Note about 2016 harvest:
They are harvesting and hanging NOW -- which is very early. And the word on the street is that, outside of the very early varietals - which did not do well this year - most verietals are nice and big this year. So, shipments will begin in mid-August this year. Not sure about the length of the season, or how much is available. But I would put your dibs in now -- as the most popular varietials (Purple Italian, Spanish Roja and Killarney Reds) will sell through quickly. No Xian, Japanses or Asian Tempest this year :-(
Note about 2015 harvest:
Due to super dry weather in 2 01 5, Farmer Georgie had to harvest early. Although early harvest does not effect the flavor of the garlic, it does effect the size of the heads, which were much smaller. If you're using your garlic to cook with, size doesn't matter. But if your looking for seed stock, our 2015 harvest may not Look quite what you expected. Although, frankly, not sure how you'd know. If they had been allowed to mature to full size, they would have been much bigger..... So the genetics are there, just not the opportunity to realize their full potential - if you know what I mean ... Could be Andre the Giant on growth hormone suppressants...
General note: As time passes, the garlic dries out more and more. So, although they were bagged into 1/2 pound bags, the weights will go down over time. Additionally, the cloves themselves will get drier over time - and although you will lose some gloves to mildew, the majority of the cloves should last until the holidays -- or beyond, depending on the year.
About the Garlic
There are many subspecies of hard-neck garlic. The five main varieties we sell include: Rocambole, Purple Stripe, Porcelain, Turbans, and Asiatics. Here is a list of varieties by subspecies.
* Rocambole Subspecies:
Rocamboles are known for their large, easy-to-peel cloves, and their warm and mellow garlic flavor. They all have a medium heat and a sweetness that other subspecies don't have. Varieties include: Killarney Red, Yugoslavian Rocambole, Bailey Roc, Russian Reds, Purple Italian, and Spanish Roja.
* Purple Stripe Subspecies:
Purple Stripes are distinguished by, yes, their purple and white striped skins. Purple Stripes are particularly excellent baked; those in the industry know that they often win the baking taste-tests. Their flavor is noticeably hotter than the Rocamboles. Subspecies include: The Chesnok Red, Purple Glazer, Persian Star, Belarus, Bogatyr, and Brown Tempest.
* Porcelain Subspecies:
Porcelains tend to have the fewest and largest cloves - these are the ones Chuck was talking about when he compared them to golf balls! These are all pretty much on the hot side. Porcelains include: The Music, Romanian Red, Vostani and Georgian Fire.
* Asiatic Subspecies
Along with the Turbans, Asiatics are the spicyest of the garlic varieties. They are usually harvested early, and have a relatively short storiing life. 8-12 fat cloves per head. Asiatics include: Asian Tempest and Japanese
* Turban Subspecies:
Like the Asiatics, Turbans are very spicy when eaten raw. Some of the first to be harvested every year, Turbans also have a shorter storing life than some of the other varieties. Usually 6 cloves per head. Turbans include: Xian
About Willowood Farm:
Willowood Farm is an organic farm located on Whidbey Island, off the coast of Seattle. Although Farmer Georgie grows many different kinds of organic vegetables, she specialize in garlic and two local beans - Roackwell and Peregional beans. Georgie grows about 30 varieties of garlic, but only a few are available for sale. Most of her crop is sold through the local Whidbey Island farmer's markets - and, or course, through ChefShop.com.
Normally, fresh garlic is harvested in July and August and is available to ship in early September - but you never know. Mother Nature can be unpredictable.
Hard-neck garlic stores well, we usually have garlic available trough the holidays -- although by then, the selection is often pretty limited. And although the majority of the cloves continue to get drier, the garlic is still very eatable and the flavor very much still there - just requires a little more elbow grease to get to it. Not all varieties are available. Please order your garlic separately from other items you might want. Garlic backorders, due to early ordering, are subject to a $2.50 additional shipping fee.