With the Australian garlic season about to take off, it’s timely to remind ourselves of the long road the farmers have taken since the introduction of cheap, bleached, imported garlic in the mid 1990’s.
The importation of this inferior garlic saw a massive decline in local production, evidenced by the Australian Garlic Industry Association membership dropping from 300 members, who were mainly growers, to just a handful. Many farmers moved out of garlic farming as they could not compete with the flood of cheap imports.
Today, the Australian garlic industry is bouncing back, thanks to increased consumer demand and awareness of local Australian produce and paddock to plate eating, a love of fresh food, an increase in home cooking and a desire to reduce our food miles.
Today, Australians are spoilt for choice with local garlic available in red, white and purple; spicy and hot, mild and nutty, pungent and aromatic. Garlic is not just garlic anymore, it comes in different flavours and sizes, has different harvesting and storage times, and can be used for a variety of different dishes.
The official launch of the Australian Garlic Season will be celebrated at multi-award winning root vegetable specialist Georgie’s Harvest, at the South Melbourne Market from 9am to 3pm on Saturday 6 December with a day dedicated to the pungent bulb.
The community is invited to come along, meet the local growers, talk to them about their delicious garlic, learn how it’s grown, cured, and harvested, taste a variety of different garlics and watch garlic plaiting demonstrations.
Visitors will also be able to dine on garlic themed dishes at Market restaurants: Claypots Evening Star, Koy, Simply Spanish and Paco y Lola; and discover how garlic can be used in so many different ways and in so many different cuisines.
Penny Woodward, author, organic gardener and garlic expert, will be present, signing and selling copies of her new book Garlic, An organic guide to knowing growing and using garlic, described by gardening legend Peter Cundall as “the best book I have ever read anywhere in the world on garlic.”
There is more to learn about garlic than you thought was possible. Garlic is not only essential to food and medicine, but is also a pest repellent in organic gardening. Find out about garlic greens, garlic sprouts, green garlic, black garlic and smoked garlic at this special event and get caught up in the joy of garlic.
For more information contact: Penny Woodward, Australian Garlic Industry Association, email@example.com