Increased profits for sustainably produced garlic

2005 Annual Report for LNE05-231

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2005: $65,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Dr. Gayle Volk
Gayle Volk

Increased profits for sustainably produced garlic


Garlic is a profitable crop for small to medium-sized vegetable farmers in the NE. Despite the increasing market for specialty garlics it is remarkable how little is known about the diverse types of garlic available in the U.S. Farmers need to know which garlic types perform well under their growing conditions, and they need reliable descriptors to publicize these types to their customers. In this proposal, NE vegetable farmers will use sustainable practices to perform the first multi-year garlic variety trial. We will determine how 10 garlic types respond to cultural practices across 5 farms in the NE and then recommend types that excel. This is a project that garlic farmers value nationwide. In fact, we have six volunteer garlic growers from other regions in the US who will participate in this project with their expenses defrayed by the Garlic Seed Foundation.

Objectives/Performance Targets

Performance target: We will increase the yield, quality and uniformity of garlic produced by small scale farms. In the NE, the number of garlic growers will increase by 10% (60 growers) and profits will increase by 25% for 300 of the current garlic producers. In addition, nationally 100 growers will begin garlic production and 2500 current growers will have increased yields by growing garlics best suited to their regional environments.

This project has one research and three outreach objectives:

Objective 1) Correlate the yield and qualities of 10 distinct garlic cultivars with growth environment, inputs, quality, and chemical composition data.

Objective 2) Increase public awareness of garlic diversity.

Objective 3) Develop name recognition and appreciation for selected varietal garlics.

Objective 4) Attract new growers to this profitable niche commodity.


In October, 2005, ten diverse garlic varieties were distributed to 11 garlic growers throughout the US.

Growers returned surveys on the quality of garlic received and answered 78 specific questions about their production methods.

Soil tests were performed for all locations.

Project website design is underway. All 12 participants (including PI) provided pictures and information for the website. Website domain name:

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Funding for this project started on Oct. 1, 2005. Initial data has been gathered, but is not ready for publication at this time.

Key Project Leader, David Stern, presented a talk entitled “Growing Great Garlic” on Sept. 24, 2005 at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in Saugerties, NY. More than 500 people attended his presentation that included information about our NE-SARE project.


David Stern
Project Leader
Garlic Seed Foundation
Rose Valley Farm
Rose, NY 14542
Office Phone: 3155879787