Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Silver Spring Farm Garlic Fundraiser

** UPDATE: The garlic sold out on Sunday, August 5th. **

Silver Spring Farm opened their gates today for the start of their 16th annual 'Choose Your Own Garlic' fundraiser. This fundraiser is in support of the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OCAPDD).

Their sale hours are from 10:00 am to 6 pm every day, until they sell out.

Silver Spring Farm is located near Bells Corners at 3501 Richmond Road, where it meets up with Baseline Road.

For this garlic season they planted 40,000 cloves of garlic. The dry weather worked in their favour. Not only was it a faster growing season by 3 weeks, the harvesting was not as onerous for pulling and cleaning because of the drier soil. Of the 40,000 heads harvested, about 8 to 10,000 are kept as seed for next year.

They grew both Music and Majestic garlic. They are both Hardneck garlic and belong to the sub-group Porcelain. My eye is not keen enough to tell them apart. Music is likely the most popular garlic grown in Ontario.

Liz Primeau, author of In Pursuit of Garlic, has this to say when describing these two cultivars.

"Music: A strong, dependable grower brought from Italy and now seen frequently at fairs in parts of Canada. Its big cloves are hot and pungent when raw, mellow when baked, although texture isn't as creamy as that of some other cultivars."

"Majestic: Developed in eastern Ontario. A lovely big bulb with good-sized cloves and a full garlicky taste."

Once the garlic is cleaned, they go through an orderly process for sorting the garlic by size. This simple block has the stalk fed down through the channel of finishing nails from the widest to the narrowest part of the device. The garlic head stops at its measured width of 2 up to 6. If the garlic head pulls all the way through, it is considered a '1'.

The larger heads are priced at $3 and $4 each.

The smaller heads are sold in groups, 3 for $2 or 2 for $3.

They also grouped the very smallest together in bunches for $4. I counted one of the bunches and it had 10 small bulbs.

They also sell pretty arrangements and braids.

Their raffle this year is for a very large braid. Tickets are $2 each for 3 for $5.

I stuck to the 2 for $3 table and picked up a number of heads, some destined to be mailed to our darling son.

Readers can call the Garlic Hotline at 613-569-8993 ext. 409 for updates on the sale and also to confirm their hours of operation.


  1. I am a sucker for fresh home grown garlic! Salivating at 9 am.

    1. Valerie, I will sometimes keep a 125 ml jar in my fridge of squeezed garlic in EVOO. I try to use it up within a week. When I have it ready like that, I definitely use a lot more! But there is nothing like freshly squeezed. And local.


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