TRUE GARLIC SEED PROGENY It can take two seasons to go from True Garlic Seed (TGS) to bulb and then several years to propagate a bulb’s worth of cloves into a planting large enough to list here. Thus, these offerings have been asexually propagated for several seasons since they germinated from true seed. Since this process began, dozens of new clones with interesting traits have been produced. These are trialed over a few seasons, selected for vigor, unique characteristics, stability and several other traits. The best are propagated and made available as enough stock is grown out. As humans have migrated over millennia, bringing garlic with them, each variety has history, has a story corresponding with those who planted and replanted it. In breeding new garlics i am want to honor origins yet make new stories, represent old ones or find awe in what is beyond the literal terrestrial life of the farm. So please indulge this garlic breeder some fey descriptions and if you come up with new garlic varieties from your TGS endeavors, i am eager to hear the stories you create for them. True Garlic Seed Progeny is $10 per ¼ lb; $16 per ½ lb; $25 per lb.
Note: As the harvest is completed, the stock assessed, names coined, more varieties will be added to this page. So check back in to see what’s new. Also, photos to accopmany descriptions will be taken in summer as the garlic is being cleaned.
Ainyaxaynia (S11 Azataza/S15-13) Vibrant purple wrappers tightly enclose 6-9 cloves on medium sized bulbs. Tall plants have dark green leaves and are one of the last to mature. A sharp raw heat that doesn’t linger yet tenaciously retains flavor after light sauteing characterizes this fantastic garlic with mysterious origins. Not far from the headwaters of a great terrestrial river is a majestic waterfall of immeasurable height at the base of which is a deep pool below which lies a fathomless tunnel into which an unknown measure of that crystalline water is funneled off somewhere close, yet far away into the diminutive world of Ainyaxaynia. Far from the bucolic mainlands, across the Lilia-Sea lies the Ilse of McGuffin on which time is slow. In Spring shoots thrust from thawing soils and over eons develop into monumental plants commensurate with our most immense skyscrapers. Diamond swirls of rain burst from slivers of sky over millennia spanning seasons, onto verdant alliaceous forests, fertilizing these pungent colossi. As rains recede so begins the Season of Senescence in which the sulforest transforms into arid plains and rolling hills spiked with browning towers with withering yet rigid leaves. Explorers from distant lands cross the turbid ocean to harvest boulder sized bulbils which drop from the sky, cratering on impact. Every few eons, a rain of seeds will fall but a few will be carried aloft, abound and afar on autumnal winds. Once, a single seed slipped into a slender sliver of sky and back into our world, settling onto a scrap of soil somewhere in the foothills of the South Cascade Mountains. From this seed of Ainyaxaynia grows a plant with fern green leaves which spike from stout stalks as if striving for heights beyond reach. One of the last to mature the resultant bulbs are radiant in color and potency though not so gargantuan as they would be in their otherworldly place of origin.
Anarres ❧ (S13 Kish1) Named for the fictional planet in Ursula LeGuin’s The Dispossessed, this garlic is vigorous enough to survive in difficult conditions with less than fertile soil. Of the first generation progeny of Kishlyk, this one has the darkest green, most upright, fibrous leaves. Large bulbs with 8-12 cloves, more symmetrically configured than its parent, it has complex flavor and a good bite without being searingly spicy or bitter.
Athshe (S13 Kish1 S19) Out of hundreds of seeds derived from Anarres, less than 50 seedlings were transplanted. Over several seasons, the resulting germplasm was pared down to 4 and now just to one selection: Athshe. Like its parent it is a vigorous grower with tall plants but it’s leaves are more broad and the bulbs have a fewer but larger cloves. Thus far, it matures a few days earlier too. It is named for another of Ursula LeGuin’s book (as i expect its own derivatives will be): The Word for World is Forest which takes place a wooded planet whose plucky inhabitants tackle ecological destruction in a rather direct fashion. Would that this garlic be so bold as to flavor such ardor. Athshe, the garlic not the fictitious planet), was a heavy yielder of TGS in 2021, inevitably leading to generations to come with descriptions written in Hainish.
Arsia: ❧ (see description on the Porcelain page)
Ascora: (S10 K1 S13/14 C): This 2nd gen progeny of Krasnodar White has slender leaves and is one of the tallest plants in the field. It matures mid season and produces tight bulbs with white wrappers which enclose 5-6 elongated red skinned cloves. Like its progenitors, it is quite spicy and it stores well into March. It yielded a fair bit of TGS and some of its progeny is in trial for further selection.
Bei Ilai: From the mythical forest in Jewish mythology where creatures like Keresh, a giant one horned stag and Tigris a gargantuan lion roam, grows this well proportioned protrusion. Not too mild nor too spicy but full of flavor this late maturing garlic is splendid raw whether in pestos, salad dressings or bruschetta. Eight to ten juicy cloves are sheathed by purple blushed wrappers on large bulbs which store six months. Plants are tall with fibrous malachite green leaves, the plump umbels are packed with loosely attached bulbils that practically fall out. A profusion of flowers follow and seed yield is high. This is the tenth amongst many 1st gen progeny from W6 27977A.
Ozodlik (S13/14 Kish1): ❧ Of several progeny of Kishlyk, the plants of this variety most resemble the parent. It has lighter green leaves that splay out towards maturity which along with the Artichoke type, surprisingly early. It features 7-12 squat light reddish purple cloves enclosed by white wrappers with faint purple streaking. The plants are more vigorous than Kishlyk and it has high yields but does not store as well due to both shorter dormancy and easy peeling cloves. It has bright favor, medium heat with a late, sharp bite that lingers. “Ozodlik” means liberty in Uzbek and this garlic is dedicated to the defenders of human rights in one of the world’s most repressive states. Members of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan, among others, have been subject to assaults, detention and worse. The work of brave and indefatigable activists like Elena Urlaeva who persevere, decrying modern slavery, corruption and mass murder in the face of dictatorship deserves attention and respect. Ozodlyk produced an abundance of TGS in 2017 and several of its most promising progeny are in trial. 3 lb. limit
Pavonis: ❧ Of the four 1st generation progeny of Krasnodar White, this was the least vigorous but actually the most exciting. It clearly expresses outcrossing, possibly with a Marbled strain. The cloves are more squat than Porcelains and have a darker red hue. The plants are shorter with a lateral leaf architecture. Unlike Porcelains, the flavor is less sulfurous and more complex than Porcelains but still packs a raw kick. It is named for the Pavonis Mons, the smallest of the three Mars volcanoes comprising the Tharsis Montes, its peak towering at nearly 46,000 feet above the Martian surface.
Taklalkat (S11 Azataza S15 #7) Rich garlicky flavor with moderate heat and a late sharp bite characterize this strain. It has 8-12 elongated cloves, tightly packed in a bulb with vibrant pink purple wrappers. Tall plants with vertical leaves, it matures late and appears Purple Stripe in growth habit and clove configuration. It keeps 6-7 months.
Yuggoth (S13/14 Kish B-67) From beyond the solar system, somewhere between the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud is the strange, enigmatic trans-Neptunian object Yuggoth where this tumid protuberance was found thriving in miasmal soil between an enormous pit of unfathomable depth and a megalithic, trapezohedronic, cyclopean tower. It teems with convoluted, sweet yet acidulous flavor that enlivens even the Old Ones and may have been brought here by Nyarlathotep. When crushed it exudes a mordant ichor said to be Cxaxukluth’s favorite seasoning rub for roasting meat, though in Mi-Go cuisine it is heaped raw upon noodles. Slow to emerge, it’s glaucous, tentacular leaves stretch epigeally across lugubrious earth and almost reluctantly slither toward the tenebrous light of spring. A spawn of Kishlyk, its imperishable, globular bulbs bulge with clenched, gleaming, violet, squamous cloves.
Dr. Ivan Buddenhagen was renowned as one of the worlds foremost experts on bananas but in the late 90s took up experimenting with growing garlic to true seed. This hobby resulted in a number of new clones. Ivan and his wife Evelyn retired to a farm in Grants Pass, Oregon where he worked with germplasm from the national collection and developed numerous TGS derived varieties. I met Ivan and Evelyn at farmers’ market in, i think, 2010, and was delighted to meet a fellow garlic nerd. I was quite surprised to learn that there was anyone else outside of institutions experimenting with true garlic seed and was much further along in the process. I had started five years prior and had been fumbling through the learning curve until collaborating with Ted Meredith. Ivan gifted me with an unmarked bag of umbels; no idea how many generations the seeds in this were much less their parentage. I passed that on to Ted Meredith along with the comparatively paltry sum of TGS collected that year from my own meager efforts. The resulting material expressed a really stunning amount diversity, opening us to the potential of unlocking the fertility in garlic. While most of the resulting germplasm wasn’t worth continuing to propagate, it was so impressive after having grown out hundreds of accessions of garlic to see unique morphological traits. While at present, i only offer one decedent from only one of the parent lines, i maintain and continually propagate a plethora of other decedents of lines derived from Ivan’s work which are invaluable in crosses with other varieties.
Ivan offered both true garlic seeds and a number of progeny he developed. While i do not have any of his originals, i’m sure they are out there circulating among garlic enthusiasts. Ivan died on July 9th 2022. He was a great inspiration and i feel honored to continue working with seed lines he developed which feature have some of the most important traits for garlic development: large umbels, practically self shedding bulbils, prolific flowers and high seed yields. Brilliant! Thanks Ivan!
Navatria (S11 Ivan1/S15 A) Ted Meredith and i retained three lines from the original seeds given to us by Ivan Buddenhagen. One of those, Navistar, was a distinctive garlic and TGS was collected resulting in a number of progeny. While most were discarded, one shone brightest around that star. It was named Navistar- Ivan’s name backwards with double emphasis on the “s”. The best selection of Navistar progeny is Navatria which features larger plants with mantis green leaves and matures fairly late. It has 6-8 tightly configured cloves on bulbs with more solid, vibrant purple coloration than its parent. It has comlpex flavor with a spicy kick and stores well, into late winter. 5 lb. limit
Yanadanay (S15 Aza #16) There were twenty-six 2nd generation progeny of the original Azataza. Among them this was the most distinctively Porcelain in both plant and bulb morphology. Tall, broad leaved plants with 4-6 large cloves enwrapped with white outer layers. It’s spicy though not as hot as any fro the Krasnodar line and yet, it has notably more flavor complexity than its supremely sulfurous counterparts. It stores well into winter though its dormancy isn’t as long as other Porcelains. It also produced a fair amount of TGS. Indeed, its offspring (S19) and its offspring’s offspring (S21) are both in trial and may eventually replace this; however, Yanadanay has been robust, out yielding other Porcelains grown here.
Zeramarez (S15 Aza #6) This variety features large bulbs with 8-10 cloves enclosed by attractive glossy wrappers with purple stripes and blushing. It matures fairly late and stores into early spring. While it has a strong kick, its heat does not linger.