Allium Sativum Ophioscorodon
Kind and generous, seasoned and wise, Majestic is a nut that has fallen close to the mother tree. Mr. Paul Pospisil (of Beaver Pond Estates and editor of the Garlic News) is responsible for "creating" this cultivar, and his sincere pursuit of the perfect Porcelain is palpable as we grow and enjoy Majestic's nobility, grace and sublime character.
Majestic - Seed Garlic & Umbels
Cloves: Averages 4-5 large cloves per bulb. While the outer wrappers are brilliant white (hence the name Porcelain) the clove skins often tend toward purple, though they can be white as well.
Bulbils: Porcelains have the smallest of all bulbils, numbering in the hundreds per umbel. Select the largest 50% and plant those if you want good results. Harvest the resultant rounds at the same time as you harvest the bulbs. Even if all the grass like top growth has whithered and blown away, the rounds are still under there, waiting like Easter eggs for you to discover them (that's a hint; kids love to harvest bulbil rounds).
Growing: While typical in its structure and growth patterns, Majestic seems just a little more kingly, standing just a tad higher than its neighbors and seeming to hum. Scape removal is recommended to achieve good bulbing and don't be surprised by browning of the tips early in the season. Porcelains tend to go brown in the leaf tips at the slightest indication of drought-like conditions, even while still growing strongly. Just be ready to water if necessary.
Harvest: Mid-season harvest. The wrappers are pretty sturdy on Porcelains and so the bulbs can stand waiting a bit longer before harvesting, maybe when 50 - 65% of the leaves are browning. Always dig down and inspect the bulbs to make sure they're doing well and use your own judgement. .
Storage: Porcelains are a good storing garlic. Expect 7-8 months.
Pedigree: Majestic has a fascinating history. Paul Pospisil (editor of The Garlic News and owner of Beaver Pond Estates in Ontario) is the "creator" of this cultivar and you can read the whole story in his official trial report below. Our first Majestic came to us via Boundary Farm in 2010.
Porcelain "Majestic": A New Garlic Strain from Beaver Pond Estates
Maberly, Ontario, June 2002
Once in a long while, a small miracle of nature happens, the creation of a new plant variety by mutation. Since garlic is asexual, that is, it reproduces vegetatively by the natural process of cloning, it cannot be hybridized by cross-pollination to create new strains.
Most plants possess fertile flowers and reproduce sexually by production of seed that grows from the fertilized female . Plant breeders produce new hybrid varieties by cross-pollination of different varieties to produce a new one. This procedure cannot be used with garlic as it has no fertile blossoms. Yet, there are hundreds of different strains of garlic cultivated world wide. How did these strains occur?
The belief among researchers is that garlic both mutates, either under stress or for unknown reasons, and, as well, adapts to its environment. Being aware of these possibilities, each year, we carefully inspected our garlic throughout the growing period, particularly at harvest time, looking for out of the ordinary characteristics. Over the years, we observed examples of adaptation, and, on several occasions, false mutations.
Then, a true mutation occurred and for the next four years, we carefully nurtured along this little gem of nature. The story of "Majestic" began to unfold in our garlic research plot.
Harvest 1998; A single plant in a row of our Control Standard, Rocambole "Reliable", stood out, tall like a Porcelain but with the leaf and scape structure of a Rocambole. The harvested bulb was huge, of Colossal grade size and had 9 cloves like a Rocambole. In this region, Porcelains typically produce 3-5 cloves per bulb. The cloves had Porcelain appearance and colouring but little similarity to those of Rocambole "Reliable".
Fall 1998; The 9 cloves, identified as NKGI98, were separately planted in fall 1998.
Harvest 1999; The 9 cloves produced 9 huge bulbs in the Super Jumbo to Colossal size range on plants which had now taken on Porcelain characteristics. The bulbs yielded an average of 4.3 cloves, the 9 bulbs producing 39 Porcelain-type cloves.
The garlic appeared to have completed its mutation from a Rocambole to a Porcelain in two growing seasons.
Fall 1999; Replanting the 39 NKGI98 cloves resulted in 39 huge bulbs harvested in summer 2000. The bulbs were the largest of any of the 10 Porcelain strains grown in the 1999-2000 cycle.
Fall 2000; From the 39 harvested bulbs, 23 of the smallest, seed size bulbs were selected for planting in fall 2000. The 23 bulbs contained 96 cloves, an average of 4.2 per bulb.
The resulting harvest in 2001 was nothing less than amazing. Despite summer drought conditions, all bulbs exceeded size Jumbo, averaging 60.9 grams and were considerably larger than any other Porcelain in the trials.
The mutant, NKGI98 was assigned the name, "Majestic", affectionately referred to as "Paul's Pride".
Fall 2001; The cloves from most of the bulbs were replanted in fall 2001 to increase the quantity.
Spring 2002; During the 2002 growing season, "Majestic" is larger, more robust and healthier looking than any other Porcelain in the trials. Barring an unforeseen catastrophe, it should harvest a crop of superior quality again.
Developed over 5 growing cycles, this new strain promises to be one of the best Porcelains available.
Harvest 2002; A limited quantity of Majestic planting stock was released to growers attending the 2002 Field Day. Samples are being shipped for genetic "fingerprinting" to establish the identity of this new strain. A modest increase in planting will be carried out Fall 2002 in order to increase planting stock for interested growers.
Paul & Mary Lou Pospisil, Beaver Pond Estates