Organic. Off Grid. Treading Lightly.
Buy Organic Seed Garlic
There are only about 10 truly genetically distinct varieties of garlic. However, these varieties can grow differently and exhibit different characteristics depending on the location and environment where they are grown. And there are various names for all of the variations of the varieties! Many other people have explained this far better than we ever could, so if you are interested we recommend that you read:
- Phenotypic Characteristics of Ten Garlic Cultivars Grown at Different North American Locations (Volk & Stern) and
- The Complete Book of Garlic: A guide for gardeners, growers, and serious cooks by Ted Jordan Meredith. This one you’ll have to buy, but it is well worth it if you are interested in a well-told tale of garlic, with history, practical facts, and pictures.
Earth Dharma Farm mostly grows hardneck varieties particularly suited to the US northeast, as well as two soft necks, Japanese (Sakura) and French Red:
Marbled Purple Stripes: More similar to porcelains than to purples stripes in case. Reasonably large bulbs and cloves, 4-7 cloves per bulb. Long storage period.
Porcelains: Largest bulbs of all the varieties. Lighter pinkish or brownish white paper, 4-6 very large white cloves, easy to peel, very hot. Shorter storage period.
Rocamboles: Medium to large bulbs, darker russet and white paper, 8-10 smaller brown or red cloves, harder to peel, aromatic and hot but with more depth of flavor. Medium storage period.
Purple Stripes: The "ancestors and antecedents of all other garlic cultivars" (from the Complete Book of Garlic). Smaller bulbs, purple striped paper (no kidding), 8-10 smaller cloves, harder to peel, good depth of flavor. Long storage period.