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  • ‘Wight’ garlic

    I’m finding it difficult to find information about the widespread use of the term ‘wight’ for garlic varieties. I’m wondering whether this is a British convention, as names used in the States seem quite different.

    An example is that US has a variety, Red Chesnok whereas the variety available in UK is Chesnok Wight. It’s difficult to know whether this is the same variety.

    There is of course the strong association of garlic with the Isle of Wight but the term Wight seems to be applied to garlics originating from far more varied parts of the world. Any thoughts about the meaning of the term or how it comes to be used so widely in UK.?

  • #2
    I think it's where it's grown isle of wight. They use the wight as their trademark or something like that.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks clumsy. That would imply that a large proportion pot the garlic available in UK has been collected and renamed by the Isle of Wight Garlic Farm. I know that varieties like Solent Wight have definitely been selected by them and all the varieties they offer on their website have wight in their name. But there are lots they don't offer which also have wight in the name.

      If they have in fact put their trademark name on all these UK varieties over the last two or three decades, they've had an enormous impact on the marketing of garlic in this country. Good that they have made a range of varieties more available but, if it's as we think, a pity that where there was a name originally they didn't preserve it as it was, eg, Red Chesnok.

      Comment


      • clumsy
        clumsy commented
        Editing a comment
        Loads of different varieties available around the world but in the uk not that many. I've seen some on a dutch website years ago they had a big list of garlic but never got around to actually put a order in. I was interested in the Japanese garlic.

    • #4
      What confounds me is that there isn't a single solitary instance of 'Wight' in the EU Plant Variety Database. Plant naming convention is completely different for garlic? Cannot be, surely...

      Comment


      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        Are garlics actually on the plant database or are they exempted. I don't understand what is going on with all these varieties. I know that Thermidrome was available long before I had ever heard of the IoW garlic farm. Other companies seem to introduce new garlic with its name intact. And those introductions by other companies garlic farm don't seem to 'appropriate' but leave their name as it is even if they stock them. Rose de Lautrec has a protected geographical indication and can only be sold under that name from that region of France, so there we have a situation like Jersey Royal potatoes, that must be sold as seed potatoes under the name of International Kidney, not Jersey Royal. .
        Last edited by Galina; 25-10-2020, 04:06.

      • Jang
        Jang commented
        Editing a comment
        I don’t understand either!

        Apparently Thermidrôme was a selection made by INRA from Ail de Drôme, I think probably in the 60s or 70s.
        “Healthy Thermidrome was obtained by selection of healthy plants from the extremely virus-susceptible Blanc de la Drome” (https://www.cabi.org/ISC/abstract/19820304348)

        I don’t know what IofW Garlic Farm has done in the past but at the moment they offer 14 varieties, all of which have Wight in the name.

      • triffid
        triffid commented
        Editing a comment
        As far as I'm aware you can't just slap your name on a variety because it's in your catalogue. But what one can and can't do is based upon scruples and the willingness of others to enforce rules.

        Definitely taking a page out of Victorian naming convention!

    • #5
      Yes, that seems to be exactly what’s been happening. I’ve been puzzling about it for some time so good to have a clearer picture.

      I’m not sure how reputable it is either. Interestingly the Garlic Farm setup on the Isle of Wight seems to be rather ruthlessly commercial having previously been a money-making sweetcorn farm whose owner’s growing methods have certainly not been reputable in the past.

      https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/...al-pesticides/

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2097718.stm

      I'm beginning to think I would prefer to try to find original varieties and hope to gradually adjust them to the local climate myself. Has anyone experience of doing this?

      Comment


      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        One of my garlic varieties is indeed a French pink variety I snaffled from my mother's larder many years ago. Another came from Tesco and I call them 'supermarket delight'. Other garlics come from swaps and from a long defunct commercial vendor. The ones that were intended for eating seem to do just as well as commercial ones. And all of them did not so well initially, but later much better. So they do adjust but still have better and not so brilliant years. I like softnecks better, they are larger and store so much longer. One day I hope we can buy real garlic seeds, that will be interesting. And those should adjust much better.

      • Jang
        Jang commented
        Editing a comment
        On true garlic seed, the Garlic Farm has spotted an opportunity apparently. See post below.

    • #6
      Interesting reads Jang, thanks for the info. I remember being quite taken aback by their claim of 'rediscovering' the black garlic-making process. I know a few market gardeners who claim that their garlic yields increase after a couple of seasons' growth and selection in their locale, so worth a try. I bought a dozen different bulbs from this Dutch heritage garden https://winkel.detuinenvanweldadigheid.nl/collections might be the same company that clumsy referred to earlier. I've read that 'Red Toch/Red Touch' is a good one - but I've only dealt with hardnecks for this season.

      Comment


      • Jang
        Jang commented
        Editing a comment
        What an amazing range they offer. It very much bears out clumsy's statement that the range in UK is not a patch on what's available elsewhere - and of course what is available is dominated by the Wight influence.

        How long did your order take to come through? Tempting, even though they're out of stock of many varieties. But it will be getting rather late for autumn planting by the time they arrive, I imagine.

        I'd be interested to know which varieties you went for and subsequently how you get on with them as the season progresses. I would have expected that in the milder south you would be tending towards softnecks. Have you found that both do well for you?

        Also interesting that Red Touch and Chesnok Red, which I've been drawn to, both come from Georgia.

      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        An amazing collection. Surprised at their planting advice. I have never peeled and not planted the cloves that deep either. Ten cm seems quite deep, but I am sure it works just as well as planting leeks deep.

    • #7
      Yes, agree surprising. I’ve never done either peeling or anywhere near such deep planting.

      Comment


      • #8
        The Isle of Wight Garlic Farm has apparently offered Allium tuncelianum for the production of seed from this Turkish species. As elsewhere, there’s a lack of rigour in their superficially plausible offerings, referring for example to this ancient species as a NEW variety.

        There’s no reference to the availability of A tuncelianum elsewhere on their site. This seems to have been a feature of their stand at Hampton Court Flower Show.
        A tuncelianum is available elsewhere in England.

        Click image for larger version  Name:	201612B7-B096-4F64-8E61-75C1817DD0F6.jpeg Views:	2 Size:	353.2 KB ID:	13356
        Last edited by Jang; 25-10-2020, 13:37.

        Comment


        • #9
          This thread is very interesting. Okay the peeling of the skin is not necessary but the reason for them to say peel and plant is that the skin can carry white rot or other bacteria so you probably introduce disease into the soil, it can happen even with certified seed stock. Most farmers would put garlic bulbs in vodka I can't remember the exact minutes to sterilize them just before planting them. But if you plant with the skin, the skin dissolves when in soil to provide nutrient to itself . Sorry for being very nerdy over the years collected and used the information to experiment out of curiosity more than anything else.

          If you save your own bulbs from this years harvest and replant, over the years the size and quality improve also depends on the nutrients in the soil. The depth depends on the soil type sandy you can deep plant but on clay soil best to not be deep because it can strict the expansion of the garlic in the soil.

          Not a fan of isle of wight garlic only brought it once direct from them, when I opened the packaging some where already rotting. I've grown garlic from supermarket or street markets they do grow without problems.

          Comment


          • triffid
            triffid commented
            Editing a comment
            clumsy, being a garlic nerd is the epitome of cool.
            I've also seen mention of growers using bleach solution followed by a soak in liquid seaweed to 'pre-germinate'. Judging by photos it certainly gets the roots growing vigourously.

          • clumsy
            clumsy commented
            Editing a comment
            I found it easier to prep the soil in September after harvesting the potato's then in october the date was always the 10th to plant the bulbs direct always had a good crop.

          • Galina
            Galina commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for all this information Clumsy. Yes clay soil was the case for me and the idea of planting so deep and then risking rotting because on occasion the garden could get waterlogged was my thinking. Occasionally I had to replant cloves that had pushed themselves up before they were properly rooted but that did not happen often. Glad you have also found that eating garlic can be grown, if you are a bit choosey what quality cloves are planted. I take on board that soil nutrients account for differences in size and I also think watering plays a big part. With garlic needing a long crop rotation, it does get planted in good spots and less good spots on the plot.

        • #10
          Jang, my order was dispatched on Monday and arrived on Saturday. I ordered hardnecks because I'll be attempting to coax true garlic seed.
          Chesnok Red, Siberian, Northe #3, Guatemalan Ikeda, Suzan Delafield, German Stiffneck, Krasnodar Red, Krasnodar White, Bai Pi Suan, Floha, Shatilli, Estonia Red

          https://www.garlicana.com/resources-...-seed-article/
          50 page forum thread on the subject

          Galina, garlic is on the variety database. Hence my total confusion. I've grown the INRA-bred Messidrome and another softneck named Marco, which was given to me in a commercial packet by a neighbour. But 'Marco' is neither a current or deleted variety on the database...

          Comment


          • clumsy
            clumsy commented
            Editing a comment
            Trying to get true garlic seed from the crop. Taking the bulbils out to flower and produce the black garlic seeds.

            I used to use the bulbibs to plant and use as small fresh crop for garlic bread plus my mum would use them as tablets.

          • Galina
            Galina commented
            Editing a comment
            It gets stranger and stranger triffid. Do we conclude a bit of sharp practice on the island? Going to read the article now, Very best of luck for true garlic seed!

          • Jang
            Jang commented
            Editing a comment
            My feeling is that it's at best relentlessly commercially driven. The contrast with Garlicana Farm in the States, as I mention below, is stark.

            But the nomenclature of garlic varieties seems to be fairly chaotic generally. I can't see many signs that any kind of protocol is followed by most.

        • #11
          How very interesting, triffid. I had followed the forum thread but the Brucker/Meredith essay is extremely clear and helpful, and the whole enterprise at Garlicana Farm is inspiring (and somewhat different from IofW Garlic Farm!)

          I do hope you have some success with your tgs efforts and much enjoyment too. Your list of varieties promises much interest. Later progress reports will be appreciated. A painstaking and long term project by all accounts.

          On the variety database ... it’s difficult to gauge what its role and status are. Apart from Chesnok Red, a quick check would suggest that none of the varieties you’ve obtained from the Dutch setup appear on it either.

          Comment


          • Galina
            Galina commented
            Editing a comment
            Well there is 'in principle', which would make sending seed very very difficult after Brexit. You would need all sorts of phytosanitary certificates etc. On the other hand would the UK have all of this in place? Given all their other Brexit shambles. But what if France and other EU countries do have all this in place and are 'super conscientious' about it. It could go any which way. I aim to make sure that my circle seeds are on the right side of the line, how the return works I do not know yet. For purchases from the EU it is a good idea to do it now. We know from getting seeds from USA that they can be impounded by customs. How will it work with seeds from Ireland? Might be easier, but who knows. It makes me so angry, but you are doing the safe thing to get any project seeds now. RealSeeds published their fears in this regard a while ago.
            Last edited by Galina; 27-10-2020, 18:45.

          • Jang
            Jang commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for this full reflection on the situation and likely possibilities.
            Strange things happen even now. Some seeds I posted to the Netherlands late last year failed to arrive and have disappeared apparently. A UK company has twice posted garlic bulbs to me and twice they‘ve failed to arrive. They resorted to registered post in the end.
            If the service now is so flawed then the prospects for next year are bleak indeed.

          • Jang
            Jang commented
            Editing a comment
            And if timing of the seed circle return can help in any way, do say.

        • #12
          "If one member state has a variety registered, does that mean it automatically goes on the EU database list?"
          Yes.
          "And De Tuinen van Weldadigheid is an example of a company skipping the step which would legally circumvent the rules?"
          I'm not entirely sure, as there are now different standards regarding 'conservation varieties' and I'm not well acquainted with the nuance.

          Kokopelli really has been leading the good fight on this front

          Kokopelli v Graines Baumaux

          I'd love to have a Dutch intermediary (and a Swiss, American, Swedish...) But no! You can email them your order [email protected]

          Comment


          • Jang
            Jang commented
            Editing a comment
            Da Tuinen van Weldadigheid have kindly agreed to send me garlic after all. Rather late I know and goodness knows when it will arrive - but following Galina’s advice about going for things now as far as EU countries are concerned. So thanks for the link. An interesting organisation.

            Looking much further into non-Wight garlic has also been a very interesting exploration.

          • triffid
            triffid commented
            Editing a comment
            That's great news, Jang. Which varieties did you choose?
            Cheers to breaking free of the Wight monopoly!

          • Jang
            Jang commented
            Editing a comment
            Fingers crossed that it works. Some hitch over payment....
            The varieties I ordered are:
            Floha, Siberian, Bai Pi Suan, Red Grain, Shatillii, Choparsky, Killarney Red, Chesnok Red
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