In September 2014, Sow True Seed kicked off what the company first envisioned would be a small celebration of garlic in its South Slope parking lot. But as planning got underway, recalls Sow True community coordinator Chris Smith, “everyone got a little overexcited.”
Inaugural preparations included the company’s tech guy whipping up garlic ice cream, the accountant making garlic hummus and Smith concocting honey-fermented garlic. On the day of the event, community garlic enthusiasts came out by the hundreds, and the annual WNC Garlic Fest was launched.
Now in its third year, Garlic Fest is expanding to grow the fun by inviting even more vendors, farmers and enthusiasts to the festival, which will run from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, on Asheville’s South Slope.
In addition to opportunities to taste a wide range of garlic delicacies, the event will offer several free garlic-related workshops covering growing and preserving garlic, garlic nutrition and cooking with garlic. The event area will center on the intersection of Church Street and Banks Avenue, close to the Sow True Seeds and Fifth Season Gardening retail stores. Event organizers remind prospective festivalgoers that the area is also home to many micro-breweries, so opportunities to cool the spicy burn of sampling garlicky treats will abound.
Fall is the optimal time to plant garlic in WNC, and plenty of seed garlic will be available for purchase at the fest. This year, Sow True is highlighting certified varieties including Elephant Garlic, Georgia Fire, Chesnok Red, Majestic, Red Italian, German White and Inchelium.
For more information, visit wncgarlicfest.com.