news from
the garden

July 20, 2012

"Big John couldn’t be happier with the size and quality of the 2012 garlic crop. Drying space is nearly used up! The Chesnok Red is especially nice. Shown here are some pretty Lorz Italian bulbs."

May 29, 2012

"Green Garlic is great, fun and easy. It has great garlic flavor and is useful in all kinds of dishes. You can grow it anywhere and any time of the year. You can grow it in containers. You can grow it indoors. You can use your small and ugly cloves. At any time of the year you can bury your “rejects”… outside… or in pots… anywhere. Depending on how warm it is, you can have 10”-12” garlic in just a few weeks. Since bulb development is not a concern, you can use at about any stage of maturity."

“If you grow a fair amount of garlic then you are familiar with witch brooms… where vampires don’t tread… and where multiple shoots emerge from what you thought was a single clove. Some are pictured growing here. They occur most often in the softneck silverskins where clove separation can be difficult and lots of doubles and triples can occur. They will not produce a nice bulb. it is usable garlic, but not overly saleable, so why not use them for green garlic?”
Thanks! BJ

March 1, 2012

No matter how many times you’ve done it, it’s always great to see the garlic finally emerge from the frozen tundra… and the toughness of garlic is truly amazing. As usual, the silverskins are first (Nootka Rose pictured). Big John is especially happy with this crop… planting situation and field conditions (moisture) were better than ever last fall. Winter was not extreme one way or the other… plenty of moisture in the field now. Everything points to an outstanding crop for 2012!

October 22, 2011

Thumb-splitting time at Big John's…. here are about 1,500 pounds of bulbs that all were “painfully split” and hand planted… and this was no small job…. just ask those that did it. Conditions in the garden were excellent and the crop was irrigated right after planting to insure a strong start.

August 2, 2011

All the 2011 garlic is harvested and hanging in the barns! Though a slightly later year, the quantity and quality is excellent. Big John would like to give a Big Thanks to this year’s harvest crew with special recognition to the real McCoy’s… true gems from Arizona. And check out the huge Red Toch.

July 5, 2011

Redneck Wild has definitely found a home in Western PA. In this picture, Mary from Jeannette shows off both her granddaughter and her magnificent crop of freshly harvested Wild. She must be doing everything right. Big John is receiving snapshots and plaudits from all parts of the country praising this remarkable Rocambole strain.

May 3, 2011

Here is some great feedback from Leslie Doyle of Las Vegas, a very innovative grower of Big John's Inchelium Red. Read her story below:

“Here is a pic of me and your Inchelium Red garlic - this is 3 of 7 garlic test beds. It is May 3, 2011 in Las Vegas, NV, and I think the garlic is looking pretty good. I weighed and separated the cloves by size. The rows are marked with clove weight and planting date. I planted over a 4-month period at the ends of Sep through Dec. by following the recommended moon planting dates for bulbs. I hope to find more accurate info on; If there is a relationship to planting dates and clove size to harvested bulb size. Present information for best dates to plant garlic in Las Vegas is vague. With this test I hope to add some clarity to this."
Leslie Doyle

November 18, 2010

Big John is happy to report the 2011 crop has been planted and mulched under ideal conditions! In response to a large expansion of the customer base, the crop was increased by 30%. Once the cloves were all in the ground, an inch-and-a-half of steady rain followed… timing is everything. Then we tucked it all in for the winter with a very nice, uniform blanketing by Garlic Master John Bair.

July 19, 2010

Here is the first pic of Redneck Wild still in her work clothes. She has finally come out of hiding to make her debut! There will be lots of 3 inch garlic by the time we're done. This might be the finest looking garlic Big John has ever seen. Go to the Redneck Wild page.

May 13, 2010

Redneck Wild is a new variety of hardneck garlic being offered for the first time in 2010! We found this “wild” garlic growing in a privately owned wetland in Klamath County. When and how the garlic was introduced to the wetland is unknown, although the wetland itself was identified in a photograph from 1906. In an effort to protect the garlic beds and to reduce the risk of transferring disease we collected the bulbils or aerial clones from the flower stalk of the “wild” garlic and planted them on our farm. Garlic rounds were harvested, dried and used for seed in the next fall planting. This process is both time and labor intensive but it is necessary to ensure that the wetland garlic bulbs are not disturbed and to keep Redneck Wild as close to the “wild” mother plants as possible. Check out the Redneck Wild page for more info and ordering.

July 28, 2009

The garlic and shallots are all in the barns! Big John is very pleased with the '09 crop - both for size and quality - this also seemed to be a very good year for the Silverskins. The harvest crew from the last day is pictured below... missing are Maria and Bianca Arreola, stalwarts both. This year's "rookie of the year" is Alex Ramirez (hatless in the middle, grey shirt). Hope we can capture him for the planting season as well!

June 24, 2009

With Mt. Shasta in the background, the 2009 crops are not only picturesque but growing like mad. On a quiet morning, you can hear the garlic grow. Big John is expecting great yields. Cooler, wetter spring brought the crop along more slowly... not the sudden winter to summer jump like most years.

The garden was particularly blessed by the presence of Jay and Patty, important customers, from Fort Wayne Indiana. They seemed impressed with the garlic and left high hopes for the fall.

November 3, 2008

2008 has been a great year, forcing Big John to substantially increase both his garlic and shallot plantings. We planted close to 1,000 lbs. of cloves and added a new Porcelain Hardneck, Music, to the line-up.... it's all bedded in and mulched for the winter. Shallot sets for spring planting will also be available after the 1st of January.... they will go fast. There are less than a handfull of organic shallot planting stock providers in the entire US and Big John is pleased to be one.

Freshly harvested French Red Shallots. Yum!

Bedding in the 2009 crop.

July 20, 2008

The 2008 harvest is going full blast in The Garden and everyone is absolutely enthralled by Big John's new garlic "lifter". Say good-bye to the pitchfork forever. Much less grumbling from the workers. By simply undercutting the garlic and fracturing the bed, it makes the rest of the process a breeze. The crop looks wonderful!

May 19, 2008

June is Scape Season in Big John's Garden. Some culinary experts consider the milder, more subtle flavor of scapes as a great way to add some garlic flavor to many different dishes - salads and soups, primarily. Check out the scapes page for a simple, yet delicious soup recipe.

May, 2008

Klamath County, Oregon is proud to count Big John as one of its most successful growers and as an active community participant. Check out the article on Big John's Garden in the Klamath County 2007/2008 Resource and Relocation Guide published by the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce.

December 1, 2007

The garlic and shallots are all bedded in for '08 - Big John will be doubling production next year with a little help from his friends. Longtime Klamath organic (also Oregon Tilth certified) dairy farmer, neighbor and friend John Bair came up with the idea of spreading the mulch with his high-capacity manure spreader - see the picture! Anyone who has ever been involved with this operation doing it the "old fashioned way" knows that a major debt of gratitude is owed Mr. Bair. You just want to make sure it's not a windy day...

October 12, 2007

This is a great time of year... things have cooled off and it's planting season! Demand for good organic garlic and shallots has never been higher as more and more people are appreciating these wonderful crops. With a little more than a month left to plant, Big John wants to update you on supplies and make some recommendations. This has been a great year for size and quality. On the Softneck side, the Artichokes take the prize... The Lorz Italian, Inchelium Red and Red Toch are particularly nice. For the Hardnecks, the Chesnok Red and Killarney Red are great, still in supply, but going fast. And, the Dutch Yellow Shallots are beautiful planting stock and plentiful. Order now before we're sold out!

September 21, 2007

The garlic roasters are finally here!! Take a look at our latest accessory: a multi-bulb garlic roaster hand-crafted by Frog Dynasty Ceramics. Visit our store to get one of your very own.

July 15, 2007

The garden is in mid-harvest and Big John swears he's never seen garlic this big! Big John's Garden has always prided itself on producing great size - especially important for growers - but this year tops all. Maybe it was the cooler June. You can see from the pictures... this crop is truly special.

A big Thank You to all of you that have helped this year!

Check out our hefty crop!

Harvest "workers".

Amulfo with a remarkable Killarney Red crop.

May 20, 2007

The 2007 garlic crop is looking healthy. Check out the latest photos from the farm.

April 16, 2007

Big John gets a 3-page spread in the Hobby Greenhouse Spring 2007 Newsletter!

Visit Hobby Greenhouse on the web:

March 18, 2007

The 2007 garlic crop is sprouting!! Take a look below at the growing garden:

2007 Garlic is Up!

The long view.

February 20, 2007

Big John's Garden Recommended by
domino magazine!!

Check out page 87 in the March 2007 issue of domino where Big John's Garden was named the resource for organic garlic growing information. The article is entitled, "garden of earthly delights," and features organic gardener Michele O'Hana's tips on growing chem-free fruits and veggies that work for everyone from the backyard farmer to the windowsill novice.

November 27, 2006

       Big John would like to extend a big "THANK YOU" to all his great 2006 customers! It has been a truly wonderful year. Looking forward to 2007!

       Big John is happy to report that the 2007 crop is all bedded in and ready to sleep through the winter. The planting season was just right - good rains came right after we finished mulching. Due to fantastic customer response, planting of both garlic and shallots was increased!

Midplanting 2006

One of the dogs lends a hand with the planting

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