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September 27, 2020

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Garlic - it's hanging from the rafters

Little Riley Creek Farm's barn decorated with four varieties of this onion cousin

With large clumps of garlic hanging from its rafters and others lined up on a wooden rack, the barn on the Little Riley Creek Farm is suggestive of an old European farmhouse kitchen decorated with garlic braids. 

Amanda Wischmeyer, who with her husband, Jon Tuttle, owns the farm, said that they grow four different varieties of garlic: French Violet, Italian Lorz, Chesnok Red and a variety that was growing on the farm when they purchased it. 

The farm is located at 9255 Lugabill Road, Bluffton. It is a 40-acres organic farm. Click here for its Facebook.

No one can remember the actual variety so they call it Little Riley Creek garlic.

The French Violet and the Italian Lorz are both soft neck varieties and the Chesnok Red and Little Riley Creek Garlic are hardneck varieties.  

“Hardneck varieties do not store as well as softneck,” said Amanda. “They begin to deteriorate and shrivel within four to six months of harvest. Hardneck garlic varieties produce a scape, or flower stalk, that should be removed from the plant when it forms and is wonderfully edible. Softneck garlics do not.”

The best time to plant garlic is in the fall (September), covering it with a thick layer of straw.  

The garlic overwinters, comes up in the spring and is ready to harvest in mid-July. After harvesting the garlic you will need to let it "cure" or dry for a few weeks, then it can be cleaned and stored. 

The garlic tied up in the farm's barn are the softneck varieties and the wooden rack holds the hardneck varieties. Some people braid the softneck garlic to display it.  

The Wischmeyer-Tuttle's favorite variety is the Little Riley Creek garlic because it has the largest cloves and is great for roasting.