In The News

Meeniyan Garlic Family

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Paula Beauchamp, Herald Sun
July 18, 2017 9:00pm
Subscriber only

IT started about a year ago.

Customers would come into Felicity Jones’ The Meeniyan Store and ask for a particular type of garlic. It might be a hardneck, a turban or a creole.

It was remarkable because these customers weren’t simply seeking garlic. They were very specific.

“That didn’t used to happen,” said Ms Jones, the store’s co-owner.


“People would come in for garlic. But now they’re very interested in cooking with the different garlic flavours (offered by the different varieties).

“I think it’s part of the slow food movement, growing and making your own stuff and eating seasonally — doing the best you can for your body and the environment.”

Ms Jones’ father, David Jones, the co-architect of the Meeniyan Garlic Festival, which was launched this year, believes Australia is on the cusp of a new kind of sophistication in its taste for garlic.


February is Garlic Month

To celebrate Garlic Month, two states are holding celebrations and festivals to showcase the range of beautiful garlics grown in Australia. All have talks, displays, growers to talk to and garlic to taste, both raw and in wonderful dishes.

Unfortunately the Orange Garlic Festival which was planned for Sunday 5th of February has had to be cancelled. It has been a difficult year for garlic growers in general, and NSW seems to have suffered more than most.  We wish them all well.

Sat&Sun 11th-12th, Garlic Celebration at Melbourne’s South Melbourne Market. 9-3 Come along to meet the 5 growers whose garlic is being featured, sold and cooked at different restaurants. At 9am on the 11th we are very lucky to have Danielle Green to launch the event. She is the Victorian State Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Major Events and Regional Victoria. The photo shows (from L to R) Leon Trembath (Chairman AGIA), Danielle Green and Georgie from Georgie's Harvest who makes this event possible by selling the garlic and allowing us to set up out the front!

The Victorian growers who will be at the event with their garlic are:

Freshwater Creek Garlic (John Oliff) with Italian Late (Artichoke); Wildes Lane (Anna King) with their Oriental Purple (Turban) and Dynamite Purple (Creole); Tony's Garlic (Tony Murphy) with his Rose du Var (Silverskin); High Country Farm (Edwina and Josh) with their High Country Purple (originally Australian Purple, Turban) and Kevin Grivell with his  Spanish Roja (Creole)

South Melbourne Market


Saturday 18th, Meeniyan Garlic Festival at Meeniyan, Gippsland, Victoria. This inaugural festival runs from 9-4 with a huge number of events and stands including the Festival Market Place, The Garlic Institute which is being run by the AGIA with a great list of speakers, The Festival Kitchen, Garlic Grazing, Garlic Arts and Crafts, and Garlic Games as well as the Festival Stage with live music, comedy and bush poetry. 

Meeniyan Garlic Festival

Saturday 25th, Koonya Garlic Festival, Tasmania. In it’s 4th year  it is held at the Koonya Hall and Grounds 10-3.30. There is wonderful garlic to buy, fabulous food and some great speakers. As well as music and the much anticipated Garlic Growers Competition.

Koonya Garlic Festival

This very garlicky month finishes with the judging of garlic for the Australian Food Awards. Entry is open to small and big growers all over Australia, as long as you sell garlic you can enter. Entry opened in November and closes on Feb 10th 2017, so if you are going to enter then you need to get your entry in very soon! garlic for judging is delivered by the 24th, and judging takes place on the 28th. Australian Food Awards


Australian Food Awards

Entries are now open for the Australian garlic competition which is organised as part of the Australian Food Awards (AFA).
You can enter your garlic into competition classes for:
·         Garlic
·         Organic Garlic

Key Dates     Entries Close:  Friday 10 February 2017,   Deliveries:  Friday 24 February 2017,  Judging:  Tuesday 28 February 2017

Entry booklet and forms are here

Exhibitors are required to stipulate the garlic group and cultivar for each of their entries (eg. Group: Artichoke; Cultivar: Australian White or Group: Turban; Cultivar: Ontos Purple).

For detailed information on Australian Garlic groups and cultivars refer to
The awards will be judged by Australia’s leading experts in garlic.
Nine Reasons Why You Should Enter The Australian Food Awards

1.    The Australian Food Awards is Australia’s leading national food awards program;
2.    Award winning products will receive Gold, Silver & Bronze medals which are a national brand seal of excellence;
3.    Exhibitors can benchmark their product against competitors with unique, innovative results reporting, providing more information on where your product is ranked against your competitors;
4.    Award winning producers will be provided with the AFA Marketing & PR Kit to assist with promoting your win;
5.    Award winning producers have the opportunity to market their products in the Winning Tastes Pavilion & the AFA Deli at the Royal Melbourne Show;
6.    Products that are awarded Gold medal status for three consecutive years will be eligible for the Consistency of Excellence Medal;
7.    Exhibitors have the opportunity to attend an exclusive Exhibitor Tasting to sample this year’s medal winning product;
8.    Exhibitors can attend the AFA Gala Awards Presentation Dinner, held in a unique setting where the Champion Trophies will be announced;
9.    Opportunity to be showcased at International and Local Trade Shows and promotional events.
How To Enter

There are four simple steps to enter the Australian Food Awards:

·         Read through the entry booklet and the categories you can enter product into;

·         Complete the entry form online and arrange payment for your entries or;

·         Wait for confirmation of your entries and for your product delivery instructions;

·         Deliver the product to the Melbourne Showgrounds by the due date.

For further information on the competition contact Ross Karavis on 03 9281 7435.

Garlic & Lemon Health Benefit

An interesting article on the health benefits of combining lemon with garlic.



Seminar Press Release

Once again the 2016 Australia Garlic Industry Association's (AGIA) two day seminar is nearly upon us. This year the seminar will focus on value adding, marketing and optimising the ongoing health of your garlic crop and will be held the weekend of 6th-7th August at the Thurgoona Country Club, Albury. AGIA Chair, Leon Trembath reiterated that the seminar is an opportunity to bring together growers, wholesalers and key industry experts to discuss a wide range of issues impacting on the Australian garlic industry. Following an introduction from the Federal Minister for Horticulture, and a representative from Horticulture Innovation Australia Keynote Speaker, Graeme Sait, world renowned agronomist and soils expert, will present two sessions on the function of healthy soil in optimising garlic growth over the two days. Graeme will be joined by Matthew Elliott, Operations Manager, Melbourne Wholesale Markets – Lachlan Drummond, Moroka Marketing, talking about social media and online agribusiness marketing – John Pye, Bredbo Black, will discuss value adding to your garlic – and Letetia Ware, Tasmanian Gourmet Garlic, will explore optimising your seed stock (selection and management). Trade suppliers of garlic-specific machinery and soil improving additives will display their products for viewing, and the seminar program will include several virtual garlic farm tours so attendees can get a feel of how other growers plant, grow, harvest and store their garlic crop. With over 130 members the AGIA seminar is expected to be a dynamic discussion of all things garlic. Registration for members is $130/person (accompanying people $70/person) and non-members $150/person. Registration includes lunch and morning/afternoon tea. Information and details about seminar sessions are available at or contact Leon (Chairman) on 03 51861 333

Roy shares his garlic obsession with locals

Roy Cody with some of his prized produce. WITH nearly 30 years’ experience in the industry, growing garlic isn’t just a hobby for Tamworth’s Roy Cody – it’s an obsession. And Roy will be showcasing his obsession at this year’s Moree on a Plate. Mr Cody began growing his purple variety of garlic 28 years ago, supplying garlic for his friends and family for two decades before setting it up as a business. He’s crafted his own variety, Roy’s Purple Garlic, which has been praised for its fresh, full flavour. “It was a turban hardneck purple garlic that probably came from NZ purple but we can’t be sure,” Mr Cody said. “Garlic tends to develop its own characteristics over a long period of time because you save the cloves to plant the next year.” His garlic has a huge following at local farmer’s markets and he also sells it online and supplies seed to other garlic growers. Mr Cody has mastered the farming part of the job, but there’s been plenty of trial and error over the years. “I actually designed and built a garlic planter, but we planted it too deep and we only got a 30 per cent strike rate,” he said. “We found it was too difficult to harvest when it was in the ground and you’ve got to be careful with garlic when you’re harvesting. “Even dropping a bundle into a truck will bruise a clove or two, and they’ll dry out and go mouldy, then they could affect the rest of the bulb.”

Garlic tends to develop its own characteristics over a long period of time. - Roy Cody Rather than plant the garlic in the heavy clay soil, Mr Cody spreads the seeds on top of the soil then covers them with gum tree mulch, a by-product of his tree service business. He grows it organically without the use of herbicides and pesticides. “I’ve done a lot of trials and I wouldn’t change it now. “Because I grow my garlic on top of the soil the bulbs are perfectly clean, because it’s only the roots in the soil.” The mulch has also been a great help with weeding. “Garlic hates weeds. It doesn’t like competition, so you have to keep it weeded and mulch is the best way to do that,” Mr Cody said. “The mulch allows the garlic to come up but slows the weeds down and makes the crop a lot easier to weed.” His garlic is planted from mid-March to June. "This particular variety of garlic requires a cold winter, so it won’t bulb out properly in warmer areas like the coast. “It’s got to have the cold winter but it never bulbs until the spring comes, then we have to harvest at the right time, when the outer leaves start to dry. “If you don’t harvest as soon as it’s ready, if you get rain the skin will deteriorate and you’ll have bare cloves.” One of the biggest factors in the crop’s success was moisture, Mr Cody said. “You need to keep it moist in the winter but water really well in the spring. “In winter I give it a good soaking once a fortnight but in the spring it’s six-hour shifts of water every week. “Once you’ve worked everything out garlic is very easy to grow - just plant it, weed it, water it and harvest it.”


AGIA Members win GOLD at the 2016 Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) is pleased to advise that 97 medals and four Champion trophies have been awarded in the Chocolate and Garlic categories in the 2016 Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards (RMFFA). In the Chocolate category, three trophies were awarded with Queensland’s Australian Chocolate Pty Ltd, taking home the Champion Chocolate Bar and Block trophy for their Charley’s Chocolate Mt Edna 70% Cocoa, whilst Champion Single Variety was awarded to Bracegirdle’s House of Fine Chocolate, South Australia for their Chilli Mango entry. The third chocolate trophy for Champion Easter Egg or Easter Chocolate was awarded to Melbourne dessert boutique Bibelot for their entry “The Collection”. A total of 17 gold, 36 silver and 15 bronze medals were awarded across the Chocolate category with 97 entries received overall. The Champion trophy for the Garlic category went to Tasmanian Gourmet Garlic’s Duganski named Champion for the second year running, with the producer also taking home three gold medals, from the total of 13 awarded across the category. With 40 entries received overall, 11 silver and 5 bronze medals were also awarded in the Garlic category. The two categories are the first to be judged in 2016, due to seasonality for Garlic and the opportunity for Chocolate entrants to capture the Easter market. Congratulations to all medal and trophy winners, and thank you to all exhibitors for the high standard of entries in this year’s awards. For full results visit Medal and trophy winning exhibitors are encouraged to make the most of their wins by using the medal artwork that will be provided, to assist with promoting and profiling your achievements on packaging, point of sale and marketing materials. The remaining categories of the RMFFA will open in May, with the presentation to be held in September. Latest News To keep up with the latest news on the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards visit or follow us on Twitter: @FineFoodAwards