The Journey of Garlic
The journey of Garlic begins long, long ago in the mountainous soils of south-central Asia. Tucked into a narrow ravine of the Hindu Kush Mountains, wild Garlic holds ancestral roots to a dramatic land. Windswept winters and scorching summer sun influenced wild Garlic’s development. Above ground, the Garlic plant exhibits astounding beauty – symmetrical spear-shaped leaves of emerald green. Below ground, hidden from sight, lay Garlic’s jewel – a pungent bulb of crescent cloves sometimes covered by a delicate wrapper glazed purple by elements in the soil.
Over time, wild Garlic captured the fascination of Nomadic cultures who would begin to understand the diverse and effective medicinal values of this plant, as well as Garlic’s long store-ability, relative ease of propagation and the bulb’s versatility as a rich, earthy, heat-inducing culinary herb. Garlic’s journey changed courses forever when ancient civilizations began to consume, cultivate and trade this blessed bulb. The earliest cultures of modern day India, China and Egypt were among the first to honor and celebrate Garlic as an important cultural crop. Sanskrit scrolls record Garlic’s earliest uses as a medicinal herb (The Bower Manuscript) and the Egyptian King Tutenkaman was buried with bulbs of garlic alongside other precious gems. The earliest Greek and Roman physicians touted garlic as a cure-all herb. Garlic bulbs are like vessels, transporting a unique story of people and plants that began perhaps 10,000 years ago. Each spring garlic sprouts emerge, on terraced gardens overlooking the sea, in backyard plots and in fertile mountain valleys. From season to season, generation to generation, Garlic’s journey will continue.
At Sandhill Farms in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, we feel honored for the opportunity to celebrate, preserve and spread the seeds of garlic crop diversity. Our living “garlic seed bank” currently includes over 20 strains such as Armenian, Thai Fire, Minho, Siberian and Inchelium Red. Each year we search for strains to add to our growing garlic collection. We love Garlic and are excited to connect with both experienced and beginner garlic enthusiasts. Whether you are a gardener seeking rare, gourmet planting garlic, or you are a culinary magician searching for unique and diverse Garlic flavors, we are eager to assist in your own Garlic Journey. Although snow still covers the planted cloves here at Sandhill Farms, we are excited for a new season of green growth, harvest celebrations, seed trading and Garlic planting. Until that time, we are patient farmers on a winter land, waiting for Garlic’s Spring Emergence…