Seeds of Diversity's Great Canadian Garlic Collection is a national project that explores and documents the many varieties of garlic grown in Canada.
There are well over 100 varieties of garlic that are suited to Canadian growing conditions. Our goal is to grow as many varieties as possible in all of Canada's major agricultural areas and to record their success and characteristics. The collected information will be posted to our web site for use by all. In 2014 we harvested 153 different varieties.
Garlic grows differently in different climates. Some varieties have particular colours, shapes or other characteristics in certain areas of the country, but not in others. For instance, some varieties grow scapes in the east but not in the west. Some have a purple or red colour when grown in certain climates, but are white elsewhere. More importantly, some varieties grow better than others in different regions.
We want to find out which kinds of garlic grow best in your area, and this is how you can help:
Every year, we harvest bulbils (the small bulbs that grow at the tops of the garlic stems) from about 80 different varieties and offer them for a shipping fee: five varieties for $10. This has been an economical way for us to help diversify the varieties available to growers. There is no obligation to return garlic to us, but we hope growers will pass along their favourite varieties to others.
You can find an article about this at http://seeds.ca/d?n=web/ebulletin/2014-08-en/articles/garlic
and also in French at http://semences.ca/d?n=web/ebulletin/2014-08-fr/articles/bulbilles
We expect to repeat the distribution next August, so you could check our web site or ebulletin for details then. Subscribe to our ebulletin!