Halloween may be coming, but we won’t have any vampires in Hoboken—not judging by the garlic festival sponsored over the weekend by the Hoboken Historical Society. Two long tables were laden with exotic varieties—including Turkish red, French red, Spanish roja, German white, Calabria, Ozark, Ukrainian, and the whimsically named Music–all grown at Catalpa Ridge Farm in Wantage, NJ. There was even a garlic that isn’t a true garlic at all. Elephant garlic is a leek that grows a large bulb. Who knew? There were also garlic dips and garlic jelly, garlic vinegar and a station where you could vote for your favorite garlic variety.
Whether you prefer Ozark garlic or you’re a Calabria enthusiast, the timing of the festival was perfect. As the saying goes, you plant garlic on Columbus Day and harvest on the Fourth of July—which was exactly what I had hoped to do this year. That was before the squirrels dug up all my Spanish roja. Sigh.
At Sunday’s festival, in a triumph of hope over experience, I bought some Music and elephant garlic to plant. But this year, I’m going to try covering the planters with chicken wire to keep out the squirrels.