THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING GREAT:
A Family Affair
You could say farming is in our blood... but that blood is two generations old! So how did we, an urban-based family of secret foodies, two generations removed from farming, get into growing garlic?
Many of us have always loved to garden, and we've wanted to engage in a family business endeavor together for many years. Then, in 2010, we acquired the 5.1 acre property on what we lovingly call Dragonfly Bay on Webb Lake near Hackensack, Minnesota. We quickly realized that this land presented us with the perfect opportunity and location for literally growing something of our own.
So, after conducting much research, talking with many garlic farmers, connecting with the MN Premium Garlic Project, and experimenting A LOT, we landed in the garlic world. In the fall of 2019 we excitedly planted our first crop on just under a half acre of our sunny back fields overlooking the beautiful, glistening lake. This pristine setting, formerly a hay field, is where we spend our summers fishing, swimming, cooking, laughing, and adventuring alongside the thousands of dragonflies that naturally gravitate here. So we were eager to bring another element of joy to the place we love so much!
And now, having outgrown our back fields in 2021, we have expanded to 127 beautiful acres of field and forest just outside of Isanti, Minnesota. This expansion has allowed us to plant even more garlic so we can bring our unique, delicious garlic varieties to fields and tables throughout the region!
We are growing our delicious garlic varieties because:
we love garlic!
garlic has antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that help the body fight over 160 ailments and chronic conditions.
we love offering a locally grown, sustainable crop to foodies, gardeners and farmers.
fresh, natural, heirloom and gourmet homegrown hardneck garlic has been found by scientists to have higher levels of allicin (the organic compound that is responsible for garlic’s health benefits) than softneck garlic imported from China and elsewhere.
we believe everyone can benefit from experiencing entirely new garlic varieties that differ greatly from supermarket garlic, most of which is a single, bland variety. Our garlic varieties vary in flavor from mild and nutty, to hot and spicy, to sweet and creamy.
garlic is a truly beautiful, magical plant!
NICOLE, A GARLIC LOVER
“Dragonfly Bay garlic is super fresh, and the Chesnok variety
I tried was perfectly spicy!”
MIKI, A GARLIC GURU
“I didn't know garlic could taste this good!”
INSPIRED BY SOME AWESOME MOVIES TO START!
Making a Difference
We're often asked how we were inspired to start our farm and become soil advocates. Believe it or not, it all started with an innocent movie night! One evening, several of us were hanging out and decided to watch The Biggest Little Farm (2018). After the credits rolled, we were all, quite honestly, just moved!
This sparked hours of discussion and rewatching the movie a few times, which then turned into ideas, proposals and spreadsheets over several more months; that ultimately lead us to purchasing our first batch of seed garlic bulbs in 2019.
Oddly enough, choosing to become soil advocates was similarly inspired when we chose to watch Kiss the Ground (2020) during another movie night. This incredibly compelling movie instantly inspired us to investigate low-till planting and growing methods, because we learned that even though we're operating a small, family farm, we're not powerless or insignificant when it comes to curbing the realities of climate change! So we're figuring out that with some small changes to what we've already been doing to grow our garlic naturally, we can easily improve soil health and reduce our carbon footprint significantly. Now, we're knee-deep into more research, and we're very excited to begin testing several regenerative, low impact growing and weed control methods with our current crop. One of our goals is to perfect these practices and share them with others who are also inspired into action, so by purchasing our garlic you are helping us make a difference too!
What's the moral of this part of our story? Obviously we highly recommend everyone watch these two fantastic movies, but also be careful about what you choose when you're just "chillin' and watchin' Netflix" -- you never know how it will inspire you!