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.
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) and offer them by mail order for a small shipping fee. 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.
See in our Annual Member Seed Exchange the garlic varieties that members have re-offered as part of this program. You can list your garlic there too!
Our garlic bulbils are normally harvested in August and listed in our online store for planting in the fall. Varieties might be limited in winter and spring, but we often have good quantities available year-round.