Last week we piled up to Ranceby to visit Stewart at the stunning Weyhill Garlic Farm. The first impression is all about the house! Julie and Stewart have restored an iconic farm house and surrounded it with beautiful gardens full of food. At the moment only one of their 40 acres is garlic and they rotate it across the paddocks. On the other 40 acres they have some cattle and probably just stare out across those rolling green hills.
We learnt a lot about garlic that day especially how labour intensive it is! Firstly the crop takes approx 240 days and then there’s the cleaning, the top and tailing, the storage…electric fans in winter and a warm fire to keep the garlic from shooting in the cold. The humble garlic that we use in almost every meal is a teensy bit precious.
Stewart and Julie grow and farm their garlic naturally and have, through a process of trial and error, determined which varieties will grow in their soil and keep the best to allow them to extend their market season as long as possible so you can have access to fresh local garlic.
Tips: When you buy your garlic make sure you keep it at room temperature with lots of air flow. Weyhill Farm sell cute little hessian bags that you can hang on a hook in your pantry. Also if it does shoot just take the flaky skin off and stick it in the ground (shoot up) and forget about it for a while and it should give you a couple of bulbs down the track.