Philip Faranda, owner and operator of Faranda's Farm in Hollsopple, has been growing garlic for over a decade. Every year, he hosts a garlic festival at the farm. “Everyone has a stinking good time,” he says.
The festival, which, this year, is scheduled to take place Aug. 15 to 17, includes workshops on how to grow garlic, how to store it and how to use it.
“Being Italian, we were raised eating garlic all the time,” he says. “It is just amazing what garlic does for you and your body.”
Although Faranda is no medical expert, he notes that studies have shown garlic to be good for the heart and, he believes, for immunity. “I read that, during the Black Plague in France, they were literally dying in the streets and they got three prisoners that were sentenced to death to pick up the bodies. They made some sort of concoction using wine and garlic and drank that and they lived.”
Faranda says garlic is very easy to grow. “In October you go out and put it in the ground a couple of inches deep and in the spring it comes up,” he says. “It is dormant all winter, but, as soon as spring breaks, it is out of the ground.”
Garlic can be planted in the spring as well, but, Faranda says, it is not as strong.
For spring planting he recommends getting seed garlic from a farmer's market. “Each clove is a new plant,” he says.
Although using garlic from grocery stores will work “in a pinch,” he says, “most of the garlic you get from the stores is from China.”