Grey Duck Garlic
Four Reasons Our Garlic Tastes Great
1) Our organic hardneck garlic is grown in Palouse loess; some of the best soil in the world. Great soil equals great tasting garlic.
Left: Patty carries harvested garlic.
The Palouse region of Washington is known for its rolling hills and deep rich topsoil known as Palouse loess. Palouse loess is soil blown off departing glaciers during the last ice age. This extremely fertile topsoil soil is highly desirable and over 12 foot deep in our organic garlic field. Its beauty and fertility has caused more than one case of ‘soil lust’ among visiting out of town gardeners. We have to shake down visitors to check for unauthorized soil in pockets.
Local soil celebrities may include the Palouse earthworm. This rare earthworm has only been observed several times in this region and prefers undisturbed native soil. Jane had an unconfirmed Palouse earthworm sighting outside her back door last winter, but did not collect a specimen for positive identification. She did cover the large wiggler up with a board to prevent her free range hens from taking a nibble.
2) Taste is Essential. If we don’t think the garlic taste is outstanding we don’t grow that variety.
We are amateur gourmet cooks too. We cook, taste and hotly debate the merit of every garlic variety we grow. If we don’t love it, we don’t grow and sell it as seed garlic or cooking garlic. Over half the garlic varieties we have tried have failed our taste testing. Our goal is to sell only the most desirable culinary garlic for chefs and home gardeners.
3) We hand plant, weed, harvest, and cure every garlic bulb.
Right: Hand weeding young hardneck garlic.
All garlic is carefully handled to avoid bruising that can shorten shelf life. We grow sustainable garlic. Grey Duck Garlic appreciates our crop, cares for our land, and encourages our garlic plants to grow.
4) Our garlic is grown under harsh weather conditions which help it develop flavor.
Extreme spring flooding; snow in May (picture on left); hail the size of large marbles in June; and frost near the fourth of July are only some of the hazards our garlic has had to combat. Our temperature can zoom from below freezing to a balmy 70 °F during the winter. In addition, we don’t irrigate our garlic so it has to cope with extremes in moisture as well. Spring flooding is followed by summer drought. Harsh weather stimulates the production of beneficial phytochemicals in the garlic which helps ensure survival and great taste (think of the difference in taste between heirlooms tomatoes from Grandma’s garden and supermarket tomatoes).