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Bright Farm

Salt Spring Select Elephant Garlic CO


Allium ampeloprasum

Elephant Garlic is known for its enormous cloves and fantastic culinary uses. While garlic lovers will claim its “garlic kick” is on the mild side, it more than makes up for it with other gourmet notes of shallot and leek. The scapes are also a choice edible and grow straight for easy kitchen prep! In late spring, before scapes and bulb development, you can also harvest the whole plant and use as you would a leek, leaves and all. We often plant out a whole section just for this use. Or wait until mid to late summer for the extra large cloves to form. Elephant Garlic also makes some of the best Black Garlic I've ever had!

Elephant Garlic keeps as long as or longer than the best garlic, 10-12 months is common. Once cured, store as you would other garlic: dry, out of direct sun, constant temperature.

Most of the bulbs grow to extra large sizes compared to regular garlic, and some of the largest cloves can produce 1 pound bulbs at 6 inches across! About 10-15% of our cloves turn into these true 'elephants', save your biggest cloves if you want to grow these monster bulbs.

Elephant Garlic plants produce bulbils (like mini cloves) all around the roots and throughout the clove wrappers. These may be planted like normal, but expect slower germination and an extra year or two to get up to full size bulbs.

The flowers open on the top of the scapes, they are beautiful and well loved by the bees, insects and hummingbirds, we usually leave a few for them. But removing them will produce larger bulbs. The flowers will not produce true seeds.

At least 12 inch spacing, in well draining fertile soil. 2-3 inches deep. In a well mulched and weeded bed. Full sun. We plant end of October and harvest in August here on Saltspring Island. We often plant a separate section for use as spring leeks as mentioned above, tighter spacing and harvested usually in April or May.

After harvest, Elephant Garlic must be cured for 4-6 weeks before eating. This step is essential for proper flavour development. Simply store out of direct sunlight someplace with good air circulation at room temperature. (The scapes and spring leek uses do not need curing and can be eaten right away.)

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