In conversations with clients and friends about garlic, the following topics are often discussed. So we thought we might save you asking the questions.
How do I buy Mirboo Farm Garlic?
At Farm Gate
- Drop by at 215 Mirboo Rd, Mirboo and buy what you need from our Farm Gate Box (Dec. to April)
At Farmers’ Markets
- Foster Farmers’ Market – 3rd Saturday morning every month from December to June
- Leongatha Farmers Market – 4th Saturday morning monthly from December to June
- Call us on (03) 5664 8353 and arrange a pick-up in Melbourne CBD for orders of 1.0kg or above.
- Just complete the online Order Form and we will mail to you.
At The Meeniyan Store
- If you are in South Gippsland, drop into The Meeniyan Store and buy your garlic from Flick, our daughter.
Types of Garlic
Garlic comes in ‘softneck’ and ‘hardneck’ varieties. Softneck garlics include: ‘rose du var’, ‘red italian’, ‘aussie white’, ‘silverskin’, ‘turban’, ‘chinese pink’, ‘transylvanian’,’creole’ and many others. Hardneck garlics: include ‘purple stripe’, ‘porcelain’ , ‘italian red’, ‘italian purple’ and ‘russian red’.
A relative from the onion family is the ‘Giant Russian’, at times referred to as ‘Elephant Garlic’. Technically, this distinctive plant is more closely related to the leek. It is mild in flavor, and can be roasted whole.
Softnecks can be stored for up to six months post curing. Hardnecks are often the first harvested and can be stored for after four months after curing.
Hardneck garlics are easily identified by the central flower stalk.
Buying & Storing Garlic
What do I look for when I’m choosing garlic?
Most commonly our customers buy bulbs in 500gm or 1kg boxes. Some retailers will sell cloves, and others will provide tied plaits of garlic – an eye-catching addition to your kitchen.
Be careful when you purchase garlic. Look for bulbs that are firm, with tight skins and are not ‘dried-out’. Also look for brightness or vibrance in colour.
How do I store my garlic?
Store your bulbs in a dry place with good ventilation and away from intense light and direct sun. They can then last for up to six months.
When purchasing garlic, it is important to learn about the growing conditions. Not all Australian garlic is chemical free or organic. However, as an industry, we do have a strong commitment to standards and to maintaining a clear distinction between Australian Garlic and imported garlic.
Why buy Australian Garlic
Australian garlic does cost more. But it provides much more in quality, flavour and nutrition.
Here’s the advice of the Australian Garlic Association:-
- Chinese garlic food growing standards and regulations are inferior to Australia’s
- All imported garlic must, by Australian quarantine regulations, be fumigated with methyl bromide. This is to ensure Australia remains free of the 101 bugs and diseases to be found in China. Methyl bromide is a seriously dangerous broad spectrum, highly toxic, sterility agent.
- As well as being a particularly hazardous chemical for agricultural workers to have to handle, its acceptable consumer safety credentials have been withdrawn in numerous countries, industries and crops over the last couple of decade
- Chinese garlic may be subjected to cold and over storage and treated with growth inhibitors to prevent sprouting;
Perhaps we have said enough. However, we do suggest you take a few minutes to read this important article on garlic which appeared in The Age a few years ago.
Kirsten served for five years as Deputy Chair of the Australian Garlic Industry Association and committed to the re-development of the garlic industry in Australia.