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September 5

Here's a summary of recipes this season:

Chipotle Mayo, Roasted Potatoes, Fried Onions, Fabulous Potato Salad, FPS Version 2, Traditional Potato Salad.

August 26

We're nearly finished picking garlic! For those who saw the rows of garlic that still had their scapes on this year so that we could distinguish between German Red and Chesnok Red here are pictures that show the big bulbils of German Red on the left and the smaller bulbils of the Chesnok on the right.

bulbils at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab bulbils at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab
August 3

I was reading a psychology article that was making the point that our brains will make up a story to fit the situation in which we find ourselves. I can’t remember where I read it or I’d cite it. It’s fascinating to me because we want things to make sense, so we fill in logical assumptions. The experiment mentioned in the article had two groups: one had to work really hard to be allowed to join a group – pass tests and pay a fee, whereas the second group was given instant admission. The group they joined was the same for both groups – purposefully boring and tedious, a bit rude and obnoxious. After a time, the participants were surveyed about their impressions of the group. Those who had to invest a lot to join rated the group much more positively than the second group, which rated the group as boring, etc. The conclusion from the academics was that our brains assume that if we worked so hard to gain membership it must have been time well spent. The reason I was thinking about this was because we kind of take pride in our low prices, and we set them to be affordable for everyone while providing a decent return for us. Our quality is as high as we can make it. We don’t use any chemicals to spray weeds or bugs, or fertilizers to maximize yield. We feel like we have lots of room and we’d rather plant more plants if we want more produce on offer. We’ve read and attended lectures that say diversity of plant matter and an abundance of organic matter are critical for soil health so we attempt to maintain and improve our soil. We have clean, soft well water that we use if we need to water the gardens. We do pretty much everything by hand and by ourselves with help from our adult children when they’re free. For these reasons we could charge a premium price and there’s no question that the vast majority of our customers could afford to pay a high price like they would for boutique, exclusive items. We want to make some money from the farm and we set our prices so that we’re happy with our return, don’t get me wrong. But we want to have everyone able to afford our produce. What we don’t want is for anyone to think that it’s not awesome or amazing because they didn’t have to pay a multiple of the grocery store price for it! Remember we don’t have regular employees to pay, or pay rent for a store or a booth space, and for the most part you have to come out to our place, which we appreciate very much!

August 2

It's been a hot, hot week! It's really super weather for the garden. The beans are growing well and we'll have some nice dry ones this year. The corn is coming along and when you look at the tops you can see definitely that it's a grass.

cannellini beans at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab corn at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab  

July 24

We made some potpourri this week with beautiful-smelling sweet clover, mainly. To me it smells like the prairies. We have some linen to sew it into to make sachets.

potpourri in the dehydrator at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab sweet clover in the dehydrator at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab 

July 17

We have Spanish onions growing this year and they're great! As we were told, they can just be eaten raw because they're so sweet. We tried them as onion rings and they were very good that way, too.

spanish onions at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab fried spanish onions at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab 

July 7

When our kids were younger and we'd have holidays where there were woods we'd often see an odd foam that looked like an animal had spit on the plants. It was so weird, but now we live with beautiful woods, and we see the spit often. It must be an over-abundance of moisture that gets forced out of the plant at a joint because the plant just can't grow fast enough? Kind of hilarious now to think of a bear or moose wandering around spitting on plants :)

foam on a thistle at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab foam on a plant at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab foam on a plant at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab   

June 29

We planted a few seeds where the beet row was bare and it's very cool to see how the plants emerge: a hoop of fuscia, then the cotyledon leaves flatten out showing the distinctive purple veins. Golden beets have quite yellow veins. Next week we'll share a potato salad recipe that looks amazing - hot crisp potatoes on a bed of greens with a pesto-like dressing - yum! It looks fabulous, but we have to perfect the pesto once we have lots of scapes to work with. We haven't peeked at any potatoes yet, but the flowers are nearly open so we're getting tempted.

beet emerging at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab beet cotyledon at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab golden beet at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab iceberg lettuce at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab red lettuce at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab russet potato flower at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab viking potato flower at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab    

June 25

We're excited - scapes are almost ready! We've set up a table where we'll have the Square card reader so you can pick up your order and pay with tap. Your account will show 'SQ' or 'gosq' when you tap.  Email us: farm@garlicgoodness.ca or text 403-506-2129 with our order. If you prefer you can email transfer us - we have autodeposit so you won't need a password. If you haven't been to the farm have a look at the video showing a bit of the farm.

table where produce will be waiting for curbside pick-up garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab  

June 14

Getting ready for the season: lots of paper bags, scale is ready, card reader is ready. Vegetables are coming along. Pictured below are beets (red and golden), carrots and an onion. In July these will all be $2/pound, along with potatoes when they're all ready. Garlic scapes will be 10 cents and lettuce and herbs will be $1 per bunch. We're hoping to have scapes at the beginning of July and beets and potatoes in the first week of July, weather permitting and we'll email and message when we do.

beet at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab beet at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab carrots at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab walla walla onion at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab      

June 5

Lots of signs of Spring now: violets and wild strawberries, the gorgeous common blue butterfly and haskap blossoms. There's a crab apple tree growing on the flood plain of the Red Deer River - birds must have seeded it there years ago and it's in full bloom. There was a bald eagle across the river from us this morning, and just the bits of a trout left on our side - it was probably waiting for us to leave to finish it off. It looked like a pretty big fish!

violet at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab wild strawberry at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab common blue butterfly at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab common blue butterfly at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab haskap blossoms at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab apple blossoms at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab trout head at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab      

May 25

After years of wondering, I believe we know what the name of our first flower of each season is: palm-leaved coltsfoot (petasites palmatus)! Up close the flower is absolutely gorgeous.

palmate coltsfoot petasites palmatus at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab palmate coltsfoot petasites palmatus at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab palmate coltsfoot petasites palmatus at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab palmate coltsfoot petasites palmatus at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab petasites palmatus leaf at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab petasites palmatus leaf at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab 

May 25

Quick observation: now that the garlic has been growing for a few weeks it appears that the fall-planted cloves are significantly advanced over the spring-planted ones. Later in the season when we start picking garlic we'll be able to make a better comparison.

May 18
We've had some beautiful warm days this week and are expecting rain - perfect growing conditions. Here's a picture of the view to the river from above. We're waiting for green to emerge and take over.
vista at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab 

May 7

A few signs of Spring -- moss and lichen are expanding and our version of the crocus is flowering. We haven't got any leaves out yet but this very early flower is out and thriving. Close up the flowers are gorgeous I think. And the beavers are busy gathering material for their dams. We still had snow covering the garlic field two weeks ago so we wondered when we'd see the garlic this year, and we finally have seen some emerge - whew!

moss at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab lichen at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab first flower of spring at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab first flower of spring at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab poplar trimmed by beavers at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab garlic at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab     

May 5

We got our paper bags today! Without family visits it's taken awhile for them to reach us - our son and daughter picked them up in Edmonton and then our daughter from Calgary dropped them off after a distanced visit with her sister. They have a capacity of 10 pounds with a very comfortable handle. The 4 litre milk jugs are to show the size.

new paper bags at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab new paper bags at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab   

April 28

We have seen so many moose this year! They're a favourite animal here, but it's unusual to see them as often as we have this year that we've speculated that the matriarch is getting old and doesn't cover the usual amount of territory. We love to watch them from a safe distance. This week we've heard the peep owl and lots of frogs - sure signs of Spring :)
moose at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab moose at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab moose at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab moose at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab moose at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab    
April 13

We have quite a bit of snow and the ground is frozen solid. We've looked in a couple of the pots but the garlic cloves haven't done anything interesting - yet! We've planted some Spanish onions called Walla Walla and they're really strong - I can't wait to taste them this summer. One of the containers we seeded into wasn't deep enough for the long roots that onions have, so we transplanted them into a better pot today. Plastic pots that we've saved from buying plants in over the years are great for growing our own plants, but their drainage holes are really big for inside use. We used some cheesecloth to keep the soil in the pot and some newspaper just to cover the hole while filling with dirt - it won't prevent drainage.

If anyone is waiting for new issues of The Garlic News please email or send a facebook message -- uploading the issues is a great job to do while watching sports, but too boring to do without sports! But if someone's waiting I could watch a movie or something :)

experiment pots at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab watering indoor transplants at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab plastic pot at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab paper over drainage hole in plastic pot at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab  

March 26

There were only three tomato seedlings in newspaper pots - the others were mostly in the compostable bags. We needed to get the remaining ones into larger containers but we're out of bags so we decided to improvise. We put a couple into cracker boxes and hope the light cardboard will dissolve over the summer. We're confident that the tomato roots will push through the cardboard since they're so strong. In the picture you can see how much stronger and bigger the tomato in the compostable bag is compared to the one in the newspaper pot. There's a video showing the cracker box tomatoes.

tomato seedlings at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab   

March 11

Here's a summary of the tomato trials with toilet paper rolls. Tomato seeds are so vigorous that they sprouted well in our soil mix in the rolls. Once they started to form their first true leaves we transplanted them into soil in compostable bags, hoping to give the plants access to lots of moisture and nutrients -- and not to encourage just a major tap root without lots of smaller branches. Once they went into the bags they grew really well, so tomatoes would definitely be a good choice for planting in toilet paper rolls. We tried cilantro and parsley also, but their emergence rate was very low, even though they are really vigorous and dependable when planted into peat pellets (which we did afterward with the same packet of seeds and had great emergence) - surprising! The next seeding we'll try in toilet paper rolls will be marigolds. They're also very strong and reliable seeds, and we love the gorgeous blossoms that attract a ton of bees and seem to discourage some pests. They have a very distinctive smell that I like but that bothers some people and most moles, for instance.

tomato seedlings in a toilet paper roll at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab tomato seedlings in a toilet paper roll at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab tomato seedling in a compostable bag at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab tomato seedlings at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab tomato seedlings at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab tomato seedlings at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab tomato seedlings at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab tomato stem showing hairs that could change into roots at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab  


March 10 red beans and rice at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab 

This year we're working on dry bean recipes so that we can enjoy this healthy ingredient more often. This week we had Red Beans with Rice, adapted from a great cookbook called Easy Beans by Trish Ross from BC. The recipe is:

Saute 2 cloves of garlic and an onion until soft

add 1 1/2 cup of tomato (paste, puree or whole tomatoes)

add 1 cup of cooked dry beans of any kind

add lots of fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp of tobasco and a bay leaf and cook for 20 minutes

Serve over rice of any kind

The beans are from last summer – the cannellini lingot that grew very tall and had gorgeous pods with streaks of red and pink. We’ve been thinking of ways to separate the beans from the pods, but over the winter the pods have opened as they dried and the beans have been really easy to gather. Cooking the beans is simple – cover with 3 times their volume of cold water, bring to a gently boil, remove from heat, cover and let sit for an hour or two. We had to repeat – drain the water, cover again with cold water about double their volume and bring to boil again – remove from heat and let sit for another hour or two. They had a good texture at that point, with the skins still intact. A great tip from the cookbook (and elsewhere) says to cook more beans than you need and freeze the excess for a speedier dinner next time.

red beans and rice at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab dry beans at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab dry beans at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab dry beans at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab   

March 7

We looked at another clove in the growing experiment. We had to bring the pot into the house for a day because it was frozen solid. It doesn't look like there's anything happening yet - the snow cover and cold weather is keeping the cloves dormant, we think.

experiment pots in the snow at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab experiment pot at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab experiment pot at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab experiment clove at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab experiment clove at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab 

March 4

This link will redirect to a page where you can click on each issue of The Garlic News newsletter.

The garlic news

February 27

The tomato transplants that went from toilet paper rolls (loo rolls) into soil in compostable bags needed a soil top-up today. There's a video showing the top-up here, and a video with captions here.  

 tomato seedlings at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab tomato seedling in a compostable bag at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab tomato seedling in a newspaper pot at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab  

February 22

Young plants are so beautiful! The cotyledon is the first leaves that emerge when a seed germinates. A picture of a statice cotyledon is first - statice is the blue and purple flowers we use as dried flowers with garlic braids and the plants have hardiness, drought tolerance, attraction for bees and other pollinators and interesting winter colour (copper-coloured stems and any flowers remaining stay quite blue). They're a fairly hardy wildflower that grows from seed each year, so they need a hard seed coat to push through the soil early and that's what the picture shows - the first pair of leaves push the tough covering through to the warm sun. The second picture shows that another set of plain leaves emerges to feed the root strength and then the true leaves emerge - saw-toothed with a bit of red. The tomato shows it's plain cotyledon leaves giving way to the true leaves, basil's true leaves are the recognizable middle-creased oval shape, annual dill resembles a tiny palm, true leaves of the thyme show the typical oval spade shape and the rosemary is still the first (cotyledon) leaves - still waiting for their true leaves. Onions don't really have a cotyledon - they come up bent over and then spring up and now they're developing extra stems to feed their growing roots.

statice cotyledon at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab true statice leaves at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab true tomato leaves at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab true basil leaves at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab true dill leaf at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab true thyme leaves at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab rosemary cotyledon at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab onions at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and raising sustainable highland beef in red deer county ab 

February 13

We decided to plant the rolls to allow the tomato seedlings to spread out. The tomatoes planted in jiffy pots then into newspaper pots were growing faster than the seedlings in the loo rolls and we thought maybe the rolls were not allowing the roots to spread. We're hoping that putting the rolls into soil will help the roll soften and dissolve and the roots will grow. In the past we've used compost bags to hold transplants that get too big for newspaper pots, or to put a newspaper pot into if the pot gets too fragile, so we're hoping they'll work. When planted outside the bags decompose over the summer. 

tomato seedlings at garlic goodness growing natural garlic, seasonal vegetables and sustainable beef near innisfail ab

February 9

We're going to do our best to make the loo roll experiment work out - then we can use the peat pots we've already bought, but minimize using peat as we go forward. With the next batch of seeds planted we'll cut the rolls in half - then when a root shows at the bottom we'll put the shorter roll into a newspaper pot to encourage wider root growth instead of restricting sideways growth (assuming the roll dissolves easily once inside a newspaper pot, which we think is likely but will find out!).

tomato seedling in a toilet paper roll as an experiment in 2020 at garlic goodness growing garlic and seasonal vegetables in red deer county ab

February 2

We've started onion seeds in the house and they're so cute - the bow shape is fabulous, then when they spring up they look so much more delicate. The first tomato seedlings have gone into newspaper pots - they're going to be the control for the loo roll experiment :)

onion harps at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables in red deer county ab onions at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables in red deer county ab tomato seedling in a newspaper pot at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables in red deer county ab

January 20 + February 2, 2020

We’re doing a trial with toilet paper rolls (or loo rolls, as gardening guru Monty Don calls them) to see if we can use them for starting seeds. We love using newspaper pots for seedlings and the rolls might be similarly good – put to good use, dissolve into the soil and provide a good place for seeds to grow. This year we’ll try some tomatoes and herbs with long roots like parsley and cilantro – maybe marigolds later since they’re so vigorous. If they work out, we’ll use them more extensively next year. The soil is a mix of sterile Pro-Mix and rich worm castings from our worms last year. One thing I really like so far is that when you water the rolls you can see when the water is adequate – you can see the water mark on them, much like you can with the newspaper pots.

We’ve just started separating out the worm castings again. If anyone has any tips for this process or would like tips from us, please drop us an email.

tomato seedling in a loo roll at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables near innisfail ab  seeds in toilet paper tubes at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables in red deer county ab

Last season’s garlic and onions are still nice and firm. We have lots of garlic in the ground for this year, and we’re planning to plant lots of vegetables this spring – and we planted the very first onion seeds yesterday, so the season has officially begun!

 garlic in january at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables near innisfail ab onion in january at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables near innisfail ab onion in january at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables near innisfail ab


January 7, 2020

We've had lots of snow this winter - should be great for the garlic! I've had lots of time for knitting and I think I'm happy with the design for the Scottish Highland motif cotton dishcloth :) I'm using Bernat 100% cotton Handicrafter yarn (made in Canada from American cotton) and I made the pattern myself. I may try to make a garlic motif cloth!

Scottish Highland dishcloth at garlic goodness in red deer county ab

November 28

Check out the photos page - we had lovely soft snow falling this morning and it was gorgeous.

snowflakes on the statice at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables in red deer county ab

October 17

I saw a recipe on the Guardian UK website for carrot cake with beets (or beetroot as they call it). I tried it since we still had a few beets in the garden and I loved the colour - can't say the taste was much different from regular carrot cake, but that was good - I like carrot cake. I used my usual recipe and put half grated carrots and half grated beets. I thought the beets might make the batter pink so I stirred just enough, but you can see the cake doesn't look much different with the beets -- please drop me an email if you'd like the recipe.

carrot and beet cake at garlic goodness growing garlic and seasonal vegetables in red deer county ab carrots and beets at garlic goodness growing garlic and seasonal vegetables in red deer county ab carrot and beet cake at garlic goodness growing garlic and seasonal vegetables in red deer county ab 

Sept 14

Surprise! Lots of the beans that looked dead actually had big beans in their pods, so we've picked them and are waiting for them to dry. They're so beautiful - and hopefully tasty.

yin and yang beans at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables outside of innisfail ab white beans at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables outside of innisfail ab 

Sept 9

Recipe for basic Beef Stew

2 pound pkg of stewing beef, oil for frying it, water, salt and pepper, small clove of garlic, vegetables and herbs.

Brown the meat by frying in oil until it's cooked on all sides, then pour hot water over it just to cover it. Boil until the water almost all evaporates, then add water to cover it again. Boil again until water is almost all evaporated and taste a piece of meat. If it's nice and tender then you're happy - if it's still a bit chewy add another covering of water and boil again - this is the secret to stew meat that's tender - and it's a tip from a friend, Donna Arnold of the Henday Association for Lifelong Learning in Innisfail. Once the meat is well cooked, there's an infinite variety of choices, but the basic ingredients are garlic, an onion, bay leaves and parsley. Then add a couple of inches of water to the meat and cook the vegetables -- carrots and peas, potatoes until tender. If you like the broth/gravy thicker then stir a tablespoon of flour into 1/4 cup of cold water and add it to the boiling stew. My Mom used to make dumplings with our stew which we loved - send me an email if you want her recipe. 

Sept 3, 2019

We're so excited to have beans for drying! Our growing season was cut short by a frost on August 17th - shocking - but it was fairly light and the bingo beans in the garlic field survived. We'll plant more of them next year since they can prosper in our harsh conditions. They have a few gorgeous pods which we'll pick this week and dry. The beans inside are green and soft, but they'll dry brown with darker brown streaks. We're supposed to allow the pods to dry completely and then thresh them by hitting them in a sack to remove the pods :)

bingo beans in september at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal produce near innisfail ab

Aug 26, 2019

Our newest Youtube video is up showing our tried and true recipe for borscht.

bowl of borscht at garlic goodness near innisfail ab


Aug 19, 2019

We had a great time again this year at Open Farm Days - thanks to everyone who came out to meet us and look at the garlic growing. We're concentrating on watching garlic dry right now, haha - preparing for braiding and fall planting.

flat of culinary garlic at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal produce in red deer county ab  


July 25, 2019

We have found a great way to use our beet greens! Beet greens are so lovely at this time of year and we're trying to find new ways to use this nutritious, plentiful ingredient.

The Baba Bowl is a mix of raw and roasted seasonal vegetables - a prairie spin on a Buddha Bowl.  For sure the leaves can be added to other greens in any salad, but for the Baba Bowl they're the main base. I left the onions raw because they're so awesome at this time of year. We have deer eating our peas this year, so if we want any, we have to eat them before they fill out, so we used them like snap peas fresh in the salad - but shelled raw or cooked would taste great. Then we roasted vegetables to serve hot on top and drizzled dressing over all. We made a basic vinaigrette, but I also think a hollandaise sauce would work with the Baba Bowl.

I put the recipes on the garlic goodness facebook page on if you're interested in them. The recipe name is a tribute to the great Ukrainian gardeners I've known - their ability to make everything they could grow to taste great and to never waste a thing!


baba bowl at garlic goodness near innisfail alberta


July 5, 2019

We are eating garlic bulbs now!

early riser bulb at garlic goodness near innisfail ab

They have a super great taste and texture – crisp and slightly milder than they will be when fully grown and cured, but so much better than garlic that’s been shipped from elsewhere. Local and fresh is the best, right? They're $1 each - same as they will be when they mature.


garlic bulb early July at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables outside of innisfail ab

June 30, 2019

highland heifer at garlic goodness near innisfail ab

We are pleased to offer a small number of beef packages from our herd of Highland and Highland-cross cattle.

The Highland cross offers a superior-tasting well-marbled beef with a smaller carcass size than a commercial breed. There are well-researched health benefits to the Highland meat, including lower cholesterol levels and higher protein and iron content. We don't use any hormones and our grass is natural - no fertilizers or pesticides are used anywhere on our farm.

Please let us know if you’re interested in buying a side of beef. We have animals booked in for November 12th, and with a 14-21 day hanging period it will mean end-of-November or beginning of December for pick-up.

Please email for more information or if you have any questions.


Highland steer at garlic goodness

We are excited to have a few young highland cows with their calves at the farm. They are so beautiful.

highland cow-calf pair at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables near innisfail ab highland cow at garlic goodness growing natural garlic and seasonal vegetables near innisfail ab


If you haven't checked out our instagram feed please do when you have time - we're posting more regularly as of summer 2019.


June 24, 2019

Last week I attended a soil workshop featuring Dr. Kris Nichols hosted by the GWFA in conjunction with RD County. What a fascinating presentation – the value of topsoil can hardly be overstated and there’s a lot we can do to preserve and build up our soil. We want to add carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in the soil – increase aggregates, create and encourage mycorrhizal fungi – and embrace diversity. Dr. Nichols said we need a brown revolution.

Everyone who’s been out here knows we don’t spray for weeds or pests and we have a wide variety of plants growing everywhere. Our inspiration is nature – in the woods we see so many different shrubs, flowers, legumes and grasses growing naturally among the spruce and aspen. We see mosquitos, wasps, bees, dragonflies, flies and so many different bugs – both pollinators and food for the huge variety of birds we see along the Red Deer River. Small animals like mice, weasels and rabbits thrive and support the eagles and owls – it’s a complex and hugely diverse system that we use as inspiration in our planting.

Dr. Nichols said that if you lose soil health you lose food nutrients – maybe we instinctively understand that, but it’s the first time I’d heard it said from someone who studies the matter. Vegetables grown in dirt taste great – and maybe they’re actually healthier for us! She has a soil consulting service and a website www.KRIS-SYSTEMS.com which I recommend, and for anyone local I highly encourage membership in the Grey Wooded Forage Association – they have a wealth of information and they host really interesting talks.   




Our Red Deer County address is 35540 RR12

Lorraine & Kevin Bannister

403-506-2129

farm@garlicgoodness.ca


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