Community Seed Exchange's Garlic Stewardship Program

Help us Steward Chester Aaron's Legacy

We can only keep the rich diversity available if we grow them and save them together!  

Chester Aaron lived in Occidental, CA where he became a garlic farmer and for more than 40 years grew over 60 varieties of garlic from 20 different countries. He is known worldwide for his books on garlic and his efforts in popularizing garlic farming.  He was instrumental in expanding the garlic varieties we have access to here, not just in California, but throughout the United States as well.  When he died in 2019, the Community Seed Exchange wanted to honor his work by creating a Garlic Steward Program to maintain his legacy in the community.

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We're looking for stewards who want to care for a variety of garlic. Here's how it works:

1 . Read!

2. Learn!

  • Attend our Growing Great Garlic Class from 10:00am-11:00am, Oct 22: Taught by Sara McCamant, the class will start with the basics, and delve into all of the advanced techniques in tending to your garlic.

3. Grow!

  • After the class, come to the Garlic Stewardship Event from 11:00am-12:30pm, Oct 22, where you can sign up to receive a package 9 to 12 cloves of garlic to grow! Each package will contain up to 3 different varieties of garlic. Some of our garlic is rare, some more common.  We have around 25 varieties available in our collection. Check out our collection here.

  • Plant cloves within a week, in a rich soil that is gopher proof.

  • Properly care for garlic through the winter, keeping each variety clearly labeled while growing.

  • After harvest, save some cloves for yourself and bring a some back to the Community Seed Exchange for the next year's stewarding.  We ask that you bring back at least 3 heads of garlic, unless they have had disease.

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