The Practical Farmers of Iowa are holding their second annual garlic tasting event tonight. Rick Hartmann runs the "Small Potatoes Farm" in Minburn which is hosting the garlic tasting along with a farm tour and dinner. Hartman says they try to grow a variety of different crops and have tried to expand the amount of garlic they grow, as he says there’s a lot of garlic that we normally don’t get in Iowa and the rest of the country.
Hartman tries to find as many different varieties of garlic that he can. He says he looks for good storing, good tasting large bulbs of garlic, mainly from eastern Europe. Hartman says it’s sometimes hard to find out where the garlic comes from. Hartman says the garlic used in Iowa used to be grown mostly in California, but that’s changed.
Hartman says now most of the garlic in the U.S. is grown in China, and very little is grown in Iowa. Is there really a lot of difference in the taste of different varieties of garlic? Hartman says that’s a similar question you can ask someone who eats a tomato or drinks a glass of win. He says for some people there’s not much distinction, but for others who get into the food they eat, there is a difference.
Participants will tour Hartman’s farm, and then will move to the Highland Elk Coffee Shop and Bistro in Perry to taste the varieties of heirloom garlic. The event is a fundraiser for Practical Farmers of Iowa.