Demand for locally-grown garlic – both conventional and organic – has increased and growers continue to amp up their acreage year after year to keep up. The crop at Cookstown Greens was early this year. Vicky Ffrench of Cookstown Greens says their one-acre crop was a bit early this year. The crop has been harvested and is now curing. They’re anticipating it will be in their retail locations in Barrie, Ottawa, downtown Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area in early to mid-August.
“We can’t keep up with the demand. I jokingly say ‘Let’s be sold out by Christmas’ and then we always are. One of our retailers in Toronto, Fiesta Farms, takes over 100 lbs of garlic a week,” Ffrench says.
Once Ontario’s bulbs are gone, consumers have to rely on imports but Ffrench says she and her husband, Mike would rather not eat garlic at all until their next crop is ready.
“We eat everything we grow and we’ve trained our palates to eat very seasonally,” Ffrench says.
Garlic lovers across the province will be flocking to garlic festivals in August and September. The province’s pungent pride will be celebrated in educational and fun ways from pickled garlic to whole bulbs of many varieties, both organic and conventional.
Upcoming Garlic Festivals:
Perth Garlic Festival, Perth
Garlic is Great Festival, Newmarket
Eastern Ontario Garlic Festival, Cornwall
Haliburton County Garlic Growers Festival, Haliburton
Verona Garlic Festival, Verona
Stratford Garlic Festival, Stratford
Toronto Garlic Festival, Toronto