MAKING a welcome return to the Prom Country Farmers’ Market in Foster this Saturday, February 20, after an absence of several months, is Mirboo Farm Garlic.
Mirboo Farm is situated in the hamlet of Mirboo, smack in the middle of the Strzelecki Ranges, 11km from Mirboo North. It is a 10 acre small commercial garlic producer run by Kirsten and David Jones, who are moving into their sixth year of production.
Kirsten uses organic methods to produce around 500kg of Red Italian hard-neck, Monaro Purple, and Red Italian soft-neck varieties, outstanding in flavour and juiciness, and easy to peel. New this season is Spanish Roja, a long storing variety of garlic that will keep through until September.
Mirboo Farm has spent five years experimenting with garlic varieties to find the cultivars that enjoy the local climate and soil type. Garlic likes a cold winter, and the average annual 1200ml rain, mostly over winter/spring, then a late-warming spring/early summer. The warmth and drying-off period Oct/Nov are most important for a good crop, as the bulbing process happens very late in garlic development.
In 2014, Mirboo Farm’s Monaro Purple garlic was awarded a Silver Medal at the RASV Fine Food Awards, and although Kirsten says she grows garlic for enjoyment, and the satisfaction of producing wonderful Australian food, a little kudos is nice too!
This season’s garlic will be available for eating and planting through till May.
In addition to growing garlic, managing a huge herd of six Angus steers, and some wayward chooks, Kirsten and her daughter Felicity also enjoy running a local produce business, The Meeniyan Store, focusing exclusively on bringing our
wonderful local produce straight from the farm to a store. Kirsten also manages the kitchen garden there.
Mirboo Farm garlic is available from the Prom Country Farmers Market this Saturday, February 20. You’ll find Kirsten, and more than 20 other local producers in the grounds of the FWMAC Hall in Foster’s Main Street from 8am to 12noon.