Brooklyn landscape artist Frank Meuschke grows garlic and shallots on an acre of land in Amagansett that he leases from the Peconic Land Trust on Long Island’s South Fork. This is Meuschke’s third year farming garlic – he started on a patch of chocolate brown earth in the Hudson Valley, but moved his operation to the sandy loam of Long Island last year, and markets his crop under the name Hudson Clove. Everything is done by hand – from soil improvement through sowing, harvesting and curing. Although not certified, the garlic is grown using organic methods.
After August, and post curing, all of Hudson Clove‘s 22 strains of 8 varieties of garlic will be available for purchase through the website, and at the New Amsterdam Market when their markets are scheduled this fall. Just in time for the seriously sweaty weather that begs for ajo blanco, the most soothing of cool soups, singing with garlic and grapes.
Shallots are available now. Also at its fleeting peak – the elephant garlic is in bloom, but Meuschke is finding it hard to convince local LI florists to buy the striking flowering stems (which are also delicious to eat before they toughen up). They think it smells. Of course. But the flowers atop their sinuous stems and wrapped in papery sheaths called spathes, open into the familiar pom poms of ornamental Allium species, and are as smell-free as that traditional cut flower. Except that these are white, not purple, which is refreshing.
Follow the garlicky news on Hudson Clove’s Facebook page.