All about Braidwood Garlic
Garlic was first grown in the Braidwood area here some 40 years ago by Giles Bonin (and Victoria Clutterbuck), then closely followed by Conrad & Carole Kindrachuk. At Wynlen House we began growing not long after moving here in 2002.
In September 2012 Bronwyn Richards organised a gathering of local garlic growers and those interested in growing garlic at the Old Cheese Factory in Reidsdale. Braidwood has a long frost season and garlic as a crop manages and in fact appears to thrive on these hard conditions.
It was clear at the gathering there was a strong interest in growing garlic and recognition of the increasing demand for Australian grown garlic. It was agreed that we needed to ensure that Braidwood is recognised for it's garlic (as part of the South East cool climate garlic growing region) and that this could only happen if we share information and learning; and continue to encourage new growers.
A key way of doing this was to enable those interested in growing garlic to work alongside existing growers during peak activities - planting, harvesting and braiding. Harvesting is generally over a short period but is very intense. (All harvesting in this area is done by hand.) A digital forum (Braid Garlic) was established to assist with the learning / labour exchange and to share information.
In 2015 Bronwyn Richards for the Braidwood Garlic Growers Group and with the support of Upper Shoalhaven Landcare received a $20,000, 25th Anniversary Landcare Grant. The aim of the project was to demonstrate the potential for garlic, as a commercial crop, to enhance economic resilience, agricultural profitability and sustainability in the Braidwood area with 3 key environmental aspects:
The project was completed 31 May 2017 with over 30 new garlic growers in the region. In June 2017 the Braidwood Garlic Growers Group received support through the Federal Government Farming Together program to form a cooperative. In November 2017 the Braidwood Garlic Growers Co-operative was officially launched. Wynlen House is Proud to be a founding member of the Braidwood Garlic Growers Co-operative Ltd.
Bronwyn Richards and the Braidwood Garlic Growers group was awarded the 2017 Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture and Land Mangement, NSW Landcare Champion.
Wynlen House Garlic
Our garlic is grown wiht our garlic partner Vitoria Royds at her farm Clarevale. about 5K from Braidwood.
The Clarevale Farm and Wynlen House garlic partnership is specialising in growing mid and late season garlics. In November each year the harvest starts with the Turban varieties; Monaro Purple and White Crookneck These are lovely garlics with soft flavours, sweet and mild but with a bit of a kick.
December/ early January, is harvest time for our mid season garlics from both the Artichoke and the Creole family. Garlics from the Creole family arte hot and spicey.
Late December/January is when we harvest our late season garlics. Dunganski from the Standard Purple Stripe Family and garlics from the Silver Skin family. These garlics also have very distinctive flavours
Once properly dried and cured, a process that takes about 12 weeks, these garlics will store well for 8 - 12 months.
These are varieties you cannot buy at the greengrocer or supermarket as they are varieties not commonly grown here. Wait until you taste them when they are ready in mid 2020!
Look out for one of our garlic tastings
Grow Garlic - just do it
Growing your own garlic is an absolute pleasure. You pick it fresh and taste the crisp yet juicy, succulent softer flavoured cloves lightly crushed and spread over hot buttered toast. A few weeks later you wonder at the more mature, deeper flavour as the bulbs dry and cure a little, and garlic bread is something you just can't do without.
We run courses for the backayard grower or the Commercial grower.