Owned and operated by passionate organic farmers Will and Vanessa Cotterill since 2007, the Gourmet Garlic Company is based at Boomerang Creek Farm, a certified organic small holding nestled in the Byron Hinterland.
Since establishing the farm, Will and Vanessa have been living and breathing all things garlic. Motivated by the fascinating history of garlic, its wide range of uses and its drastic shortage within Australia they have fast become one of the Northern Rivers leading producers of certified organic garlic and garlic products. Their commitment to ethical farming and high quality produce has been the driving force behind their success, and today the Gourmet Garlic Company is producing some of the best and safest food ingredients in Australia.Read more...
Gourmet Garlic News
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Why do Australians have to put up with imported garlic? Why is it so hard to find Australian garlic?
We get asked these questions so many times and here's a very brief explanation.
Chinese garlic flooded the Australian market some ten years or more ago and literally wiped out nearly all Australian growers. The super white, nicely packaged and dead cheap Chinese garlic made all the food retailers jump with joy.
Luckily over time, Australians have become better educated about food and have started turn there back on cheap imported garlic. They don't want garlic that's been grown in banned chemicals, bleached and sprayed with growth retardants. They want quality locally grown Australian garlic.
Our Byron Bay Purple has been on the market and selling well since September but now comes the time we are really looking forward to – the main harvest! We have just completed the task of hand pulling about 60,000 garlic bulbs and hanging them to dry. When they are dry we will be braiding them or ‘top and tailing’ so they are ready for sale. It’s the busiest and most exciting time on the farm.
To celebrate the harvest, this year we have a great pre-order offer on our Byron Bay White. This is our strongest hot spicy garlic that is perfect for bringing out a garlic flavour in any of your favourite meals. It has nice big juicy cloves that easily peeled and stores well right through until early winter.
Order now to get 1KG of our Byron Bay White garlic for only $30 and when it’s dried down (late November) we’ll ship it to you for free. Thats a saving of $7.50 per kilo! Order Now
We are happy to announce that our very popular Garlic Purees are back in stock. We have had so much demand at our local markets that until recently we were unable to produce enough to sell online. These purees are 100% biodynamically grown garlic, with a little lemon and salt added. Unlike other garlic purees they taste like real garlic. We produce a Raw Garlic Puree and a Roast Garlic Puree. Get them here while they are still available: http://gourmetgarliccompany.com.au/garlic-store/category/20-garlic-purees
This years great growing conditions has allowed us to get a record early harvest in with our Byron Bay Purple garlic. This beautiful little purple bulb is our most garlicky of garlic’s and is packed full of flavour. It’s a fantastic cooking garlic but we love using to make marinades, salad dressing, oil and vinegar infusions. The Byron Bay Purple also has to highest concentrations of the sulphur compounds that make garlic such a healthy herb so use this variety to help keep you healthy.
When we first started farming we always believed that food should be grown naturally, without the use of toxic chemicals, and in harmony with the natural surrounding environment. That is why we have decided to farm according to the Biodynamic principles of Rudolf Steiner.
Here’s a good description of what Biodynamic Farmers in Australia strive to achieve:‘Biodynamic farming involves managing a farm utilizing the principles of a living organism. A concise model of a living organism ideal would be a wilderness forest. In such a system there is a high degree of self-sufficiency in all realms of biological survival. Fertility and feed arise out of the recycling of the organic material the system generates. Avoidance of pest species is based on biological vigour and its intrinsic biological and genetic diversity. Water is efficiently cycled through the system.
It’s a question not often asked but where does your Garlic come from? And no, the correct answer is not ‘the supermarket’. You may be surprised to hear, much of the garlic available through Australian supermarkets is not Australian but sourced overseas.
Why does it matter?
Agricultural processes are not the same worldwide, in China for example (the main source of imported Garlic to Australia) they still use substances banned in Australia to grow Garlic and worse according to Henry Bell from the Australian Garlic Industry. There are even reports of some chinese farms even using raw human sewage to fertilise their crops.
Two years ago, when my wife and I decided we where going to sell up in Sydney and move north to start an organic garlic farm, we had no idea what we where getting ourselves into. Although I did grow up on an organic farm, I had spent the last fifteen years living in a city and had almost forgotten what farm life was all about. Almost forgotten but not quite; I still have vivid memories of spending my holidays mucking out cow sheds, chasing sheep all over the countryside and getting up at all hours of the night to do the calving and lambing rounds.
Never the less, in amongst those memories where the more enjoyable ones, like messing around in the fields, bottle feeding lambs and calves, the farm kitchen, the fresh air and the space. It was these memories that motivated me to move my young family to the country.
When I was young one of our neighbours was a man called John Seymour. John wrote a number of great books about living off the land. I remember being given a copy of his “Complete Book of Self Sufficiency” one year. The book contains a great example of a five acre self sufficient small holding and some sound guidance on selecting, clearing and working the land. With the urge to move and my book, nothing was going to stop me now!
We have fresh, local garlic back at the Bangalow farmers market! Vanessa and Will Cotterill are tree-changers from Sydney who sold their Health Club and decided to go farming. As Will’s parents are organic farmers they knew what they wanted and searched for land in this area. They found a block at Corndale, researched the soil type and growing conditions and decided garlic was the right crop. This land had no chemicals used on it previously so they are now in the process of obtaining organic certification. We’ve all read the stories of the bleaching and methyl bromide treatment of imported garlic so it’s great to have local garlic available, grown without chemicals. Both Vanessa and Will are passionate about selling locally and now sell at the Byron, Bangalow and New Brighton Farmers markets and also at the new Mullumbimby markets. Local shops are also buying.
As a new enterprise they are starting with just two varieties: Californian Red garlic, which has smaller bulbs and a stronger flavour, and the Russian garlic, with larger bulbs and a milder flavour. They are also trialling several other varieties.
Not content with just the fresh product, they also have: pickled garlic cloves, garlic-infused olive oil (made with local organic oil) and a garlic puree, and are planning aioli and vinegars. Accessories such as a garlic cellar, made by a local pottery, and a garlic chopping board, also made locally, are also available. Check it all out next Saturday at the farmers market in Bangalow.