Garlic production in Australia was historically conducted by Mediterranean or Asian immigrants in the early years. Large scale production has only established itself with the demand created by Australia’s rich multicultural heritage that has led to a blending of cooking styles and cultures.
Story of Garlic
Traditionally garlic is grown by separating the cloves from the main head into single pieces and planting those cloves into prepared beds approximately 75 – 100 mm apart at a depth of 15 – 30 mm.
Larger scale non organic production involves the cloves or the soil being treated with various insecticides and fungicides to protect the emerging plant. Although this protects the seedling, the chemical products can have an adverse effect on soil micro flora and may also leave residues that may be harmful to human health.
Added to this, imported products have been shown to have been treated with many chemicals and growth stimulants that are banned in Australia; using bleaching agents to enhance and whiten the appearance of the garlic and sterilize the garlic from bacteria, pathogens etc. Bleach is also used to sanitize the effluent / feces which is sometimes used to grow the product in non developed countries.
How we do it
A large section of land on the farm, approximately 120 acres of virgin country, has been set aside for use in organic production. Applications were lodged with the Biological Farmers Association (BFA) 2011 and our first successful audit conducted by AusQual April 2012. This product although meeting all of the requirements of the regulating bodies for organic production is in the process of conversion.
Traditionally our Farm has made an effort to save its own seed, this is especially true with garlic. However when garlic varieties are researched and trailed, the seed comes from certified organic seed producers. The cloves themselves are separated but no chemical treatments are applied to them or the soil. Soil fertility is maintained by using composts that have been tested for pathogens and heavy metals, sourced from suppliers that have been approved by the BFA.
BioAg are responsible for the agronomic (agricultural practice) advice and also supply all additional organic input that nurture the soil and improve its fertility and micro biology, insuring that all trace elements and micro nutrients are available for a healthy plant and to maximize the natural nutrition and health benefits of the plant.