To be honest, I can’t relate to folks who don’t like garlic (and feel sorry for those who can’t eat it). A fundamental building block for so many of my favorite recipes, just a little garlic simmering in olive oil sends me over the edge! I have to admit, however, that most of my life has been spent in a one-dimensional garlic world. That is, until I met Ron and Rosemary Stidmon of Enon Valley Garlic, our featured farm on this episode.
They are relatively new farmers growing amazing gourmet organic garlic on their farm in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Theirs, like all farmers I meet, is a unique story. Rosemary, a native of Pittsburgh left after college and has lived all over the world with her husband, Ron; most recently living in Manhattan. When terrorists attacked on 9/11, their world changed and so did their perspective on life.
Leaving their globe-trotting lives, they returned to Pennsylvania and settled on a former organic herb farm outside of Pittsburgh, near the Ohio border. After testing the idea of growing garlic a few years ago, they now have one of the best farms in our region for organic garlic, growing more than 20 varieties for eating and cultivating.
Their freshly harvested varieties, from the extremely mild Elephant to the fiery Korean Red, will awaken your palate to the joys of fresh, locally grown garlic. Pick up a few varieties to enjoy in the kitchen, but save a few cloves to plant this fall for your own crop of garlic goodness next summer!
Try Enon Valley’s garlic in our Chilled White Gazpacho recipe, or roast up a bunch of cloves and pop in the freezer for a handy stash of roasted garlic to toss in smashed potatoes, slather on toasted Italian bread, spread on a pizza, or whip into a vinaigrette.
Find Ron and Rosemary’s garlic (along with heirloom tomatoes and several varieties of basil) Saturdays at the St. James Farmers’ Market in Sewickley, PA and the Ellwood City Farmers’ Market. They will also be at the Phipps Tomato & Garlic Festival, Sunday, August 29.
To make the most of the garlic, tomatoes and basil grown by Ron and Rosemary, check out Doug Oster’s book Tomatoes Garlic Basil. Bon Appetit!