26 Jun 2015

Torere Garlic

From Country Life, 9:19 pm on 26 June 2015

(Above) Garlic drying from the roof of the packing shed. (Below) Claire Belcik with her garlic and limes and two Swedish Woofers who’re helping prepare garlic for sale.

IMGClaire Belcik grows some of the best garlic you could hope to  see on her Torere Bay property in Eastern Bay of Plenty. She also grows beautiful limes and many other crops.

The garlic and limes go to wholesale outlets, health food shops and a Remuera supermarket, but any surplus produce ends up o her summertime roadside stall in Opotiki.

Great care is taken preparing the garlic beds two years ahead of being needed.  She plants the variety "Takahui"  by the phase of the moon rather than planting on the shortest day and harvesting on the longest as many people do.  

"I harvest on a new moon and plant on a descending one. It helps the bulbs. This year I'll plant in early July."

IMGBeautiful bunches hang from the ceiling of the packing shed between January and about May when she starts selling the crop.  

Woofers, willing workers on organic farms, help get the product ready for sale. "We don't rely heavily on them, but it's nice, we live in the country, love international people and their company and it's nice to have a little bit of help. But most of the time it's Mike, me and the family."