Producing the Goods

The Garlic Farm, near Newport, Isle of Wight

Colin Boswell noticed how well the garlic grew in his mother’s kitchen garden. He decided to do some research on garlic varieties to see which would grow best on his greensand soil. He now runs the Garlic Farm with a farm shop that sells 10 varieties of garlic bulbs for planting and eating – such as Solent Wight, Early Wight and Purple Wight – renamed in age old fashion to claim them for the Isle of Wight (synonyms are part of horticultural currency and history).

He has also added value by selling plaited garlic, smoked garlic and a range of pickles and relishes made on the farm such as Transylvanian and Vampire’s Delight. They have made a poster of garlic varieties, an apron, T-shirt and they sell accoutrements for cooking, crushing and storing garlic. They make a point of stating their policy of not selling to supermarkets.

More than twenty years ago they started the IOW Garlic Festival as a fund-raising food festival. The show now attracts 25,000 people. The Show is big, dominated by craft stalls and country activities, but the centre-piece remains the great garlic marquee.

Contact: Colin Boswell
The Garlic Farm, Merslay Farm, Newchurch, IOW, PO36 ONR
+44(0)1983 865378, e-mail: web [at]