Arranhill Garlic Farm
About the Farmer
Al Cowan was raised on a small farm in the County of Donegal in Northern Ireland. He began growing garlic in Bruce County in 1995. He has always been fascinated by the makeup of the soil and how it supports so much life. He enjoys selling at festivals, meeting happy customers and teaching people about garlic and agriculture. When not farming, Al enjoys travelling with his wife and volunteering for agricultural and community organizations like the Garlic Growers Assoc., the Agricultural Society and the Culinary Society.
About the Farm
Two acres of garlic and a quarter acre of shallots are cultivated on the farm. Eighty percent of Al’s crop is sold as planting stock, for which he receives orders by mail from all over the country. Both shallots and garlic are sold at the farm gate (open 7 days a week) and at the Perth and Stratford garlic festivals.
Here in the Bruce Peninsula, the heavy loam soils and mild winters with lots of snow cover make it ideal for growing garlic. Garlic is planted in the fall and can grow under the snow all winter. The soil and weather give the garlic a unique flavour, especially Italian strains with large bulbs with 4 to 6 large cloves like Porcelin.