Frequently Asked Questions

We are a network of small, idyllic organic family farms, working together to create a sustainable market that offers returns to all parties involved and ensures the health of the environment, growers and producers, and patrons of our enterprise, which means YOU. We have been growing and selling exceptional-quality garlic over 15 years. It is our joy, privilege, and honor to provide exceptional-quality garlic seed and bulbs. The market is saturated with garlic, but not all garlic is cultivated equal. Our garlic is grown organically and without the use of GMOs. We never irradiate our garlic, and always grow in nutrient-dense soil to ensure the highest-quality produce. We understand and respect that good garlic seed is an investment. As evidence, we inspect our garlic in the field, during curing, and post-harvest, so our patrons, YOU, receive garlic in its healthiest condition, ready to grow or eat.

Although many seed companies source their garlic from other countries, we take pride in growing and selling heirloom garlic in the United States, and specifically Wisconsin, which produces some of the best garlic in the nation! We are committed to hard work, exceptional quality, sustainability, and, most importantly, the satisfaction of our patrons, YOU. We renew this commitment on a daily basis just as we inspect our garlic at each step of the creation.

We invite you to take a look around our website and store. We believe sincerely you will benefit from the experience of organic, homegrown garlic, as we have. For those of you who do not know us, we eat only organic foods due to our struggles with health conditions. For us, the organic lifestyle is among our most cherished values, because it has provided us a quality of life and health the processed medicine and food industries simply cannot provide. Organic foods saved our lives, and we earnestly believe they will save yours as well. Join us, come be a part of our movement to restore and refresh the world. Know your farmer, know your food!

US garlic farmers grow limited quantities of garlic each season. Currently, demand for garlic exceeds the available supply. Most garlic farmers sell through their reserves very quickly, and thus, as the year progresses, availability decreases. Pre-ordering is the only way to ensure you will get garlic.

Jumbo SizeJumbo planting size 2.25 inches or larger, but most fall right around 2.25 inches. The super-jumbo size reaches 2.75 inches, but they are rare, and we save them for seed. If you want the largest bulbs, order jumbo size.

Large Size – These are around 2 inches, and are great for planting, as they can size up into jumbo-sized bulbs. This is the size we recommend for most gardeners. However, if you only want the largest-sized bulbs, order the Jumbo size.

Culinary size – Small - or medium-size bulbs similar to the sizes grocery stores offer. The culinary size is the best size for eating. They can be planted, but you will harvest small or medium bulbs. For best growing results, plant the large or jumbo bulbs. Most market farmers or CSA farms plant large or jumbo sizes because they get more larger cloves per pound. If you want to plant and harvest more bulbs and size is not as important, this size is for you.

(These are only estimations.There is always variability in size, weight, and number of cloves per bulb. However, this will get you close to your planting and harvesting goals.)

Porcelain (about 5 cloves per bulb)

Jumbo

  • 1/4lb. (2 bulbs, 10 cloves)
  • 1/2lb. (3 bulbs, 15 cloves)
  • 1lb. (6 bulbs, 30 cloves)

Large

  • 1/4lb. (2 bulbs, 10 cloves)
  • 1/2lb. (4 bulbs, 20 cloves)
  • 1lb. (8 bulbs, 40 cloves)

Culinary

  • 1/4lb. (4 bulbs, 20 cloves)
  • 1/2lb. (7 bulbs, 35 cloves)
  • 1lb. (10 bulbs, 50 cloves)

Rocambole (about 10 cloves per bulb)

Jumbo

  • 1/4lb. (2 bulbs, 20 cloves)
  • 1/2lb. (3 bulbs, 30 cloves)
  • 1lb. (6 bulbs, 60 cloves)

Large

  • 1/4lb. (2 bulbs, 20 cloves)
  • 1/2lb. (4 bulbs, 40 cloves)
  • 1lb. (8 bulbs, 80 cloves)

Culinary

  • 1/4lb. (4 bulbs, 40 cloves)
  • 1/2lb. (7 bulbs, 70 cloves)
  • 1lb. (10 bulbs, 100 cloves)

Softneck (about 16 cloves per bulb)

Jumbo

  • 1/4lb. (2 bulbs, 32 cloves)
  • 1/2lb. (3 bulbs, 48 cloves)
  • 1lb. (6 bulbs, 96 cloves)

Large

  • 1/4lb. (2 bulbs, 32 cloves)
  • 1/2lb. (4 bulbs, 64 cloves)
  • 1lb. (8 bulbs, 128 cloves)

Culinary

  • 1/4lb. (4 bulbs, 64 cloves)
  • 1/2lb. (7 bulbs, 112 cloves)
  • 1lb. (10 bulbs, 160 cloves)

Standard Purple Stripe (about 12 cloves per bulb)

Jumbo

  • 1/4lb. (2 bulbs, 24 cloves)
  • 1/2lb. (3 bulbs, 36 cloves)
  • 1lb. (6 bulbs, 72 cloves)

Large

  • 1/4lb. (2 bulbs, 24 cloves)
  • 1/2lb. (4 bulbs, 48 cloves)
  • 1lb. (8 bulbs, 96 cloves)

Culinary

  • 1/4lb. (4 bulbs, 48 cloves)
  • 1/2lb. (7 bulbs, 84 cloves)
  • 1lb. (10 bulbs, 120 cloves)

We cannot absolutely guarantee our garlic will perform for you. Simply, there are too many variables when it comes to gardening that are beyond our control. What we do ensure is that we are sending you the quality garlic that will grow and is planted in our own fields. If there was a problem in our garlic fields then we would expect to see some in yours, so that is always to good way to check in the spring if there is really an issue with the garlic seed. Over the past 15 years, we have received a number of excellent reviews from customers, phone calls and emails from happy customers impressed with the quality of our garlic and how well it has performed for them. #keenegarlic or @keenegarlic on social media to see how our garlic grandbabies have performed for other customers. We also take pride, that our garlic has started many new successful garlic farms and helped new gardeners to grow great garlic.

We are dedicated to ensuring you are happy with your purchase. We will gladly refund your order for the amount of the garlic, if you contact us within 3 days of receiving your order and return the garlic to us within 7 days of receiving your shipment. Our liability is limited to the actual cost of the garlic. We inspect continually each bulb for quality. If we see any issues, we do not ship! 

Garlic is produce. It naturally deteriorates, as does all produce. After it leaves our facility, we do not know how it is stored, as every home is different and we cannot control the environment they are stored in. Please, consult our website and brochure on how to store garlic. Garlic can store up to 9 months or more, but improper storage will hasten its deterioration.

When we ship your garlic, we send tracking information to the email you provided. Please, track the package so that you can open your box immediately and store your garlic properly. If there is a problem with shipping, contact your local post office immediately, which is the fastest way to locate your box. We have the ability to contact USPS Customer Service, but usually, it is the local post office that has the answer. If the local post office cannot help you, then contact us, and we will be able to help you locate your box.

We do recommend planting your garlic around October 15. Generally, large bulbs naturally deteriorate faster than eating garlic. If you order after October 15th, you must plant your garlic right away. We cannot ensure exceptional-quality after October 15th, garlic is produce and does naturally deteriorate.  

We accept all credit cards through our website. Payment is collected at the time you place your order, not at the time you receive your order. We also accept check and cash for local pickups. If you order bulk quantities 100lbs or greater, we will accept a deposit equal to 50% of the total order price, with the remaining balance due August 1.

We use UPS and the United State Postal Office.

Due to the high cost of shopping, we ask patrons who make errors when they input their shipping information to pay any additional costs associated with re-shipping. We encourage our patrons not to auto-fill orders, but to verify that the information they submit is accurate and up-to-date. We appreciate your understanding and vigilance.

Garlic is planted in the fall, and then harvested in late spring to early summer. We harvest our seed in July, cure it up to 4 weeks, and then spend the entire month of August cleaning the bulbs.

We begin to ship the first of September. As orders come in, we fill them based on the ship date you choose or we ship garlic per your regional planting dates. In each box, you will find detailed growing and storing. We continue to ship garlic seed through December.

Extreme cold areas, such as Alaska, might need to plant in September. We do ship Alaska orders first. If you live in such an extreme cold area, order in time to get your seed into the ground before it freezes.

Garlic is typically planted in the fall, about 2-4 weeks before the ground begins to freeze. Planting time depends upon your location, but most of North America plants garlic in October.

Northern or very cold growing climates might plant as early as September, while many warm Southern climates will delay planting until November or December. Consult the planting guides for the different USDA hardiness zones, posted below. (To identify your zone, USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.)

  • Zones 3-5: plant garlic late September to early October. Hardneck garlics will grow best in these areas. Softneck garlics are not recommended for extreme cold growing conditions.
  • Zones 5-7: plant garlic middle to late October.
  • Zones 7-9: plant garlic October to November.
  • Zones 9-10: plant garlic late October through December. Softneck garlics grow best in these areas. Hardnecks are not recommended for very warm growing conditions.

The "neck" refers to the stalk that grows upwards from the bulb.

  • Softneck stalks are made up of leaves and remain soft and flexible at maturity. Softneck garlics are largely adaptable, growing well in warm and southern climates, as they are not cold hardy. USDA hardiness zones 6-10 work well for softnecks, but might require mulch in cold areas. Softnecks store very well, lasting 9-12 months when properly cured and stored. There are more cloves in each bulb with two layers, some small and some large. While all cloves can be planted, we suggest planting the large cloves first, and if you have remaining space, then plant the smaller cloves.
  • Hardneck garlics have a "stalk" (scape) that stems from the center of the bulb and turns rigid at maturity. Hardneck garlics tend to grow best in colder climates, as they are very winter hardy. Hardnecks can grow well in USDA hardiness zones 3-8 and are not recommended for warmer climates. Hardnecks produce scapes, which if left on the plant will eventually flower. These bulbs are typically easier to peel and are more flavorful than softnecks, with fewer and larger cloves per head than softneck garlics. Hardneck garlics do not have as long of a shelf life, typically storing 4-6 months.

At local universities, we test our garlic fields annually for common garlic diseases, especially Garlic Bloat Nematode. No garlic farm or testing procedure guarantees zero disease. However, by testing annually and using best-growing practices, we go above and beyond to bring you exceptional-quality garlic.

Our network consists of approximately 40 of the best garlic growers around Wisconsin. These growers are small farmers producing relatively small quantities of exceptional-quality garlic. The best heirloom garlic in the United States is produced by these growers, due to the sheer love, pride, joy, and care that goes into their work. Many of these growers live an organic lifestyle and would never put herbicide or pesticide on their land or the food they grow to eat.

For garlic to be considered Certified Organic, it must go through the USDA organic certification, and many of our growers are simply too small to afford the costs of certification. As they are not "certified organic," they cannot label their crop organic. And so, we call it Naturally Grown. Our naturally grown garlic has been grown without herbicides, pesticides or chemicals, and grown on land that has not been subjected to these chemicals. Additionally, we do not use GMOs. If you want only Certified Organic garlic, make sure you see the organic logo; or, in our sampler packages, choose Certified Organic.

Regarding the 2021 season, the volume of demand has limited extraordinarily our supply of Certified Organic. Certified Organic farmers are required to purchase Certified Organic seed. And so, if you have the willingness to purchase naturally grown, which lacks only the certification but was grown using the same practices and values as Certified Organic, this will liberate our growers to obtain their organic seed. Our network is still growing; the investments you, our patrons, make feed directly into the growth and sustainability of our network. If you need to see the Certified Organic logo, we understand completely. Indeed, we are the same way. When we purchase from grocery stores, we purchase only those products which bear the Certified Organic logo. However, we know our growers, they are our friends and family, members of our network, and we know their practices and values. It is usually simply the prohibitive cost of certification why you do not see the Certified Organic logo. And, many old-time garlic growers will say “I’ve been growing organically long before the Certified Organic Program, and my standards are stricter”.

Organic agriculture yields products using methods that preserve the environment and avoid synthetic materials and practices, such as pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs, irradiation, and treated seeds. USDA organic standards describe how farmers grow crops and raise livestock and which materials they may use. Organic farmers, ranchers, and food processors follow a defined set of standards to produce organic food and fiber. Congress described general organic principles in the Organic Foods Production Act, and the USDA defines specific organic standards. These standards cover the product from farm to table, including soil and water quality, pest control, livestock practices, and rules for food additives. Organic farms and processors preserve natural resources and biodiversity, support animal health and welfare, provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviors, only use approved materials, do not use genetically modified ingredients, receive annual onsite inspections, and separate organic food from non-organic food.