Christopher Ranch’s California Garlic Blog

It’s no mystery that fresh garlic is one of the most popular, versatile ingredients ever. What remains relatively unknown, however, are the distinct flavor, quality and health differences associated with varying garlic varieties. Christopher Ranch, a family farm in Gilroy, Calif., grows a California heirloom garlic that is a leader in each category. All Garlic Is Not Created Equal. We’ll show you why.

GARLITOPIA IS GILROY, GARLIC AND FESTIVAL

Just a couple of weeks ago I was whining about how cold it was. Well, it’s been in the 90’s for a few days and, already, I’ve had enough. I feel for the parts of the U.S. that are undergoing non-stop sweat.  The heat is not my friend (I melt…), but in our neck of the woods right now, it does bring some good things…

•After harvest, our fresh California garlic bulbs love to hang out in their sunny wind-rows (see photo) for about 12 days to get nice and dry and ready for market

•Our sweet corn is getting sweeter by the minute and the ears I had yesterday were crunchy wonderful.

 •Our beautiful bell peppers are in the process of being picked and packed (the pickling up to you!)

So, I’m inclined to welcome the sunshine and the heat because it brings us all good things to eat! Ooof, I did just say that, ya’ll, but it’s so true and tasty. 

One more thing the heat brings… The Gilroy Garlic Festival.  But GGF weather is capricious… misty cool in the mornings and blazing hot in the afternoon – all the better to eat, drink, dance and revel in garlicville! So I’ll enjoy the cool time and drink plenty of water when the sun starts to melt my garlic ice cream.

I’ve been to every Gilroy Garlic Festival, all 32 of them (soon to be 33), and I’ve worked in the Christopher Ranch booth every year. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be absent at this time of year, leaving Gilroy and garlic and 100,000 “visitors” behind to go sit up to my neck in a cool body of water somewhere. But the lure of garlic is like the lure of chocolate. I just can’t get enough, have to have it, and the minute I step onto the festival grounds, no matter how tired or cranky or over it I am, the sight, the smell, and the excitement of it all just grabs me and propels me into the heart of garlitopia. I can’t deny that it’s also the scampi, the calamari and the garlic bread, but the beauty of 100,000 people all on the same page, thinking about garlic, eating garlic, looking at garlic and enjoying the heck out of garlic just makes me feel connected to a very robust and delicious world – if only for that fleeting last weekend in July.

Hope to see you there, July 29-31. GO GARLIC!

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