November 15, 2017
Garlic grown in Minnesota is generating some buzz, according to the Sustainable Farming Association in the state.
Some of the finest premium garlic in the country is produced here, and growers are finding it a boon to their farms, according to the association.
SFA of Minnesota has been at the forefront in developing this crop by hosting the Minnesota Garlic festival, now in its 12th year. Association members say they are ready to take garlic farming to the next level.
SFA recently announced the launch of The Garlic Project, the latest in a series of specialty crops projects supported by a Minnesota Department of Agriculture grant. The project will help boost farmers’ profitability by increasing premium garlic production in Minnesota, teach production and marketing practices, expand markets and supply chains, and conduct research on improved cultivation methods.
The project will operate from this month through April 2020.
Project coordinators are Jerry Ford and Connie Carlson. Ford, a seasoned garlic grower, has done event and network coordination work for SFA since 2004 and is the founding director of the Minnesota Garlic Festival. He will head up the production, training and research aspects of The Garlic Project.
Carlson, the new crop market integration specialist for the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, will be handling the market development and training aspects of this project.
Currently, garlic growers in the state have access to information through SFA’s Upper Midwest Garlic Growers Group. An upcoming survey will be sent out to tabulate how many farmers are currently growing garlic and how much garlic is being produced.
To conduct on-farm garlic research, SFA is looking for four collaborating farms. Plus, it needs 30 partner farms to participate in tracking statistics on planting, harvesting and sales.
A free workshop, “Growing Great Garlic in Minnesota,” is available for interested groups.
To be included in the survey, participate in the on-farm activities or to schedule a workshop, contact Ford at [email protected] or 763-244-6659.
To learn more about garlic production, upcoming Garlic Project events include:
• SFA Annual Conference, Feb. 19, St. Joseph, Minn.
• Garlic Growers Field Days, hosted by the Upper Midwest Garlic Growers Group, July 1 and 7, at sites to be announced around Minnesota.
• Minnesota Garlic Festival, Aug. 11, Hutchinson, Minn.
Contact Carlson, too, for more information at [email protected] or 612-709-6790.
Source: SFA of Minnesota
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