This year Frøsamlerne, The Danish Seed Savers had a garlic competition. It inspired the ecological website Havenyt to make a similar webbased contest. It’s in danish, but photos, and Estonian Red (Estisk rød) rules the show!
You could consider a google translation.
Frøsamlerne held our competiton in the allotments of Kirsten and Anne. They served coffee, teas and cake, had chairs for everyone to sit comfortably. We started with a presentation of our selves and our garlics. Many interesting point on soil and growing technique surfaced. One point that seems to persist is that garlic love a soil rich in organic matter, and seems to prefer sandy soils to heavy clay.
Several reported of leek moth in some of their garlics. I personally had to leave my biggest garlic, a ‘Gazebo Grande’ at home, as it had aquired a petty brownish color, looking weird. We had a laugh, as I was not the only one claiming to have lost the biggest garlic to a leek moth caterpillar!
As I opened my Gazebo Grande, I did indeed fint the caterpillar inside.
Appearently nobody had been really troubled by garlic rust this year, as it mostly came just few days ahead of harvest, thus had no influence on the garlic quality.
Four classes in the Garlic Competition
Biggest garlic won by an ‘Estonian Red’, grown by Lila Towle
Whitest garlic won by a “Grethes Supermarked” grown by Kirsten Hedegaard
Darkest purple garlic won by a ‘Chinese Purple’ grown by Kirsten Hedegaard
Most beautiful garlic braid won by an ‘Inchelium Red’ braid grown and braided by Søren Holt
Out of competition there was also a prize for the great eyecatching Allium ampeloprasums grown by Lars Jacobsen.
Biggest garlic was judged by weighing. The other classes was a bit more difficult.
The whitest garlic was clearly “Grethes Supermarked”, but there was two presenting this variety. Everybody agreed the had the same color. It was then decided, that the one with the largest area would be the whitest!
The darkest purple was difficult to judge, and we never agreed on it. It’s a class, where many clones have a chance to win, depending on a careful harvest and curing technique.
Most beautiful garlic braid, what is beautiful? There was a traditional braid, not very well braided, and an unusual bunch tied together in a creative and free spirited manner.
The Allium ampeloprasum Lars had brought was of three types. Babingtons leek many of us readily recognized, with its two cloves and large bulbils. He also brought Elephant Garlic, with more cloves and no bulbils. The last type he had from Nysted, having two huge cloves.
Thanks to Kirsten and Anne.