Australian garlic directory
There used to be over a thousand garlic growers in Australia. Yet due to trade deregulation in the mid 1990s, and the subsequent dumping of cheap imports, local growers disappeared, taking with them hundreds of garlic varieties.
Today, Australians eat 3,500 tonnes of garlic annually. Just a fraction of this is grown locally, about 500 tonnes. So the vast majority is imported; mostly from China, but also from Africa, Taiwan, New Zealand and the United States.
Imported garlic may be grown with chemicals banned in Australia. According to the Australian Garlic Industry Association, imported garlic is cool-stored, treated with growth inhibitors to stop it from sprouting, bleached with chlorine for whiteness, and fumigated with methyl bromide (by law) to kill bugs and plant matter.
Worse still, the varieties are selected for their yield and storage life. Not for flavour. Should you meet a very old and powerful vampire, this clove will not work! It's a shadow of its former self.
Want juicy and flavourful garlic? Need pungent toum to send a vampire to his tomb?
You need Australian garlic.
Pro tip: Towards the end of summer, buy a kilo of garlic, pull the cloves apart and freeze. It's the easiest way to preserve!
Look for these brands at farmers’ markets and local independent stores near you. Taste the difference and tell your friends!
Barrington River Organic Farm, Tea Gardens
Fertile soil, cold winters and high rainfall makes Barrington an ideal place to plant garlic. Employing organic and biodynamic principles, Jan and Lesley enrich their soils with wood ash and oyster shells. They grow the Glen Large (Italian Pink) variety. ACO Certification No. 10089.
Boutique Garlic, Springside
Dougal mainly grows garlic, up to ten acres each year, including the NZ Purple, Monaro, Printator (commonly known as Australian White) and Elephant Garlic varieties.
Bungonia Creek, Bungonia
Melissa and David Armstrong hand plant and harvest Monaro Purple garlic. They prepare the soil with organic and mineral soil conditioners, and biodynamic preparations in summer, and sow the garlic in autumn. During winter, the garlic is kept mulched, watered, and weeded, before harvesting in November.
Byron Bay Garlic Company, Byron Bay
Will and Vanessa Cotterill produce Purple, White, Black (fermented) and Russian garlic (garleek); to enrich the soil they use free range chicken manure, compost and green manure.
Four Acre Farm, Dungog
Dom Northam and Tom Christie use permaculture principles in their small market garden. Their main crop is a hard neck variety that they call ‘Italian Purple’, and they are also trialing several other cultivars.
Garlic Farmacy, Mungay Creek
Stephen and Kerrianne McNamara grow hard neck and soft neck varieties using organic processes, up river in the Macleay Valley. They use biodynamic and organic nutrients, many of which are made on-farm, with no use of chemicals, pesticides or herbicides.
Gilles Australian Garlic, Jembaicumbene
Gilles Bonin and Victoria Clutterbuck produce Australian Purple Hard Neck garlic in an ideal climate: cold in winter, and hot and dry during summer. They don’t use chemicals or pesticides, preferring green manure crops, compost and natural minerals for biological soil balancing.
Green Goddess Farm, Findon Creek
Rhys Minton and Sasha Welker grow up to 40 different kinds of vegetables, fruits and flowers on their 3.5 acre certified organic farm. They grow Russian Garlic.
Gully Garlic, Braidwood
Greg and Julie Coleman grow garlic using organic principles with the use of a small tractor, a rotary hoe, their bare hands and the simple desire to produce quality garlic. They produce the cultivars: Monaro Purple, Spanish Roja and the Dungansk.
Hunter Valley Produce, Cedar Creek
Amber and Jeremy hand weed their garlic crops and do not use synthetic chemicals. They also practice crop rotation to ensure that their produce is rich with minerals and nutrients. They grow purple Australian and Italian pink garlic.
Ingelara is a biodynamic farm owned and run by Tobias and Beatrice Koenig, Peter Bottomley and Gini Osborne. Together with John Pye and Angus Boxall, they produce two garlic varieties: Monaro Red hard neck and Australian White soft neck.
Moore Wollombi Garlic, Wollombi
Dean and Natalie Moore have a strong paddock-to-plate philosophy, growing feed for their livestock, and producing meat and vegetables. Located near the southern gateway to Hunter Valley, they enjoy cool winters and warm spring weather, ideal growing conditions for early season Red garlic.
Morganics Farm, Mt Canobolas
Libby and Ken Morgan believe the rich volcanic soil, 1,100 metres above sea level, with winter rain and snow followed by hot, dry summers, gives their garlic a wonderful flavour. They produce Purple hard-stemmed, pearly White soft neck and Silverskin garlic.
Nanny G's Garlic, Braidwood
Georgina Byrnes and her husband Patrick grow Monaro Purple (Turban), Spanish Roja (Creole) and Dunganski (Standard Purple Stripe) varieties using organic practices and fertiliser, without the use of synthetic chemicals.
Near River Produce, Hollisdale
Therese and Andrew Fearne farm organically and follow many of the principles of Eliot Coleman and Joel Salatin. Each clove is cultivated and harvested by hand. They apply mulch, biodynamic preparations and compost teas to enrich the soil.
Ontos Garlic, W Tree
Fred Koch and Neroli Hadfield grow organic Purple hard neck. They try to make use of innovations such as using mulch collected from our paddocks and the creation of planting and harvesting tools.
Owl Farm, Braidwood
David and Sarah produce several garlic cultivars: Monaro Purple, California Late, Italian Red, Australian White and Printanor. They plant the garlic by hand in late March and harvest, again by hand, in November. The garlic is air cured available for sale in mid-December.
Patrice Newell, Gundy
Patrice Newell and Phillip Adams have been the custodians of biodynamic Elmswood Farm for 26 years. Their main crop is a Purple variety; it grows without pest problems, can be peeled easily and tastes marvellous! It’s an old-style variety, closely related to wild garlic. They also grow soft neck White garlic.
Rochford Organic Garlic, Tenterfield
Certified organic/biodynamic since 2001, Dick and Dora Rochford specialize in two varieties of garlic: the Oriental Purple and the Elephant (Russian). They use the African Love grass as mulch; a water wheel and solar pump is used for irrigation; and their home is solar powered.
Stellar Garlic, Mitchells Island
Using homegrown compost and mulch, Ian and Stella Rowland plant the garlic in rich soil. They grow the Purple hard neck and the hotter White soft neck varieties.
Sweet Water Farm, West Kempsey
The certified organic farm is comprised of 25 acres on the edge of the mighty Macleay River on the mid coast of New South Wales. Marcus Skipper and Sally Jane Ayre-Smith grow two varieties: Russian garlic and Rosie’s, a French Garlic.
Sylva Lining Organics, Eungella
The family owned and run business was born from the desire to provide highly nutritional, clean organic food for the family. Ian Willis and Sylva Oblerholster specialise in Russian and Spanish Garlic seasonally available from October.
Wynlen House, Braidwood
Bronwyn and Helen grow a variety of garlic, including hard neck Purple and hard neck White, Spanish Roja, Dunganski, and Silver Skin at the micro farm. They draw on a range of organic philosophies in their practice, including bio-dynamic, permaculture and biological.