Allium Sativum Ophioscorodon
If only bulbs could speak, what a tale these Doukhobors would tell. Persecuted for practicing non-violence and thus refusing to fight for the Czar, the Doukhobors, who feel that the Divine lives within each human being, were driven into exile from their native Russia and Ukraine. Thousands came to Canada, bringing their garlic with them, and many settled in BC. Can garlic taste peaceful? Does purity of spirit have an aroma? Does it seem irrational to detect courage in a bulb?
Doukhobor Russian - Seed Garlic & Umbels
Cloves: Averages 8-12 cloves and, like any Rocambole, you can expect some doubles and triples in there. Skins peel with exceptional ease and are light brown in color.
Bulbils: Anywhere from 5 to 25 largish bulbils. All but the smallest will produce fully cloves, though small, bulbs in the very first year. We find that the cloves of "1 year olds" have much tighter clove wrappers and thus will store longer than mature bulbs.
Growing: Avoid "wet-feet" and choose a sunny spot to plant; consider a raised bed if you have heavy clay soil. Broad leaves and tightly curling double looped scapes. Wait for the scape to do a tightly curled double loop before removing, or you may want to just leave it on. Removing the scape does help increase bulb size, but not overly so, and growing from bulbil with Rocamboles is particularly rewarding because the large bulbils produce mini bulbs in the first year, with an average of 5 cloves per bulb.
Harvest: Early to mid-season harvest. Since the wrappers of Rocamboles are so loose and thin you need to watch out for deteriorating bulb wrappers in the ground. The more wrappers the better, so harvest as soon as you're comfortable with bulb size (maybe after just one or two leaves are brown).
Storage: Expect 4-5 months.
Pedigree: Mr. Jim Miller was given bulbs directly from the Doukhobors many years ago in the small town of Glade, BC. Perhaps it was someone from the Pakrovka hamlet, or maybe Mr. Koorbatoff from the Efremovka hamlet. Then in 2009, Bertie van der Mark of Lumby, BC, purchased some bulbs from Mr. Miller and we procured our stock from Bertie in the fall of 2013.