from Bulgaria got flooded out and will not be available until maybe next year. Not even virus-free garlic is exempt from the ravages of nature and while much of the garlic crops in the NW part of the country were greatly stunted by cool, damp and cloudy spring that never did warm up until well into summer, two of the three V-F varieties did quite well and were of good size in a world of smaller garlics.

This is good news for growers all over the country and especially the warm winter growers have something to cheer about as the Artichokes and Marbled Purple Stripes both do well in warm winter areas. A Marbled Purple Stripe called Metechi is always the biggest and best in our garden year after year.

Why does virus-free have any special appeal and how do they do it? At this point I'm not entirely clear as to all the features and benefits of virus-free garlic but I can tell you how they are developed and that ridding a cultivar of virii causes the garlic to grow larger and heavier than the same cultivars the contain virii. I'm not sure what effects being virus-free has on the health benefits of garlic but researchers have shown in the past that denser, heavier varieties, Porcelains, in particular had greater capability to produce Allicin, from which the most healthy fat-soluble compounds are derived.

All natural garlics contain some viruses; it's what happens out in the wild, life happens. These viruses have no known harmful effects on humans but apparently only affect the garlics and most of their effects are unknown although a few are; for example, the yellow streak virus carried by wheat curl mites cause a garlics leaves to show some yellow streaks but their effects on the clove is minimal if anything. If a garlic bulb has a viral contamination, and they all do, almost every part of the plant is affected. All, in fact but the tiniest growing tip where the virus has not yet gotten a grip on the plant. This tiny growing tip, called a meristem, is snipped out under a microscope and tediously grown out from that tip and that virus-free tip will eventually grow into a full size plant and develop a bulb with multiple cloves and the cloves will also be virus-free and can be replanted to produce virus-free offspring. It takes several years of replanting all or most of the cloves for a single virus-free bulb to reproduce into a marketable number of bulbs to base a virus-free seed garlic business on. They are still a few years from widespread distribution.

Removing the viruses causes the bulbs to get bigger and denser. This is only the second effort I know of ever to produce virus-free garlic. The earlier one was done in California in the 1980s but the grower discontinued his program because it produced such large garlics , over 3" in diameter, that he had a hard time selling such large garlics and he quit doing it. I understand he is retired now and no longer involved. Our virus-free garlics were produced by a different retired plant pathologist and grown in Oregon and we're ready to try again so we can see for ourselves what the results are and are inviting our customers to try them also and see how they do for them.

To my knowledge, we are the only place in the country at this time offering virus-free garlics for sale on the internet although there may be others I don't know about. They were not grown organically and normally we would not handle such garlic but since there is no source of organically grown virus-free garlics, these can be introduced into an organic operation and their offspring, if grown by a certified organic grower would become certified organic next year. They're a little pricy but so is everything that is truly rare.

Are virus-free garlics acceptable in an organic program? I don't know as I have never seen any prohibition against it. It is not a genetically modified organism, it is only a modern extension of the ancient art of rooting plants to produce offspring. Do virus-free garlics have the same health benefits? I don't know but I would think so since the chemical reactions would seem to be unchanged by the presence or absence of the viruses. Are these particular viruses any kind of enemy? I doubt it. Does eliminating the viruses have any kind of advantage? Only in that the garlic grows larger and denser with the same effort and most growers find that to be a desireable trait.

What is the future of these V-F garlics? How long will they stay virus-free? I don't know. Nobody knows how many years it took garlic to pick up all its viruses. Nobody knows how long it would take to re-acquire some more of them via insects, etc. or how often new virus-free planting stock would have to be purchased in order to assure an essentially virus-free crop. We're stepping out on unexplored turf here. Whacking out new trails, so to speak. We'll learn as we go.

Updated March 3, 2008 -

I finally restored the shopping cart and we are now beginning to accept orders for delivery in late summer/early fall. We also have some leftover planting stock that is still good enough to use for spring planting assortments. If anyone is interested, just click on the link directly above and go to the assortments page and place your order. Be sure to tell us it's for spring planting in the comments field of the order form and we will send your order immediately.

Things are still up in the air with Yahoo! and I am actively looking at some other hosting arrangements in case Yahoo! gets intolerably worse. Microsoft is reportedly telling its employees already how to deal with the acquisition of Yahoo! and how to phase it into their present organization, so it's clear to me that they intend to buy out Yahoo! and what they are doing is haggling over price. The question is whether it can remain online and intact reliably enough to continue using them as a host and how things will be in the apparently inevitable transition into Microsoft.

Updated February 12, 2008 -

Friends, the biggest concern I have to deal with right now is whether or not Yahoo will remain stable enough to continue successfully hosting our website. With upcoming layoffs and their current problems, I may decide to relocate the hosting of my website. They have been good hosts the last two and a half years and appear to continue to stay up and online intact and traffic continues to flow. They just no longer measure that traffic well and if it weren't for our own hit counting software we would have no idea how much website traffic we have been getting. As it is, our count is very accurate and website traffic continues to build. We had 275,000 visitors last year with unique IP addresses, up from about 200,000 the year before.

It doesn't matter how good your website is if its host can't keep it online all the time. We have not yet had this problem with Yahoo but must anticipate the possibility in light of their present problems. Therefore, it is imperative that we immediately seek a suitable back up site to be located on a different host.

In the meantime, it is getting time to restore the ordering capability to the website and begin accepting orders for 2008 delivery. I will start by restoring things to normal and then adding on new growers as they decide to come join me. This process will take a few weeks, so please bear with me while I slowly wend my way forward. I'm an apprentice geezer now, 69 in March, and I move a little slower on purpose.

Updated February 1, 2008 -

Last year was a real crop disaster and this year will not be much better. We will have only a very small amount of garlic of our own growing this year. It became necessary to move our garlic planting area out of the family garden to an area in an adjacent field. Cancelling last years orders involved lots of emails, phone calls, etc. and I didn't get the new garden fertilized until late and then I had to build an electric fence around it to keep the cattle out. Before I could plant, I had to run a water line about 800 feet out to it. Then the cold weather set in and we had freezing temps as low as 13 F. and almost constant high winds. I had made some arrangements for some help in exchange for a significant share of the income when the garlic sold but he didn't show up.

For several years now I have been trying to juggle webmaster duties with growing. That's two full time jobs and I simply no longer have enough time to serve both these masters and I am being forced to choose between them. I have decided to remain webmaster and leave the growing of the garlic up to other people, those who have more time than I and I will help them sell their garlic. This year you will be able to buy from me at my price or you may buy direct from the growers at their prices. It will take me a while to try to figure out the best way to go about doing this.

Back to Newsletter Table of Contents

Click here to read the archived complete 2007 Newsletter
Updated October 18, 2007 -

We are sold out now and are no longer actively soliciting orders for 2007, except for Pickled garlic products, salsas, etc. There is little or no chance of any more garlic coming in from remote growers, but if any comes in we will post a notice of it in the Online Catalog page. All orders placed from today forward cannot expect fulfillment this year. All orders that we cannot fill will be contacted by email and told so and placed in the front of the line and given first choice for garlic to be shipped next year.

We also had to throw out more garlic than usual because it was found to have a pathogen or pest problem. If we can tell it has a problem, we don't ship it and then we contact the grower and try to help them learn about the problem and how to prevent it next year.

This year the rare just got rarer. I hope there was enough good planting stock to insure a good harvest next year. I can only say that I have some excellent planting stock and I have every reason to expect an excellent crop next year, LandLady permitting. I hope the other growers kept their best for planting and that they remained firm.

I have had to cancel around a hundred orders people have placed with us and here is a copy of the email letter I sent to the folks, trying to explain what happened this year:

Dear (customer name)

Please excuse my delay in response. I have been overwhelmed of late with phone calls, emails, people trying to order, etc.

I am greatly saddened to have to tell you that I have had to cancel all outstanding sales and unfilled orders, including yours, due to severe garlic shortages caused by widespread weather-related crop losses and subsequent storage problems among some of the survivors. Much of the garlic we were going to use to fill orders went bad in storage from problems stemming from wet growing and harvesting conditions while mite contamination from their growing fields ruined others. What was at first beautiful garlic went bad before our eyes and we would prefer to burn it rather than try to send it to anyone. All of this unfolded unexpectedly and in a fairly short time.

We always try to fill the earliest orders with the best garlic but our choices were limited this year due to crop failures among garlic growers all across the country. Many varieties we usually get were not available to us this year but the failures didn't become evident until after harvest time and after curing, while the garlic was cleaned and trimmed. We had no time to warn our customers as the bad news came in from grower after grower just as we were preparing to begin shipping garlic. I knew we had a crop loss but I didn't know about the others. Not all growers were affected but many were. It was then that we were able to piece together what happened and it was a warm spell in late winter followed by a late freeze around Easter - and then the flooding began, sealing their fate.

The first two or three waves of garlics arriving from our older growers whose crops did well were good and they were used to pack and ship early orders but as later shipments from newfound growers started to come in, I suspected some of them coming from three different new growers of problems and set them aside for observation for a couple of weeks and sure enough those cultivars started turning soft indicating they were not useable for our purposes.

We tried to find some more good garlic to replace the garlic that went bad and have been unable to do so and have now about given up on finding any more good garlic from growers this year and decided to cancel all outstanding orders and remove all fresh garlic from our online catalog. If we do find some good garlic we will contact those with the oldest outstanding orders and give them an opportunity to buy it. I'm not holding my breath, though.

I've been on the Internet 10 years now and this year has the worst crop losses I have seen.

I apologize to you for your disappointment at not getting the garlic you wanted. I understand disappointment as I have lost my crops two years in a row now. I look forward to next year fully confident of a bumper crop (just like I did the last two years). Mother Nature rules. I may apologize but she doesn't.

I will keep all these unfilled orders on file for next year where they will be put in front of the line as a group where they will have first choice of what is available then and when the crop is ready I will call or send an email to each one asking them if they want to renew their order. Good luck to you.

Bob Anderson
Garlicmeister, a self-inflicted title for amusement only.

This year the rare just got rarer.

Updated October 8, 2007 -

We are almost sold out but we still have a few varieties and a little more garlic still coming in from remote growers.
All order placed from today forward can probably expect fulfillment but maybe not because we still have unfilled orders in the house and they will take up a lot of what is on hand, but probably not all of it. All orders that we cannot fill will be contacted later on and told so.

Big crop losses all across the country made a lot of cultivars we usually get just unavailable this year so it looks like we're selling out earlier than usual this year. We have had the busiest season ever and we have been overwhelmed by the volume of orders and also the large numbers of orders we cannot ship due to shortages. During a time of increased public interest and demand, weather-related crop losses have increased the desire but but the decreased amount of garlic available has left this demand unsatisfied and it is sure to increase next year, hopfully accompanied by a bumper crop.

Updated August 22, 2007 -

Due to adverse weather this year causing crop failures in many areas, some of the cultivars we usually carry, we will not have this year and some orders will have be substituted, adjusted or cancelled as we contact affected customers.

Some of the affected hardneck cultivars include Metechi,Siberian, Bogatyr, Carpathian, Zemo, Georgia Fire, among others. Among the Artichoke garlics, Red Toch, Cal Early and Chet's will not be available. Stay tuned for others. Most of the garlics we usually have will be unaffected and will have abundant supplies of top quality gourmet garlics, as usual.

More information will be posted here as I learn more from the growers.

Updated August 1, 2007 -

If you have read the Overview page, you know that most of these gourmet garlics have been in this country only since 1989 and most people don't know about them yet. As people learn about them, many find them very exciting and want to eat or grow them - that's understandable. I'm doing everything I can to promote interest in them and encourage people to grow their own wherever possible.

Starting next year I am going to add a garlic growers farmers market to this website so that gardeners/growers can sell their crops direct to the general public through their webpage on my website and I will process the credit card transactions for the growers so they won't have to bother with it. Most small volume growers don't accept credit cards because they're in business only a couple of months a year and credit cards are a year around thing. This will allow small volume gardener/growers to get a fair price for their produce and open up new markets as well. We will have the drawing power of this website to bring buyers and sellers together.

I propose to create a seperate company with a secure website that would process all credit card transactions and keep accurate accounting for each grower's sales. Each grower would have a seperate basic webpage of their own to tell about themselves and their garlic and prices, etc. and they would stay up year round so that customers would have all year long to view their offerings and many might want to order things early. The garlic growers market would integrate with this website as an extension of it. This would allow smaller volume growers to supplement their incomes with sales of garlic to people they would not otherwise have any way of reaching. The same with customers, this would allow them to buy what they want from growers they would not otherwise be able to find.

If this is of interest to you, please read the "We're looking for a few good growers" page: Click here to go directly there. or, E-Mail Bob .

Updated August 1, 2007 -

The outlook for what garlics we will have available this year is very good. In the good news/bad news department, while we lost most our crop this year due to grasshoppers and rain, rain, rain, we have found a new source of Ajo Rojo garlics and will be able to offer some with a one pound limit. The crop failure won't affect our sales much since we get so much garlic to sell from other growers anyway. So now we will have both Burgundy and Ajo Rojo to offer as Creole garlics this year. I believe by next year we will have recovered most of the rest of our Creoles and have a full offering of them again.

The growers I have talked to so far say their crops will be very good and most had favorable growing conditions. We will have almost all the same cultivars we had last year, plus a couple of new ones.

Updated June 27, 2007 -

Rain, Rain, Rain. Rain is usually more than welcome but we have had 17" in the last six weeks, during the biggest part of our harvesting season and I'm having to mud the garlic out, as we say down here when you have to harvest even though it's muddy. Late rains don't usually help much, especially when you have to pull the bulbs up out of the mud. When the garlic has no leaves because the grasshoppers ate almost all the foliage, the bulbs can get ugly because without the leaves, the bulb wrappers just evaporate and you are left with bare bulbs. Once again we will depend on our other organic and sustainable growers across the country for our garlic so we will have most of our usual offering to sell. The only difference is that we will have only Burgundy (and, now, Ajo Rojo - added 7-29-07) for Creoles this year. I have a really good feeling next year is going to be a great crop.

Updated June 21, 2007 -

Update on the grasshopper wars for 2007 - we won, but it was a costly victory. We wiped them out but not until they had eaten the foliage of most of our Creoles and Artichokes. It took 75 pounds of Diatomaceous Earth and we got them before they reproduced so future grasshopper hordes will be a little smaller. We also brought in some chickens to get the latecomers and to clear them out of the whole area around the garden so as to prevent or minimize future invasions. They have run unchecked in the past, leading up to having larger numbers of them in the area but from now on, those populations will be prevented by wiping out the grasshoppers in the immediate area before they multiply.

Because of our losses to the winged warriers this year, the only Creole we will have available is Burgundy, unless I can find some from another grower. I have had to remove the Creole assortment from the online catalog and hope I can fill the orders I have already received.

Updated June 1, 2007 -

Wow - what a spring! Our ranch is covered in wildflowers of many kinds and more and more just keep coming. It's a sea of Bluebonnets, Indian Blankets, Brown-eyed Susans, Indian Paintbrushes, clusters of white Rock Daisy, pink Primroses and Phlox, Larkspur and many whose names I don't even know. They must number in the hundreds of Billions and the colors are dazzling and the aroma nearly intoxicating. El Nino is making up for the drought of the La Nina years, big time. The ill-tempered La Nina brought us very hot and dry weather (We had 100 degree temps last year on April 15 while this year we had a hard frost on that date.) while her more considerate sibling brings us cool damp weather.

Pic of our Davis Instruments weather center in the garden.

Our newest toy, an expedition-quality weather center to accurately record all aspects of our weather.

Our crop year runs from Sept. 1 through August 31 and last year we had a total of 8" for the year and this year so far we have had 17". The land is refreshed and the cattle tanks (I grew up calling them ponds, but in Texas they are called tanks - where I grew up tanks were large metal things.) are full and the creek is running over the dam. The last time we had something like this happen was in 2001 as El Nino came in to give us relief from La Nina and our drought was relieved yet again by the classy gentleman. These weather cycles don't affect every place the same; in some areas La Nina brings moisture and El Nino brings drought.

Our garlic is already twice the size it got last year so we expect a good crop if we can defeat the millions of grasshoppers that have invaded our gardens, a booby trap left behind by La Nina. It's too late to use nola bait that usually keeps their numbers in check so we are going directly to using Diatomaceous Earth on them. It's organically approved but we hate to use it because it kills everything indiscriminately but if we don't, they'll eat both our family vegetable garden to the ground as well as our garlic garden. We were going to have guineas and turkeys in the garden this year but none of the chicks survived so we'll have to try again for next year. Last year we were going to try using Muscovy ducks to keep the grasshoppers down in the garden but the racoons killed all of them. I shot 13 raccoons and wounded a few more who excaped, but there were still enough of them to kill all eight of the ducks and the six roosters, too. It looks like raccoons are not going to be an endangered species, any time soon.

Before I moved out here I always thought raccoons were kinda cute and didn't see why people hunted them. I learned from experience that coons will ruin an entire corn crop by taking one bite out of every ear of corn but not eating a single one completely and then ruin the peach crop by taking one bite out of every peach on every tree but not eating all of any peach. I'm willing to share but they are not and I won't abide anything that is that wasteful so now I shoot them on sight, which is difficult since they are nocturnal and hard to see. It's a never ending war of attrition.

I don't like to have to kill anything and my lovely daughter, Tania, who is even much more of an animal rights advocate than I am understands why I have to kill them but still doesn't like it and accepts that life out here in the middle of nowhere is very different from the big city where she lives. I still hated killing them so we got a Maremma, an Italian livestock guardian dog, as a puppy last year to chase them off and it seems to be working, unfortunately, we have not yet been able to train her not to harrass and terrorize our two new Muscovie ducks and the rare Bourbon Red turkey we have picked up late last year to replace those birds that were killed early last year. We have to chain her when we work in the garden or she will trample things and when she's chasing the birds, they all trample everything around. Sometimes I would like to kick her butt but I never do because young girls just wanna have fun and I understand that.

Updated May 8, 2007 -

Pic of a large white dog in the bluebonnets. Pic of a Beautiful little pool where we have dammed up the runoff.

Merridee and I and our one year old puppy, a Maremma (a large white Italian livestock guardian dog) named Sophie, take a lot more walks around the place - we don't mind a little mud here and there. Soon I will try to post some pictures of our spring on the website ( They're up now, click link near top of page above and enjoy. - Bob - June1, 07 ) so others can enjoy the view as well - too bad I can't put the aroma on the website. No matter what is troubling us, things are always better after a long walk and a picnic in the wildflowers. One of many special places of beauty around the creek which meanders for a couple of miles through our place is a remote little shady pool of clear water where we dammed up a runoff area to form a 15 x 20 foot pool that's about four feet deep at it's deepest. It's a fabulous place to cool off on even the hottest of days because it is always shaded so the water stays cool. We only have to share it with the crawdads - crayfish to city dwellers.

Oh, yeah, the garlic. What I have growing is generally looking very good. If the grasshoppers don't eat it all we will have a good crop. I didn't get to plant as much as I usually do and not nearly as much as I wanted to as I just didn't have time to plant when it was dry enough to last fall. I have a fair amount of Burgundy and lesser amounts of Ajo Rojo, Creole Red and Rose du Lautrec and some artichoke garlics like Red Toch, Polish White and Inchelium Red. I will have to depend more on the other growers this year to provide most of the varieties we usually sell and maybe a new cultivar or two, who knows what we will find? I may be growing less personally in coming years and am considering the idea of hosting a garlic growers farmers market on the website so growers can sell direct to the public and the public can buy direct from the grower and save some money. Right now, everything is up in the air and no decisions have been made, but I would like to hear some input if anyone out there has an opinion on it.

Creoles will continue to be scarce and my big hope is to plant a good size crop this coming fall so we can have a large crop of bigger bulbed Creoles next year. This year Creoles will not be sold for table use, but only sent to gardeners to grow. Last year's 100 degree day on April 15, really set back our attempts to recover the Creoles and get them firmly re-established. The fact that they have survived the adversity they have is a tribute to their hardiness. The only Creoles we will be selling by the pound are Burgundy and there is a limit of one pound per customer on Creoles and also Creole assortments. There's just not enough of them and I'm trying to get them established in warm winter areas so none will be sent to cold winter areas where they don't usually grow well, anyway.

Updated April 24, 2007 -

As of April 14, 2007 there's a new option on the shopping cart order form now -
Because we sell for six months or more before sending the products, a lot of people forget about the transaction and months later it surprises them and people with debit cards find they suddenly have less than they thought in their accounts and it can create ripples. I have had more than a few requests to charge the card at the time the order is placed so it wouldn't surprise them later. So this year for the first time I put an option in the order form so the customer could let me know their preference. So far, about 50% want the card charges at the time the order is placed.

From our perspective, we would rather take the time to charge the card now as opposed to in the fall when this place becomes extremely hectic and the five minutes it takes to manually re-enter all the data and get an approval and write a short personal note of thanks to each customer creates a real bottleneck in the already almost panic-stricken tumilt of our rush season. By the time mid-September comes, we have hundreds of orders to fill and ship as fast as possible amid phone calls, emails, drop-ins, etc and it can get frantic at times. Anything that helps impose order on this pandemonium is very much appreciated and not having to take an extra five minutes with each transaction is a great relief and helps us get caught up faster and improves customer relations. The customers who prepay their orders get first choice from the new crop and some varieties are so rare that we sell out of them fast.

On the day after a wet, cold, snowy Easter, Stephen Orr, a writer based in New York and affiliated with 'House and Garden' was visiting family in the area and came to visit and we talked about garlic and toured the garden. I enjoyed our visit and hope he will drop by again when comes to visit family. It was a wet, cold and windy day so we didn't take as much time in the garden as I wanted to. I forgot to take my garden map so I could only identify general varieties but not specific cultivars that early in the growing season. By the time I finish my hand weeding of each bed in the next few days, I will know exactly where each and every cultivar is and how well they are doing.

It's a couple of weeks later now and I have finished my hand weeding of all the beds and I can now say which ones are where. The ones that are doing the best are the Artichokes (Red Toch, Chet's Italian Red, Inchelium Red, Polish White) and Creoles (Burgundy, Ajo Rojo, Creole Red and Rose du Lautrec). The Metechi is looking excellent and so is the Siberian. I think we'll have a good crop even if we didn't plant as much as we would have liked to.

Our offering this year will be as varied as usual but less of it will come from my garden and more from other growers, except for Creoles and a few other things as I planted much less this year than usual, mostly because I have been so busy doing other things. This website alone could easily be a full-time job. I have sort of become the "Dear Abby" of garlic and there are a lot of people asking me all kinds of questions about garlic and I enjoy getting answers for them. I get invitations to speak to groups and sometimes I foolishly accept. I'm going to have to hire some more packing and shipping help as well as some planting and harvesting help and manage my time better so I can grow a larger and better crop. Who knows? Maybe I'll even have some time to write a book or two.

Updated March 17, 2007 -

The list of undeserved honors goes on, at least I think it's an honor when people write good things about you. A couple of weeks ago Julie Weiner from the Associated Press interviewed me for an article she was writing about garlic and the next day, J. M. Hirsch, AP Food Editor called and told me he was sending that article, which mentioned our discussion and quoted me, to every newspaper in the country. Some will run the article right away, some won't run it until later and some won't run it at all. As expected, our website traffic picked up considerably and we expect it to stay up for a few weeks or so. Welcome new friends to gourmet garlic headquarters. I hope you enjoy your stay and learn something worth knowing to take with you.

It's been a colder than usual winter with temps down to 10 F and many lows in the teens and twenties. We've had 9.34 inches of rain since 9-1-06, when our crop year began. We alternate between being too dry and too cold and it slowed down the planting considerably. As usual my full attention each fall goes to packing and shipping orders as hundreds must go out in a short time and my helper, sister-in-law, Jeanie Dreinhofer, get overwhelmed. This greatly infringes on my time when I need to be planting, but if we don't get the garlic sent out on time to our very anxious customers, then that creates customer satisfaction problems and up until now I have had to pack and ship instead of plant. This coming fall, I will hire a couple of extra helpers for her, even if we have to go into debt to do it and spend my time in the garden getting ready to plant and planting.

Our total crop this year will be much less than usual due to lack of time on my part and quality planting stock (Where do you get a lot of Creole garlics?) We replanted mostly the best of what we grew last year but they were a little on the smaller side due to an early heat wave in mid-April of last year. It will take two or three years to recover from that. We will grow a few other garlics mostly as experiments and depend on the other growers to provide us with enough garlic to have a good selection again this year.

When it was too cold to plant garlic, I cut and split firewood for the fireplace, mostly oak, but some mesquite. I prefer oak in the fireplace as it burns longer with a nice yellow flame and smells better. Mesquite is best used for cooking, owing to the unique flavor it imparts to grilled food. When we grill outdoors, I build a fire of mesquite wood and let it burn down to coals and use the coals to cook the meat - we never use commercial charcoal nor do we use any petroleum-based starters - we build a small fire with sticks and keep adding larger pieces until we have enough for a good bed of coals.

I've got a new digital camera so I hope to get a lot more pictures this year to add to the website. My old 35mm SLR was no longer the answer because the pictures had to be digitized and much clarity was lost in the process. Now I can shoot clear shots and send them directly into the disk and from there to the website. Life is good.

We just got a couple of inches of much needed rain and it has stimulated the wildflowers and we are going to have another beautiful spring with bluebonnets and Indian blankets everywhere in late March/early April. I'll try to get some photos for the website.

Updated February 5, 2007 -

We're sold Out of Cultivars by the pound but We still have Some one or two pound Assortments of Garlics for Eating or to Grow in most parts of the country.

There's still time to plant and get a good crop as long as your soil isn't frozen - but order soon - even our Long Storing Garlics will sell out soon .

Click Here to Buy Sampler Assortments of Garlics for Fall 2007 delivery - Updated February 5, 2007.

Wow! What a season this has been and it isn't over yet as we still have a few varieties left of good, firm long-storing garlic.

Right now I can make assortments using the following kinds of garlic: Softnecks -
Artichoke - Early Red Italian.
Silverskins - S&H Silverskin, Silverwhite and Nootka Rose

Hardnecks -
Porcelains - Rosewood, Northern Whitee and German White.
Purple Stripes - Brown Tempest, Chesnok Red and Persian Star.

And maybe a few odds and ends of other things, who knows?

The flavors and tastes of these garlics are so rich and varied that you will not want to go back to grocery store garlic. <

Click Here to Buy Sampler Assortments of Garlics - Updated February 5, 2007.

This is the last entry into the 2006 newsletter, I'll start a new one for 2007 very soon. I've learned a few lessons this year, but I'm not sure of what they were. Oh, yeah, I'll be hiring additional help in the fall to ship garlic and I'll use my fall to prepare ground and plant garlic during the days and use the evenings to answer email and make calls. I have learned some more about controlling nematodes and fungus organically and will be using my new techniques and discussing them in the Garlic Diseases section of this website, where I try to help gardeners recognize and deal organically with pathogen and pest problems.

To recap 2006, our garlic crops, and everyone else's garlic in this part of Texas, were severely stunted when our temperature hit 100 on April 15, 2006 and it was kinda small to begin with since Nature's normal cycle was running over a month later than usual (Fairly typical La Nina weather pattern.) We're hoping the new El Nino pattern settling in will give us a better crop in 2007. Thanks to other good organic growers across the country, we had a lot of good garlic to sell and still have some excellent garlic left.

Thanks to all our customers and growers who helped us avert disaster in this year year of crop failure.
Good Luck to you, one and all.
Back to Newsletter Table of Contents

Click here to read the archived complete 2006 Newsletter
Updated November 17, 2006 -

We still have a good selection of garlics to grow in most parts of the country, even warm winter areas.

There's still time to plant and get a good crop as long as your soil isn't frozen - but order soon.

Wow! What a season this has been and it isn't over yet. We still have some very good to excellent garlics for eating, planting or other use. We have some hardneck Purple Stripes and Porcelains as well as some softneck Silverskins and the heirloom Artichoke garlic, Lorz Italian for warm winter gardeners.

Organic Guru, Howard Garrett, the Doctor of Dirt, dropped by to see me (Nice ego boost.) and get a tour of the garden in mid October and I attended the Texas Country Reporter Festival in Waxahachie in late October - they did a story about the garlic and I on one of their TV shows and Bob Phillips invited me to their annual festival as his guest. (Another nice ego boost.)

This past season was a fairly typical La Nina year, hot and dry in our part of the world. We had around 13 inches of rain in the 12 months from September, 2005 through August, 2006 and we hit 100 degrees F in an early heat spell in April, stunting our entire crop. That was just a precursor to our 100 - 103 degree rainless summer. Several other growers we deal with lost their crops, too, while others had great crops and life went on. I knew it was a La Nina year when I planted and I knew there was little chance the crop would thrive, but I worked it as hard as I would have if I had thought it would succeed, just in case the LandLady's delinquent daughter forgot about us - she didn't, but you gotta try anyway.

Now that El Nino is moving into the neighborhood, things will be better. We usually have cooler, wetter winters and springs when the kid is in town and our garlic excels during his visits - he likes garlic; his rude and ill-tempered sister doesn't.

This years story about our Creole garlics bears retelling. Over the years we have become one of the few sources of the rare and expensive Creole garlics because they grow better in the warm winter areas than they do in the colder North. We have slowly increased our holdings in these rare garlics which were developed in Spain and southern France over the centuries, rather than Italy or elsewhere; they were different altogether and they came in with the Spanish Conquistadores in the 1500s, hence the name Creole, which relates to the Carribbean. As explained in earlier parts of this newsletter, we hit 100 degrees on April 15, badly stunting our crop of rare Creoles and a few Artichokes. Our bulbs wound up being about 1/3 to 1/4 their usual size but almost all survived. We had accepted about a hundred orders of Creoles in anticipation of our usual large crop and offered our customers an opportunity to cancel. Almost all said to go ahead and send those hardy little survivors, we want them anyway. They got a pretty good bargain because there were 2-3 times more bulbs in a pound this way and if you plant them early and leave them in the ground and extra week or two, they'll size back up in a couple of years and they'll have a lot more then. Everyone won. I still have some pretty good planting stock and will expect to have a much better crop in this El Nino year.

It is my intention to cultivate an interest in people all across the Gulf coast, especially Louisiana and get them to grow these wonderful garlics not only for personal use but for profit as part of an economic rebirth in a area that sorely needs it. Why grow something that sells for $2/lb when with only a little extra effort you can grow something that sells for five to ten times that and have people lining up to buy it? I think that once some of those New Orleans chefs find out about these Creole garlics, they will create an even greater demand for them and people will have yet another reason to come to Louisiana and plan on spending some extra money on something they really like.

I also think that in the future the Creole garlics, currently almost unheard of in Louisiana, will become a very big part of Creole cooking and cuisine and part of the uniqueness of it all. Are you listening, Chef Emeril and all the other New Orleans chefs? Your future is calling. Creoles are among the rarest and most expensive of garlics and with the name of Creole, where but Louisiana would you expect them? The name might make you think they're grown there but they are not, it's just their name. If I do my job, they'll eventually be growing in profusion there and providing more economic opportunity for many as well as some great eating that you won't forget anytime soon.

I'm expecting much better weather this year and will try to plant as much garlic as circumstances allow in hopes of getting the rare bumper crop that farmers live for. So it is time for me to get off the computer and get on with my planting while there is still plenty of time to plant.

Also, I'm hoping to have time soon to add some more pictures to the website, especially this newsletter and also the "Year in the garlic garden page".

Updated October 10, 2006 -

Wow! Our office is in turmoil as usual in the fall. We're swamped with orders, emails and phone calls. After months of quiet, suddenly it's like the horse races when they open the starting gate - suddenly loud, fast and frantic. We're packing and shipping as fast as we can. Every year we accept orders all year long for shipment in mid-September, in time for fall planting. Suddenly in mid-September a flurry of activity erupts and the furor continues for a month or so until we get caught up on shipping and we are almost caught up now. We are now shipping orders within a few days of arrival and will soon be back to same day or next day shipping.

Even though our own crop was severely stunted by an early, intense summer where we hit 100 degrees (F) on APRIL 15, we are having a successful sales year as most of our growers had excellent years so we have had plenty of very good garlic to offer. We are sold out of some of the rarer varieties but still have lots of different kinds of the most popular gourmet garlics.

Landlady Nature's delinquent daughter, La Nina, has once again shown that she will be the one to decide whether or not we can have a crop and this year she said no. Fortunately, she is on her way out of the area as the Landlady's son, El Nino is on the way and he always lets us have a crop so we will be back next year with more Creoles and a few Artichokes of our own and a lot of garlics from our other growers.

I'll write more later, right now I have garlic to pack and send to anxious gardeners all over the country.

Updated August 12, 2006 -

It was 105 today. It's a hot summer, dry, too; but then , it is August in west-central Texas and it's supposed to be hot and dry. The withered skeletons of grasses and native plants crunch beneath my feet as I walk off the beaten part to the garden and blow away to fertilize some other spot downwind. I make a mental note to stay on the path... Ecology starts at home, too. It is the fate of those who would test the LandLady's patience way out here to endure periodic droughts as desertification creeps slowly Eastward and the prairie that precedes the desert begins across the road from our Western fence.

The Mukewater Creek runs through our place and turns South at our Western edge and the East bank of the creek is lush with many kinds of green things while the Western bank is mostly thin and rocky. The only question is how long will this drought last? Will it be short or drawn out for years like the one from 1998 - 2001? Will global warming/ desertification slowly turn our beautifully green ranch permanently brown? Will only spiny and poisonous things live here then and a century from now will the inrushing sea from the melted ice caps force them to move further inland? By then I will have long since become one with God and will have other priorities. Drought not only forces changes in behavior but in thinking as well.

As far as you can see to the seemingly endless East a long line of wooden power poles comes up to our house and goes no further. It is the all-important link to the modern world, without which our air conditioning and computer won't work. Life as we know it would bake and become hardened and sun-bleached like the cow bones that dot this old Chisum Trail ranch. The little community of Trickham, at our SW corner used to be a rip-roaring cattle town and was the last stop for supplies on the Western (Chisum) trail to Dodge City in the 1870s & 80s. The Eastern cattle trail (Chisholm) went up to Dodge City through Fort Worth. Trickham was the intersection of the N-S road to Mexico and the E-W road that went to El Paso. They didn't have air conditioning, etc. Of course, they didn't have increasing monthly utility bills, either. We're just not as hardy as they were; the power line is our umbilical cord to life, cut it and we die - and bake.

I have talked to the growers and the word I am getting is that it's an excellent crop and there will be plenty of excellent garlic shipping out around mid-September. Every year we collect orders all year long and find ourselves several hundred orders behind come mid-September. The garlics usually arrive in early September and as soon as we get them they are put into bins in the cooler and we start shipping orders furiously and pandemonium reigns for the next three weeks. We're usually caught up by early October and it stays fairly hectic until around Thanksgiving.

The drought won't hurt our garlic offering much, only the Creoles will be affected and they'll be smaller than usual. They are so rare that we are going to ship them anyway. Small Creoles are much better than no Creoles. They will size back up after a couple of years of early planting and later than usual harvesting. If you can find bigger and better Creoles elsewhere, please do and then tell me where, I would like to buy some of them, too.

Updated June 20, 2006 -

Welcome to La Nina's world, at least as seen from out in the middle of nowhere in West central Texas. The Landlady's (Mother Nature's) delinquent daughter is back again and wreaking her usual havoc of drought and high temps. The recent rains have held off the drough for a while but the high temps have settled in earlier than usual, with semi-predictable results in that it has forced some of our garlics to mature before they were big enough and a few varieties will not be big enough to sell this year. So far, the Creoles and the Artichokes , including Thermadrone seem to be the worst hit. The artichokes we can get from other growers but the Creoles are harder to find so those varieties will be scarcer than usual this year. If I can get some from another grower, I will have some to sell, otherwise, Creoles will be available in assortments only, not in bulk by the pound.

That 100 degree day in mid April and a lot of days in the upper 90s and low 100s since then has stunted the garlic and helped the grasshoppers and there are a lot of them but they had been staying mostly in the natural areas of the garden, pretty much as hoped for until the heat wave killed the weeds and then the 'hoppers noticed the garlic. My little water hose can't compete against the high heat and the weeds have been drying down anyway after flowering and a lot more of the grasshoppers started looking at the garlic since it was the greenest things left in the garden. Grasshoppers really like garlic.

Those who have been following our misadventures growing gourmet garlics on an old cattle ranch out here on the edge of nowhere for the past few years will see this as yet another topsy-turvy year in our roller coaster farming career. No two years have been the same and one reason for growing so many kinds is that in any given year some will thrive and some will falter and that next year it will be different ones than this year, but something will always be doing well. We're not going to worry about what might have been but will gratefully accept whatever the Landlady offers because we love being guests in her home, even if she abuses us from time to time, after all, it's all in the family.

Our growers usually have good years since La Nina affects different parts of the country differently so those with agreeable weather will have plentty of good garlic and so our general offerring of garlics shouldn't change much.

For reasons I'm not sure I understand, Asiatic garlics don't thrive down here, at least not for me, at least not yet. They seem to want colder winters and cooler springs than we can give them. I have given up trying to grow Rocamboles, and nearly ready to quit trying Asiatics as well, not having any real success in growing them either. My hope has been to be able to acclimatize them to warm winter growing conditions by selection, but so far the results are dismal. Too bad, really, because they are so early harvesting that they would already be large bulbed when the heat forced them to mature and they would be out of the garden before the grasshoppers arrive. Oh well, keep trying I guess.

Updated May 24, 2006 -

The few standard hardneck varieties we are growing this year now have scapes, but the weakly bolting Creoles are just now sending up scapes and most seem to be maturing without them - not unexpected in a La Nina year. La Nina years make growing garlic an exercise in uncertainty because it's difficult to predict how that will affect our garlic. The temperature hit 100 degrees F on April 15 and that's too early in the year for 100 degree temps and the leaf tips got a little burned, except on the later harvesting kinds. We're pouring on the water and hoping for the best in view of the hotter than normal spring temps.

This garden has a big Live Oak tree in the SE corner for morning shade and a clump of Hackberry trees in the NW corner giving afternoon shade. I have mowed the areas, brought out lawn chairs and brought in several pieces of driftwood and decorative rocks from around the ranch for some natural art to enjoy during breaks from the hot sun. They lend a rock garden sort of atmosphere that seems cooling in itself.

As I was sitting under the Oak tree this morning after hand weeding one 250' bed, I could see the deep bluish-green Purple Glazers and German Stiffnecks with their already curled scapes contrasting with the lighter mid-green French Germinador and the paler yellow-green Artichokes. As I look closer, I can see the lighter colored Artichoke garlics have a tan overtone as their lower leaves die down that makes them very noticeable among the darker greens. The closest Artichoke to harvest is Red Toch, which we will be pulling very soon. The Silverskins are still all green but each cultivar is a different shade of green and at least a month away from harvest. Before last year, I had never noticed the differences between the Silverskins, not only in their color but the differences in the sizes and shapes of their foliage as well.

This garden is more than just long raised beds of garlic as two areas were left fallow this year to let the wild things flourish as they will. There's been weeds everywhere in those two islands of nature in the middle of an otherwise semi-manicured garden. With the coming of spring, those weeds morphed into wildflowers of so many kinds that I don't even know the names of half of them. There's black-eye Susans, tall sunflowers, scads of long skinny weeds with delicate little light purple flowers that cast a purple mist over much of the natural areas. The Indian blankets are spotty in the garden but plentiful all over the prairie. Bluebonnets are sparse this year but they'll be back, after all, they own the land , too.

One of the reasons to leave the natural areas is to try to lure the grasshoppers away from the garlic in the hope that their natural food will be their first choice and if we water the natural areas that might make them preferrable to garlic, at least long enough for us to get our garlic out of the ground. If that doesn't work, I'll try pureeing cedar leaves in water, diluting and straining and then spraying it on the garlic leaves in hopes that it will repel the grasshoppers since they never seem to bother the native cedar trees and the cattle all rub in the cedar bushes as it contains natural compounds that are toxic to many small organisms. Anything that is compatible with the organic way is worth trying.

The long beds are in three areas with the natural areas between them. Because of the different colors, shapes, sizes and structures of all the different kinds of garlic, it looks like three green rainbows with wildflowers between them. It's not what you would see at one of the large California Growers where they grow all the some kind in endless unchanging rows since they only grow one kind. You can only see this at a small market garden where a little of many dofferent kinds of garlic are grown with beds close enough together for the differences to become obvious.

Picture of a dancing garlic. Picture of garlic scape looping

The picture on the left shows a Creole as graceful as a dancer - this one is Rose du Lautrec, from the South of France.
The picture on the right shows a Glazed Purple Stripe garlic ( Purple Glazer ) with a loop in its scape.

Right now the garlic is is going through many changes as it shifts from building leaves and roots to building cloves and bulbils. Botanists say this change is brought on by having more hours of daylight than nightime hours. The garden shows constant change as garlic is a living thing just trying to survive.

The early harvesting Artichokes are now shedding their lowest leaves and so there are an increasing number of dead leaves in those beds while later harvesting ones remain green and continue to grow. There are still many shades shades of green and many stages of development going on all at once. It's like a silent concert of colors but the breeze and the birds to give it voice and depth. Life is good.

The Purple stripes and silverskins are the greenest and most robust with the Porcelains next. The Creoles look like they're starting to get closer to harvest as they are beginning to send up scapes, the Artichokes will harvest first. I will very soon begin to harvest some of the earliest maturing Red Tochs.

One might think that a garlic garden would be as repetitious as a field of oats but it is not so. There are many things of beauty, sizes, colors, and shapes in a garlic garden and there's always life and it's as abundant underground as it is above ground.

Kokopelli in the Sky

Centuries ago the Anasazi and other Indians of the Great American Southwest painted pictographs and chipped petroglyphs everywhere they lived and the hump-backed flute player, Kokopelli appeared on walls and rocks over a wide area. Centuries after their passing, perhaps millions of people have seen the images and wondering what their true meaning was. There were stories about Kokopelli being the God of Fertility, making the three sisters of corn, squash and beans grow and impregnating the village women, thereby assuring survival of the clans. All the women were said to be enamored of Kokopelli and yet he had such a strange body, one wonders how this reputation could be achieved since one usually thinks of a love God being tall and handsome.

Almost two years ago I discovered that Kokopelli could be found in the stars and must have been a constellation in the astronomy of the ancient ones and whose rising in the Eastern sky foretold the coming of spring and he was said to bring the rebirth of spring with him when he rose. Every year when Kokopelli was fully visible in the night sky, they knew it was spring and safe to plant their precious seed, without which they would perish. Perhaps his image was everywhere so that local medicine chiefs would know exactly when to plant and also conduct important fertility rituals. Kokopelli is comprised of the big dipper and Bootes and can be seen rising in the Eastern night sky now. More illustrations will be posted soon.

After my success identifying some of the pictographs at Paint Rock, Texas as astronomical in nature, I went looking at other ancient images and have found a very widely known image that turns out to be another astronomical constellation. I will soon be opening up a webpage announcing this interesting story about Kokopelli and continuing to look for more - it wouldn't surprise me if the Navajo Thunderbird turns out to be What we call Cygnus the Swan (the Jumanos at Paint Rock saw it as a turkey) . Remember, you saw it here first. Archeoastronomy is a new science founded in 1970 by Carl Sagan and I'm having fun with it.

Picture of Kokopelli

For the full story about the Kokopelli pictographs/petroglyphs, click here - Add in April, 2007.

For the full story about the Paint Rock pictographs, click here.

Updated May 9, 2006 -

Time for another status report on the current state of the garlic crop. Mother Nature continues to run about a month behind her normal schedule as she has from late last summer around here. Peak foliage time is still a couple of weeks away as I haven't seen any sign of scapes yet. The crops are mostly very good except for one cultivar that's not thriving as well as hoped for and that's the hard to find French artichoke, Thermadrone. Sorry, folks, no Thermadrone this year unless I can find some available from another grower. The few Asiatics I planted are not thriving either, but that has become expected of them as they just haven't been thriving for us the last few years.

Updated April 2, 2006 -

I thought some people would like to see what one of our gardens looks like all during a season from plowing through harvest and hanging in the barn, so I added a new page to the website with a picture story showing a season in the garden. Click on the link above to go there.

Spring is always welcome around our place whether we have any wildflowers or not and this year, we have no bluebonnets so we will have to rely on our pictures from past springs. Our fall and winter were very dry with about normal temperatures but windier than normal. Working outside is always good but Spring is a special treat for the senses. You become more acutely aware of the breeze in your face and the sounds around you and soon, the clean new scent of the awakening flowers sending out their aromatic invitations to the increasing numbers of insects. The hyacynths and daffodils are but a memory now and the bluebonnets seeds sleep on, having deciding not to get up this year. The henbit is creeping slowly into the garden and the shepard's purse leaves bring a nice green color to the low rolling hills of our prairie. The welcome rains of March dispelled the sense of foreboding that acccompanies a droughty start to a growing season.

What little weather we had up until March was pretty dry. It's another La Nina, and that usually means hot and dry weather for us and it looks like this growing season is no different as we have had only three inches of rain since September up until March when we got three more - half of our rain this season has come in the last month and even that is only half our usual rainfall.

Even Mother Nature got off to a slow start this growing season (we consider the growing year to be from September 1 through August 31 and the actual growing season to be September through June) as the volunteer elephant garlic did not come up until mid-to-late October, over a month later than usual. I always look to that as the time when Mother Earth thinks it's time to start planting. Then I try to start planting immediately.

I had to spend much more time in the office and the shipping department due to the rush created by the Mother Earth News recommending us and I just couldn't start planting on time. I gotta start getting some volunteer help in here for planting and harvesting. Anyone want to volunteer?

George Buckley, my usual helper, was called away for a month and I had to prepare the beds and plant by myself for a while, but after a few weeks brother-in-law, Fred, helped out and eventually George made it back and helped out some more.

I did not get to plant as much as I wanted to this season as some of the planting stock I had obtained turn out to have nematodes (microscopically small worms) and I didn't want to plant contaminated stock in my garden. It's not all bad because it enabled me to learn to identify nematode-contaminated garlic. I noticed some cultivars were prematurely losing their firmness and the cloves had peculiar symptoms and so I dissected some of the bulbs and examined them under the microscope and found the tiny worms. Some were blue and some were red and they looked downright patriotic in those milky white garlic cloves but I just wouldn't let myself plant them but burned them instead. I learn something every year. These nematodes, ditylinchus dipsacci and pratylinchus penetrans, are probably not a hazard to human health, but they do dramatically shorten the storage life of garlic and if I wouldn't plant it in my garden, I won't sell it to anyone else.

Another new thing I learned this year is a little trick to extend the storage life of garlic. A debate has raged among growers for decades as to what is the best way to store garlic and agreement is hard to come by owing to the varied experiences of people in diverse settings. This year, our garlic that was left whole with the roots and leaves intact and still on and stored in a large wooden shed that was once a smokehouse under some large oak trees stored much better than cut garlic ready for shipment in our walk-in cooler. From now on, all cured garlic will be stored intact in the old smokehouse until the time to ship and then only enough for the coming week will be trimmed and put in the cooler. I want to do everything I can to extend the shelf life of the garlic I send to my customers; they appreciate garlic that is still good months later instead of spoiling or sprouting right away like supermarket garlic - it's what they pay for.

In spite of the slow start and late planting of fewer cultivars than we would have preferred, we're off to a good start and the crop looks pretty good. If it doesn't get too hot too soon and the grasshopper invasion is late, we'll make about as big a crop as we did last year.

More later...

These are the Kinds of Garlic We Typically Have in Stock (Not guaranteed!).
We Will Probably Have These and More in 2006!

Ajo Rojo - A creole with a lot of flavor and a little zing.
Burgundy - beautiful rich yet mellow Creole that keeps well.
California Early - mellow medium artichoke.
Chesnok Red - rich medium purple stripe - BEST ROASTING GARLIC!
Creole Red - Excellent richly flavored Creole with few, but big cloves.
Cuban Purple - A warm winter Spanish Creole from Cuba. Grows well from Florida to Texas to California.
Georgian Crystal - rich and mellow medium flavor porcelain that stores well.
German Red - another very rich strong rocambole.
German Extra Hardy - a porcelain garlic with really big cloves and stores well.
Inchelium Red - rich medium artichoke.
Killarney Red - very big and full flavored rocambole that will leave you wanting more.
Metechi - big, rich and very strong Marbled Purple Stripe garlic that stores well - few but big cloves.
Music - rich medium-strong porcelain garlic with big cloves and stores well.
Persian Star - mellow medium flavor purple stripe - excellent roaster.
Romanian Red - rich and very strong porcelain with few but large cloves.
Rose du Latrec - That fabulous garlic from the South of France that people didn't think was available in the USA.
Siberian - beautiful very purple mellow garlic that stores well - great for warm winter area gardens.
Silverwhite - long storing silverskin with good flavor that just gets better with time.
Spanish Roja - strong and really good flavored rocambole - Ron England's favorite.
Elephant garlic - Not a true garlic but looks like it and stores longer than the others.

We expect to have several more new commitments and will have 20 or 30 varieties available by mid-September. We will add them to the Boutique page and also add information about them in the Varieties Page as they come in. We will also add them to the shopping cart program to make it easier to order them. I will try to keep the website updated often so that new varieties are posted immediately.

Back to Newsletter Table of Contents

- A Few Highlights from 2005 -
Click here to read the archived complete 2005 Newsletter

Updated November 28, 2005 -

Welcome to the viewers of Texas Country Reporter Television Show which ran an episode this week featuring my wife's favorite Garlicmeister, me. I felt very flattered that they would want to come out to our place and introduce me and my garlic to people all over Texas through their very popular program. They showed me playing my Indian flute and harvesting garlic and hanging it in the barn. They also showed me taste testing a Creole garlic and discussing it's flavor. I'm always happy to bring my message about the goodness of garlic to more people, however I can.

Speaking of flute, winter solstice is coming in three weeks and I need to practice in order to be able to play well at Paint Rock for the "I saw the light" ceremony at local noon as the spear of light strikes the center of a pictograph painted hundreds of years ago, just like it does every winter solstice. Paint Rock has hundreds of ancient Indian pictographs , many of which appear to be astronomical in nature. Dr. Bill Yeates and I have been able to identify the astronomical meanings of many of the pictographs showing Paint Rock was an ancient observatory. These were no ordinary Indians...or, were they?
Click Here to see pictures of and read more about the fascinating ancient archeoastronomic pictographs at Paint Rock, Texas.

Updated November 25, 2005 -

We still have ample amounts of garlic for assortments, but only for assortments, as we can no longer ship pounds of garlic all of the same variety since increased demand and record sales have depleted most of our inventory . If you want to buy garlic, had better hurry as we are rapidly selling out.

Updated October 10, 2005 -

Wow! Being recommended in the Oct.-Nov. issue of Mother Earth News has really kept us busy - on top of our usual fall madness caused by orders coming in all year long for shipment in September, resulting in a frantic turmoil as we ship out hundreds of saved up orders as fast as we can. It is our policy to send all earlier orders before later arriving ones. Right now it takes us a week or more to ship out an incoming order, but we hope to be completely caught up by the end of next week and can again ship incoming orders within 24 hours - that's always our goal.

I would like to welcome the readers of Mother Earth News to our garlic encyclopedia website. I try to present as much information as I can and mix it with some homespun neighborliness and an occasional touch of humor. I try to marry the newest technological developments with the most ancient of garlic and herbal wisdom. Here you can get a pretty good education about garlic, some nice pictures of our garlic family and occasional philosophical musings about life and its many meanings, at least as we see things from out here on the ranch in the middle of nowhere in central Texas.

Updated September 15, 2005 -

We're shipping garlic out now as fast as we can and expect to get caught up shipping all the early orders in the next few days - see list of cultivars below and we have a few others as well. We're starting a few days earlier than usual this year. Except to our Gulf Coast friends who have been affected by Katrina. We will hold orders from the area until we know what our friends there want to do. To those of our customers living in the storm damage disaster area who have lost their garlic this year, we will make available for you some Creole and perhaps other garlics at little or no cost to help you get re-started.

Updated July 23, 2005 -

Great News! We can lower Creole prices after all - from $24/lb to $20/lb. Price is always influenced by availability.

Our surviving garlic crop has sized up well during the curing process, including many of those we thought weren't going to be big enough (some still aren't) and we have the best crop we have had in years. We may still not have as much of it as we would prefer, but the size and quality of most of what we have is from very good to excellent. Many will only be available in assortments, but at least they're available. Creoles aren't as big as other garlics but cost as much to grow so their price will probably always be a little higher.

Updated July 10, 2005 -

A computer glitch has delayed our printing of our annual fall snail mail catalog but it will be on the way soon.

Well, the 2005 harvest is complete, the garlic is in the barn curing and will soon be trimmed and graded. Faithful readers from years past will be wondering what manner of catastrophe befell us this year at the hands of our landlady, Ma Nature. Only a small one and a price we gladly pay - the western third of our garden was flooded from December through April so we lost a little of our crop. Still, our rebuilding program is making great strides as we now have a good supply of excellent planting stock for about 40 cultivars of garlic for our next years crop.

Thanks to the folks at Channel 8 in Dallas who dropped by to film a segment for their local news program. They filmed me pulling garlic from the ground and the barn full of garlic hanging from the rafters in hundreds of bunches . It looked kinda like a tobacco drying barn - pretty scenic, really.

In general it was a very good harvest, but with a bite taken out of the western part. The rest of the garden did quite well and grew a lot of extra-large garlic, mostly to be used as our planting stock this fall - we're looking for a nice large harvest next year and we'll be starting out with some pretty good planting stock.

We have some excellent Burgundy which we can sell by the pound (Limit of two pounds per customer), but the other Creoles are in such short supply they will be sold only in assortments so as to give as many people as possible a chance to try them. Creoles continue to be hard to come by. We have hopes of being able to drop the prices on Creoles but it may not be - it all depends on how well they size up during the curing process.

You can find out more about Creoles on our Varieties and Overview pages.

We also have some excellent Siberian, a mild Marbled Purple Stripe garlic - great for warm winter gardens.

Our standard prices for 2005 will remain at $16./pound for most bulk garlics, with special assortments costing from $18. to $20. In most cases, add $2 per pound for premium sizes. Shipping will be $8 for the first pound plus $2 extra for each additional pound.

Updated June 5, 2005 -

We have had more rain and yet another cool front come through to relieve us from the four days of 101 to 103 F temps we got last week. The heat seared some of the leaves of some of the plants, limiting their ability to grow somewhat, but all in all, we still have a very good crop. More later - I'm in the middle of harvesting right now.

Updated May 23, 2005 -

Our crop is still growing and hasn't been wiped out by any kind of disaster yet and it looks like we may make a nice crop this year. We have had a cool winter and spring with a gradual warmup. However, it has now become hot with temps in the mid-to-upper 90s this week, so that should force the garlic to mature, but if it gets to 100, that could damage the garlic's leaves and force early bolting. Our early harvesting varieties, normally already harvested by now, are slow to come to maturity; however, the mid and late season varieties are pretty much on schedule. We will begin harvesting in a few days, when the temp drops a few degrees.

Updated April 20, 2005 -

If the crop continues to do well, we should have fair amounts of Creole garlics that do so well in the South, including Ajo Rojo, Burgundy, Creole Red, Cuban Purple and Spanish Benitee. We will have lesser amounts of Spanish Morado, Labera Purple and Pescadero Red - mostly available in assortments only. However, if we lose a large part of our crop Creoles will continue to be rare and expensive.

We also expect to have a lot of Siberian and a little Metechi, both are Marbled Purple Stripes that excel in warm winter climates.

Good news for lovers of French cuisine, we hope to have some Germinador and Rose du Lautrec (all the rage in the south of France) in limited quantities next year and maybe some Rose du Var and Thermadrone as well, hopefully.
Updated April 11, 2005 -

The garden is drying out well from the long wet spell and our garlic crop continues to look great. The foliage is mostly large and lush, although there are a few burned leaf tips due to bright sun, El Nino winds and wet soil. Leaves are about two feet long and the necks are thickening and the bulbs are beginning to form in the earlier harvesting ones. You can tell the different varieties apart just by looking at their foliage. Among the softnecks, the yellowish green splayed-out leaves of artichokes are easily distinguished from the darker, more vertical silverskins that reach straight for the sky. The Creoles are a medium green with more vertical leaves while the porcelain types are lush, ground-hugging and deep blue-green. The marbled purple stripe varieties are the largest and most robust looking ones of the bunch.

My interpretations of two of the Paint Rock pictographs were submitted as a paper to the Southwest Federation of Archeological Societies, a peer review group, and were accepted with enthusiasm. The identification of these two pictographs as astronomical in nature, in addition to several other astronomically-related pictographs confirms Paint Rock is the most extensive archeoastronomy site in the country. Both new interpretations indicate things that have not yet been found at other pictograph/petroglyph sites and make Paint Rock unique.
Click Here to Read more about Paint Rock.

Updated March 16, 2005 -

As of today, our garlic crop looks wonderful. It has had plenty of rain and some parts of the West end are standing in water, but it has not affected very much of the crop. Even though we couldn't plant as early as we would have liked (Nov.-Dec., instead of Oct.-Nov), almost everything is big and lush this looks to be one of the best crops ever for us. El Nino usually gives us a good garlic crop while La Nina doesn't usually do as well - this is an El Nino growing season.

Our crop this year is almost all Creole varieties, such as Burgundy, Ajo Rojo, Creole Red, Spanish Benitee, Spanish Morado and Cuban Purple. We have 38 kinds this year, mostly in development for future years. We have several kinds each of Marbled Purple Stripes, Artichokes, Asiatics, Porcelains and some very nice rare French garlics.

Added February 19, 2005 -

I would like to thank the American Botanical Council for their kind words about us in the current issue (Number 65) of their journal, HerbalGram. Recognition of any kind by such esteemed herbalists feels good, even if my contributions were such a small part of their greater gardens. They do an indispensible job that is becoming increasingly important in a world where many natural treatments and philosophies are being lost. They deserve all the support they can get.

Our crop is up nicely and we have had more than enough rain to keep it happy. We're growing in the northern half of Ma Daisy's old garden for the first time in seven years and it looks good. This year we are growing mostly the very rare Creole varieties while re-establishing our Artichoke, Silverskin and Marbled Purple Stripes varieties as well. We expect to have some nice Burgundy as well as Ajo Rojo and a little Creole Red and maybe a couple of others. It's way too early to make any predictions, but the crop looks very good at this point in time.

We are just now beginning our annual update to the website and you can already see some results from it. We will have lots of things to add this year and will be adding some new pictures soon as well as more technical information about garlic. We will also be adding a section all about Paint Rock, the Indian pictograph site a little to the west from our place. It is a very special place that people should know about. The 2003 and 2004 newsletters had some discussion about it.

Back to Newsletter Table of Contents

Excerps from 2004 -
Click here to read the archived complete 2004 Newsletter

Added December 21, 2004 -

Sorry, friends, we're all sold out of fresh garlic for the season. Our next shipments will will be in Summer/Fall of 2005. Place your orders early in the year for September shipping to get the best chance of getting exactly the rare garlics you want; after all, they are rare and people do not always get ones they want because they're so hard to find.

Added November 5, 2004 -

We have plenty of large excellent German Extra Hardy and Music - both longer storing garlics. We also have some nice Chesnok Red and Persian Star, the two best of all roasting garlics. Click on names to buy.

We also still have a nice selection of garlics for Assortments. Order now while there's still time to plant and a good selection.

Added September 16, 2004 -

The article in last year's Sept/Oct edition of Organic Gardening magazine recommending Creoles (and us) for warm winter regions of the country has caused an immediate increase in demand for these rare treasures. Creoles are the hardest to find of all garlics these days, and the increase in demand comes at a time when there simply aren't many available. The good news is that we expect to have a much greater supply of them next year and the year after.

Added June 5, 2004 -

What a magnificent spring we're having out here on the ranch. It looks like a sea of pinks, reds, yellows, golds, whites and blues covering the prairie like a wall-to-wall carpet of colored snow. The perfumed air is heavy with the sounds of birds and insects as the Landlady dons her finest apparel to show us that not only is she strong and powerful, but that she is also a thing of beauty and a patron of the natural arts. She has turned our little piece of central Texas into candy for the eyes, ears, nose and soul. When the Landlady feels good, everyone feels good.

We don't usually encourage visitors because I enjoy them so much I wind up getting nothing else done and fall even further behind. However, we are considering welcoming volunteers at planting time in the fall and at harvesting time in the spring if they want to help out with the crop. For those who don't like to camp out, there are available a couple of nice fully equipped vacation condo-type homes with wood burning fireplaces and a modern bunkhouse-style luxury hostel with two large dormitory-type bunk bedrooms in nearby communities. E-mail me if you would like to attend.

Added May 19, 2004 -

Creoles are probably the rarest of all garlics these days as very few people grow them and their crops are all small. They are in very great demand but in very limited supply, due largely to the article mentioning us in Organic Gardening Mag last fall.

Our phone number is 1 - ( 325 ) 348-3049. It's very important to order early as the earliest orders get the best choice of the new crop garlic - and many cultivars sell out early.

Added April 12, 2004 -

We would like to welcome the readers of Herb Companion magazine to our website. My thanks to Susan Belsinger for mentioning us in their May 2004 issue - it always feels good when a such a well respected publication recommends you. Recognition is one of the main things that makes the long hours of toil worth the effort. Herb Companion has long been a valuable source of herbal information to us and it makes me feel honored and humbled to be favorably mentioned.

We feel very fortunate to have been recommended by several other publications in the last few years, including, The NY Times, Forbes Magazine, Food and Wine magazine, Organic Gardening, Texas Gardening, The Dallas Morning News and San Francisco Chronicle, among many newspapers across the country. We must be doing something right.

I played my Choctaw cedar flute again this year at the Paint Rock Pictograph site (Click here to read of our excellent experiences and discoveries at Paint Rock) during the winter solstice and again during the vernal equinox and discovered the meanings of some of the pictographs. Some of them were ritualistic, such as the paintings that honored the Green Corn Moon and the Ripe Corn Moon, two of the biggest celebrations of the year among corn growing indians.

Some of them were of astronomical significance, such as those depicting the supernovae of 1054 and 1572 and one that was a beautiful map of the winter/spring sky. Another was already known to be a reliable marker for the winter solstice. It's a real "Aha" moment when you finally figure out a pictograph. What was a mystery for centuries is suddenly clear.

Back to Newsletter Table of Contents

Excerps from 2003 -
Click here to read the archived complete 2003 Newsletter
Added November 17, 2003 -

It has been a busy fall season, especially since Organic Gardening magazine ran an article about garlic mentioning us and recommending us as a mail order source of garlic. It always feels good when some national publication recognizes your work and mentions you favorably in an article.

There was another Garlic is Life! Symposium in Tulsa and it was super. The scientific focus this year was on identifying the basic groups of garlic and the origin places of those particular groups of garlic. The latest findings indicate seven groups or clusters of garlic types, with the Creoles being yet undefined. An earlier study had shown 17 isozyme groups falling into five major categories.
To read more about this years symposium, click here:

The symposium has been a gold mine to me in terms of being able to meet knowledgeable, multi-degreed people from whom I have learned much about all aspects of garlic. It is from these well-informed experts from afar that I get the information for the website. The material in my website comes from these experts' lectures and also from the conversations we have at lunch or dinner afterward. The body of knowledge about garlic is growing exponentially, just like the interest in it and there's a lot of misinformation circulating about it, too. I try to clear up some of the confusion by talking with experts and incorporating their comments into the website - that keeps it current.

Added September 12, 2003 -

We owe thanks again this year to our group of Great Garlic Growers for allowing us to purchase the cream of their crops at a premium price so that we will be selling only the best that we can find. Our growers take good care of us. For those who haven't been following along with us, Our growers are remotely located growers who don't have much of a local market, but who can grow some really great garlic. By patronizing these small scale growers we are promoting e-commerce in America. With the help of our growers, we can deliver these gourmet varieties to the people who come to our website looking for them. Everybody wins.

NEW! - Added May 1, 2003 - Check out our new line of pickled/marinated garlic. -
In Hosgood's, we have finally found a broad line of pickled garlic products that we just love and have decided to sell them on our website and make these delightful treats available to our customers. They are in stock and ready for immediate shipment.
Click here to find out more about our new pickled garlic or to order

March 25, 2003

This year, I played my Choctaw cedar flute at the Winter Solstice and Vernal Equinox celebrations at the pictographs site at Paint Rock, Texas. Paint Rock is a place which many native peoples over the centuries have treated as a holy place and painted many pictures and symbols on the cliff walls above the banks of the Concho River. Observations have confirmed some of these rock paintings to accurately predict the solstices and equinoxes and some that appear to be astronomical/astrological sky charts as well.

Paint Rock is a special place where one can commune with nature and feel an uncommonly strong connectedness with Mother Earth and her family (sometimes we forget that we are a part of that family - not something separate from it). It feels as if some part of the spirits of those who were here before are still here. It is an invitation to open the eyes and ears of your soul to hear the stories of those whose innumerable campfires dot the night sky and whose names can never be said again. One comes away with a feeling of spiritual fulfillment and personal contentment. There are some places that just seem to have some kind of spiritual electromagnetic attraction - this place is one.

Always check the Boutique Page for what is currently available.

If you wish, you can E-Mail me or call me at (1-325-348-3049) to tell me what you want to order so that I can verify price and availability.

Back to Newsletter Table of Contents

Some Important Developments from 2002!
Click here to read the archived complete 2002 Newsletter

We are now set up to accept credit cards (Visa, Mastercard and American Express and Discover) and we have installed a shopping cart to simplify buying and to automate the process. Even though our process appears to be automatic, it isn't. I still review each and every sale before the credit card is charged and sometimes even write a personal comment on the receipt that gets sent with the package. We are not going to sacrifice personal service to automation.

Ordering is easier than ever now with the on-line shopping cart. It will not only accept credit cards on line, but also fill out an order form for you to print and send if you prefer to pay by check and also would prepare a checklist if you prefer to give your credit card information over the phone. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail or call me.

Back to Newsletter Table of Contents

A look back at the Topsy-Turvy 2001 crop year.
Click here to read the archived complete 2001 Newsletter

What an interesting year this has been! One is enough of years like 2001. It was a year of ecstastic highs (They wrote a big article about us in Texas Gardener Magazine.) and tragic lows with some growers experiencing bumper crops while others while others watched their garlic wither or drown. It was an incredible spring followed by 9-11, it was a year when some beautiful garlic turned bad in storage. Due to the article in Forbes, we got more orders than ever before but much of the garlic from one particular grower wilted prematurely and many orders had to be cancelled. All in all; however, it was a spectacular year that I won't be forgetting any time soon. So far, the 21st century is rather turbulent, but interesting in a fatal attraction sort of way.

A look back at 2000 and a first look at this years crop as of March 22 2001.
Click here to read the archived complete 2000 Newsletter

Wow! What a wild and crazy year 2000 was for us, especially when you remember that we lost our crop in April to a tornado/freak hail storm.

While 2000 brought us a lot more unanticipated free publicity in the way of being recommended in Forbes Magazine and stories that mentioned us in lots of newspapers across the country, it also brought more than its share of adversity. 2000 was undoubtedly the hottest and driest year of my life - it hit 116 degrees several times - we were in the midst of the worst drought in our local history.

Funny, the drought ended when we went to the Garlic is Life Symposium and Festival in Tulsa, OK in Oct. It started raining on us there and rained on us all the way back from Tulsa. Mother Nature always seems to have special treats in store for this part of Texas.

What the 1999 Crop was like and how the year ended.
Click here to read the archived complete 1999 Newsletter

Wow! What a busy year 1999 was. First, we were favorably mentioned in a Food and Wine magazine article and then the New York Times mentioned us as did the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Contra Costa Times and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and several other publications, too. I feel very flattered.

Back to Newsletter Table of Contents

If you like the website and all the information in it and would like to financially support the website so we can continue to add more and more useful information about garlic, please become a sponsor by clicking here - Coming soon.

Caricature of a garlic bulb.

How to buy from us:

Scroll down and select the number of pounds you want and click on "Add to Cart" on all those you want to buy.

Order now for shipment in late summer/early fall 2012.

The garlic prices range from $16 to $24 per pound plus shipping and handling charges of $10 for the first pound, $2 for each of the next three pounds and $1 extra for each additional pound over that and we ship via U. S. Postal Service, Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation, to make sure you get your package. Our S & H charge is a weighted national average so that all buyers pay the same S & H regardless of distance from grower. These S & H fees apply to each grower you buy from.

This Farmers market is like your local farmers market.

When using your credit/debit card to buy direct from different growers, a separate order is required for each grower. You may buy as many different kinds of garlic as you want from any grower on any order but each grower requires a separate credit card transaction so that S & H charges may be properly calculated. If you want to order garlic from more than one grower, a separate payment must be made to each grower because they are independant businesses in different places.

For those who don't want to take the time to place a separate order with each grower, we will do it for you if you wish. Just order what you want from as many growers as you want on a single order and when we process the order we will charge your card the necessary additional S & H charges plus a service fee of $10.00 for each separate grower involved - there's lot of clerical work involved.

Caricature of a garlic bulb.

Caricature of a garlic bulb.

Important notes for credit/debit card users:

This Farmers market is like your local farmers market.

When using your credit/debit card to buy direct from different growers, a separate order is required for each grower. You may buy as many different kinds of garlic as you want from any grower on any order but each grower requires a separate credit card transaction so that S & H charges may be properly calculated. If you want to order garlic from more than one grower, a separate payment must be made to each grower because they are independant businesses in different places.

For those who don't want to take the time to place a separate order with each grower, we will do it for you if you wish. Just order what you want from as many growers as you want on a single order and when we process the order we will charge your card the necessary additional S & H charges plus a service fee of $10.00 for each separate grower involved due to the excess clerical work entailed.

If you buy from a grower and later cancel that order for any reason, the credit card processing gateway still charges Gourmet Garlic Gardens the full processing fee plus an additional fee of the same amount for processing the cancellation and also it places an additional clerical burden on us so, regretably, we must charge a 15% cancellation fee when processing the cancellation because that's about what it costs us. My advice is to look around among the various growers and decide what to buy from whom and then place your orders and stick with the growers you have chosen.

Caricature of a garlic bulb.


Each grower/vendor is responsible for their own garlic and prompt shipping to the buyer. Gourmet Garlic Gardens is not responsible for any garlic sent directly from any grower/vendor to any buyer and serves only as a virtual meeting place and credit/debit card processor for the convenience of both grower and buyer. Gourmet Garlic Gardens' total liability from all causes is limited to refunding the monies the buyer has charged against their card using Gourmet Garlic Gardens as a payment processor for any specific transaction with any particular grower/vendor.

Caricature of a garlic bulb.

Prices and availability of garlic subject to change without notice.

Caricature of a garlic bulb.

Caricature of a garlic bulb.

How Our Garlics are Grown

All the garlic for sale in our online farmers market was grown without the use of petrochemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers; only natural and non-toxic fertilizers and pest control methods are used.

Some of our growers are Certified Organic and some are Certified Naturally Grown, which we regard as equal to Certified Organic in every meaningful way but without all the bureaucratic entanglements. All our farmers market growers grow organically and some are Certified Organic but not all want to be certified Organic because of the paperwork and reporting requirements and are among the best available sources of sustainable/ organic Garlic and they become Certified Naturally Grown, where the regulation comes from their fellow members rather than a federal bureacracy.

We do not allow growers who use synthetic petroleum-based fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides to participate in our farmers market.

All garlic in our farmers market is grown in the USA, no imports allowed.
This farmers market is strictly for small-scale American market gardeners/growers who live and grow sustainably..

Caricature of a garlic bulb.

Red line.
Caricature of a garlic bulb.

Bob Phillips' Texas Country Reporter did a story on me and the garlic for their long running TV program

click here to see the 6:28 video on youtube:

Caricature of a garlic bulb.

Red line.

Caricature of a garlic bulb.

Picture of the Garlicmeister playing his Indian flute.

Bob Anderson
Garlicmeister, a self-inflicted title for amusement only.
Photo courtesy of Bill Yeates.

Caricature of a garlic bulb.

If you would like to communicate with us, please send email to:

Gourmet Garlic Gardens,
12300 FM 1176
Bangs, TX 76823 -
(325) 348 - 3049

[ Navigation Menu - Click these links to go to other pages on our website. ]
[ Home ] [ Garlic Overview ] [ 70 Varieties ] [ Growing Garlic ] [ Cooking Garlic ] [ Preserve Garlic ] [ Garlic Pills, Etc. ] [ Health Benefits ] [ Garlic Chemistry ] [ FAQs ] [ About Us ] [ How to Order ]
Red line.
[ Buy Garlic Here ] [ Artichoke Garlic ] [ Asiatic Garlic ] [ Creole Garlic ] [ Porcelain Garlic ] [ Purple Stripe Garlic ] [ Rocambole Garlic ] [ Silverskin Garlic ] [ Turban Garlic ] [ Buy samplers Here ]
Red line.
[ Our Online Farmers Market ] [ Grow Garlic in the South, CA & Texas ] [ Tour our Garlic Garden ] [ Paint Rock Pictographs ] [ Newsletter ] [ Garlic is Life ] [ Good Growers Wanted ] [ Spring 2007 ]

Our webpages have been visited over 3 million times since July of 1997 by people looking for the latest information about garlic and to buy the best gourmet garlics. Thank you one and all.
- Copyright 1997 through 2012, all rights reserved. -