Weekend (August 9/10, 2008) [General]

2008 Aug 8
August is a very busy month for foodies... This weekend I see there are four on the Events Calendar:

Carp Farmers' Market Garlic Festival (Saturday & Sunday)
Perth Garlic Festival (Saturday & Sunday)
Toronto's Festival of Beer (Thursday thru Sunday)
Toronto's Taste of the Danforth (Friday thru Sunday)

Does anyone have plans to attend any of these events? I am considering going to one of the garlic festivals... has anyone been in previous years?

2008 Aug 8
F&T - I've been to the Carp Farmer's Market Garlic Festival. Lots of free samples, tons of varieties of garlic (most farmers rank their garlic from mild to very hot - sample them and find out the difference), and generally, just really good garlic EVERYWHERE. I bought about a kilo of garlic last year and it lasted me a number of months in proper storage.

2008 Aug 8
Note on the garlic festivals - I was chatting with my farmer about this last night, and the best time to get garlic is NOT at either of these festivals. It's a few weeks too early yet for garlic. This situation arose because of some big feud a number of years ago between the growers in Carp and Perth. The Perth group apparently split off, then started their own festival. But to "one up" the folks in Carp, they had it a week early. Then Carp "one-upped" them and moved theirs up by yet another week. Now they are both harmonised again, but a few weeks ahead of proper garlic harvest time.

So if you are smart, you'll go to garlic festival and just get a business card from a farmer, then in a few weeks go visit the farm and get some freshly harvested garlic, harvested at the prime time.

My farmer says the farmers only harvest a small portion for the festival, and of course it's harvested too early. He grows a lot of garlic himself but does not take part in garlic fest because of this nonsense.

2008 Aug 8
Chimichimi - Thanks for the info. Looks like I have a lot to learn about garlic... I had no idea. FREE Sampling always sounds good.

Zym - That's interesting. I guess what is being harvested now then is the leading edge of the crop and not necessarily the best. I wonder if it has to do the variety? I notice that Silver Spring Farms (on Richmond Road at Baseline) is also selling garlic this week right off the farm... I would assume that they wouldn't be influenced by the Festival one-up-manship. I have traditionally bought my garlic later in the season (into September or later) mostly out of convenience in storing it with the hopes that it'll last longer... so at this point I am unable to compare quality.

2008 Aug 8
Food&Think Although I have not been to the Taste of Danforth I have definitely been to Danforth Avenue and had an enjoyable visit. Apparently the festival is a must see if you are interested in visiting the Danforth. I will see if I can find the name of the restaurant I went to and send it along. Although I "think" the restaurants have stalls set up in the streets similar in style to the Greek festival here in Ottawa. Whatever you decide to do this weekend I hope it's a good one!

2008 Aug 8
Pasta Lover - Unfortunately, I won't be getting to TO this weekend, so I'll have to miss "A Taste of the Danforth" for another year. I once saw a spot on it on tv, it looked very interesting... very much a festival. And you are right, they do have booths set up streetside (so one can "graze" from one end of the street to the other) but I understand they also have special menus at many of the restaurants as well. Maybe next year.