Garlic

Except for shallots, garlic is probably the biggest essential to gourmet quisine. First cultivated by the Egyptians, garlic has been an essential part of diets of numerous cultures. Garlic is known for both it's healing and insect repellent properties, and is one of the most useful items to have on the homestead farm. It is believed that garlic developed in South-central Asia from a wild, seeding variety. However, most garlics have lost the ability to produce seed. Their are two basic classes of garlic: hardneck and softneck. Hardnecks send of a stiff flower stalk, and have one row of large cloves at the root. Softnecks don't normally send of flower stalks, and produced many rows of overlapping cloves. Softnecks store longer than hardnecks, but hardnecks are more cold hardy. These two types are subdivided into five subtypes: for hardnecks: rocambole, purple stripe, and porcelain, and for softnecks: artichoke and silverskin. Each has a specific character based on shape, size, and color of the bulb. Garlic can be planted in the fall and overwintered for larger bulbs.

Hardneck

Rocambole

Carpathian

Origination: From the Carpathian Mountains of southeast Poland.
Description: Off-white bulbs with thin copper veins and some purple splotches. 6-10 large cloves, few double cloves. Hot, spicy, strong taste.
Days to maturity:
Growth habit: Vigorous deep green plants, large scape. Matures about 7 days later than other rocamboles.
Tolerances:
Uses:
Vendors: Filaree Farm,  

German Red

Origination: From gardeners of German descent in Idaho in the late 1800's.
Description: Large, light brown to cream colored cloves with faint purple at base. 10-15 cloves per bulb. Double cloves common. Strong, hot and spicy flavor.
Days to maturity:
Growth habit: Vigorous, deep green plants.
Tolerances: Great for northern climates. Moderately tolerant of wet conditions. Small central stem.
Uses: Cloves are easy to peel. Not easy to grow and do not store well, but great for gourmet cooking.
Vendors: DiGiorgi,   Henry Field's,   Filaree Farm,   Irish Eyes,   Jung,   Shepherds,   Shumway,   Territorial,   Vermont Bean,  

Spanish Roja/Greek Blue

Origination: Northwest heirloom, brought to the Portland area by Greek immigrants before 1900.
Description: Bulbs are large and have light purple streaks, clove color varies with soil and climate from lighter and darker brown. 6-13 cloves per bulb. Double cloves common in large bulbs.
Days to maturity:
Growth habit: Thick blue green stalks and spreading leaves.
Tolerances: Does not do well in mild winter climates.
Uses: Stores well for 6 months, easy to peel and flavor holds up well in cooking. Considered one of the best gourmet garlics.
Vendors: Aurora Biodynamic,   Filaree Farm,   Garden City,   Gurney's,   Irish Eyes,   Territorial,  
Purple Stripe

Chesnock Red

Origination: From Shelvisi in the Georgian Republic.
Description: Attractive bulbs, buff colored overlaid with red-purple stripes. 8-12 cloves per bulb. Good aroma and flavor. Only subtype that produces real flowers.
Days to maturity:
Growth habit: Tall plants.
Tolerances: Somewhat later than rocambole types
Uses: Stands up well in cooking. Great for baking.
Vendors: Filaree Farm,   Irish Eyes,   Jung,  

Porcelain

Romanian Red

Origination: Introduced to British Columbia from Romania.
Description: Bulb color varies with soil conditions, from purple to paper white. 4-5 plump cloves per bulb. Hot and pungent taste.
Days to maturity:
Growth habit:
Tolerances:
Uses: Stores well. Very popular for cooking.
Vendors: Filaree Farm,   Irish Eyes,   Territorial,  

Artichoke

Inchelium Red

Origination: Discovered on the Coleville Indian Reservation in Washington State.
Description: Large, dense bulbs with 4-5 layers with 8-20 layers per bulb. Mild but lingering flavor.
Days to maturity:
Growth habit: Productive plants.
Tolerances: Does well over various climates.
Uses:
Vendors: Filaree Farm,   Garden City,   Irish Eyes,  

Lorz Italian

Origination: Brought from Italy before the 1900's.
Description: Very large, somehwat flattened, round bulbs. 3-5 bulb layers with 12-19 cloves per bulb. Average to very hot flavor. Yellow to milky white cloves with a light pink blush.
Days to maturity:
Growth habit:
Tolerances: Stands well up to heat.
Uses:
Vendors: Filaree Farm,  

Nootka Rose

Origination: Northwest heirloom from the San Juan Islands off northern Washington.
Description: Medium to large bulbs. Clove color is mahogany heavily streaked with red and dark red tips that often have a long papery tail. 5 clove layers with 15-24 small cloves per bulb. Colors fade in rich soil. Strong flavor.
Days to maturity:
Growth habit:
Tolerances:
Uses: Good for braiding. Stores well.
Vendors: Filaree Farm,  

Note: These are only a few of the over 500 varieties of garlic in existence, most of which are heirlooms. There are many others in the catalogs listed that are of value to the home gardener. Filaree Farm has the best selection of garlic available, if you can't find it anywhere else, look there.