What is the difference between soft-neck and hard-neck garlic?

Hardneck garlic has a long flowering stem that grows through the center of the bulb, called a scape.  Hardnecks or variety Ophioscorodon(Ophio) garlics are closer to the original heirloom strains of garlic and are more flavorful and healthier for you.  Hardneck garlic tends to be hardier, with a richer, smoother and more garlicky flavor. Hardneck garlic bulbs do not store as long as Softneck garlics which makes them rarer and is perhaps why you may not be familiar with them.  In your garden, Hardnecks grow bigger, taller plants and the curling scapes are edible, beautiful and interesting. 

Softneck garlic known as variety Sativum has more cloves per bulb, and does not have a flowering stalk. This variety generally stores longer and because of the greater number of cloves they produce better seed yields for farmers.  Softneck garlic contains much less allicin lessoning their health benefits. Some of them are also milder for the lighter palate.


Why is hard-neck garlic healthier? 

Garlic contains allicin, a sulfur compound. Allicin has numerous health benefits, including anti-bacterial, anti-virus, anti-fungal, anti-hypertension, anti-cancer, anti-microbial, and antioxidant effects. Hardneck contains up to 3x more allicin than soft neck varieties.  We focus on varieties that contain greater amounts of these elements which make garlic a true “super-food”.  Raw garlic also contains manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, selenium, phosphorus, and calcium.

Varying garlic preparation can enhance and offer differing benefits.  Cooking, crushing, “resting”, freezing, dehydrating, pickling and fermenting garlic can each offer differing health benefits.   See our “Simonsen Says” blog for tips, information and advice.


How do I store my garlic?

Keep bulbs whole, dry and out of the sun.  Find a spot in your house with moderate airflow.  Room temperature is fine. Temperatures of 55 - 70 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal.  Do not refrigerate.  Humidity of 40 -65% works well if you can control.

We use small wire baskets in the kitchen in the shade under cabinets, etc. for our eating stock.  We have some wooden racks with shelves lined with chicken wire in the barn for larger amounts.   If weather gets very humid use a fan if you need airflow.  Check our blog for more storage tips.


What is Cloves and Fishes?

Cloves and Fishes™ is at the heart of Simonsen Farms and finds purpose in the Biblical principles in Leviticus 23:22, Mathew 14: 16-21, and Mathew 15:32-39.

Cloves and Fishes™ creates a positive impact on our community and abroad by supporting the education, feeding and ministry to those in need, in the name of Jesus.  We share a clove with a friend in an effort not to glean our field.  This is done through monetary and food contributions to individuals, food banks, local and international ministries.  The resources come from a proportion of our farm sales.

Agriculture displays evidence of God’s kindness and grace in multiplying resources for all of our needs.  It is miraculous that garlic cloves can divide from the bulb, to each become a mature plant year after year! When Jesus fed the multitudes, more than once, from only a few loaves of bread and fish, He demonstrated great care in spending time, healing, teaching the crowds and also in meeting their physical need to eat, miraculously, with compassion. 

Gourmet garlic, by its very nature, requires many hands in a community to plant, grow and harvest well. Cloves and Fishes™ acknowledges that Jesus can take a community, and multiply what we have into something far greater than the sum of its parts.  When you buy your garlic through Simonsen Farms, you are ensuring that not only do you get some of the best garlic available, but your money is going toward causes that improve community and help those in need.  Through your purchases, you can contribute and participate.

Leviticus 23:22"'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.'"
Mathew 14: 13-2113 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.  (See also John 6:1-15, Luke 9: 10-17, and Mark 6:30-34)
Mathew 15:32-39 32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.  (See also Mark 8:1-10)




What is the flavor of hard-neck garlic?

Hardneck garlic tastes vary by type, but are significantly more flavorful and sometimes spicier than soft neck garlic. We find the flavor to be fuller, richer, smoother, less sharp and sweeter.  The hotter varieties carry greater heat, yet without the unpleasant sharpness and “sulfury” tone found in less carefully grown commercial varieties. There is no comparison in the flavor of gourmet Hardneck garlic to what is typically sold in grocery stores.  Want your kitchen to smell like a gourmet restaurant?  See our sales page for more specific information on tastes.  


Can I buy garlic to plant on my own?

Sure! We offer garlic to plant. Additionally, if you have any questions about planting and growing your own, feel free to contact us. We’d love to help you grow our garlic! See our blog for tips.


Can I visit your farm?

We are located between Meadville and Erie, PA, a bit to the west, in the Saegertown. Our farm is part of our community and we would welcome visitors to see how our garlic is grown and harvested. We farm when we have time, so please email or call ahead to ensure we are available to welcome you to Juliet & Bros. Organic Garlic  We will host and publicize special days for visiting the farm and picking up garlic orders in person by special arrangements.  Keep an eye on our calendar, our blog and social media for announcements and events.


Why are vampires repelled by garlic?

We don’t believe in vampires, but we’re sure the astringent and purifying properties of garlic are just too good for even pretend or imagined vampires to handle! Also, it is believed the taste and smell of garlic would repel vampires….., if they existed. In addition we are confident that garlic repels pretend and imagined zombies. It’s entirely possible that the anti-viral qualities in gourmet garlics could solve the whole issue of zombie infection in the first place, thereby healing and preventing zombies.  We much prefer to focus and celebrate the “walking living” since we also don’t believe in zombies.