Garlic Growers Landcare Grant

[EDITOR'S NOTE]  Apologies but this meeting was held 20th Feb - not 27th as previously noted on this page. The correct date was in the print version of the Braidwood Times. Contact Landcare for the workbook available on the projector see their website > projects > garlic.]

Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council and the Braidwood Garlic Growers Group are partners in a successful funding bid under the 25th Anniversary Landcare Grants. The groups have been awarded $20,000 for a project to grow the Braidwood garlic growers. 

Local green garlic being stored.

Local green garlic being stored.

The project aims to support about 15 local landholders to grow garlic crops for wholesale Australian markets. Only about 20% of garlic sold in Australia is grown domestically so there is significant room for expanding the national crop. Braidwood is well placed to increase the Australian market share because our soils, seasons and water availability all lend themselves to excellent cold climate annual crops like garlic.

Garlic also has the potential to improve economic resilience, agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability around Braidwood. Garlic gives high value per hectare, since it is possible to grow two-to-five tonnes on a single acre, and to bring in thousands of dollars per tonne of garlic. Biodiversity benefits can be achieved using native plants for wind breaks, and to attract native birds to help control insect pests.

The project funding can provide some assistance with seed garlic, soil tests, fencing materials, expert agronomist advice, biodiversity assessments, native seedlings, wholesale coordination and other resources. Existing and new growers are encouraged to participate. There are no plans to sell the new crops into the local markets, which are so well served by current growers.

Participants will need to take responsibility for their site preparation, sowing, weed management, garlic harvest, curing and storage and all other management decisions. They will make in-kind contributions to match project funding. This could include erecting fences using fencing materials provided by the project. The growers will also need to keep detailed records of progress, and be prepared to reinvest a portion of any profit back into the Braidwood Garlic Growers Group so that the goal of growing the Braidwood garlic growers can continue into later seasons. 

Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council is looking for five landholders willing to plant a whole acre of garlic, and about seven landholders working with smaller spaces. Existing major growers are being contacted to take part as well. Sites will be selected for the project based on a range of factors. Readiness to plant is important, since garlic crops are ideally planted in late March, so site preparation is needed soon. The project also aims to include a range of soil types, aspects, local climates, watering regimes etc. 

A workshop on the project was held on Friday 20th February, 9-11am at the Services Club. Potential participants can come along to learn the full details and apply to take part.

If you are interested, please contact Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council on upper.shoalhaven@gmail.com or 48422594. Information and updates will be posted at: http://www.uppershoalhavenlandcare.com.au/44-2/growing-the-braidwood-garlic-growers/ 

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