CLATSKANIE — The Clatskanie Farmers Market Garlic Festival takes place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at Cope’s Park.

This year’s festival features several vendors selling numerous varieties and strains of garlic: Music, Mt. Hood, Italian Late, Spanish Roja, Blanak, Inchelium Red, Turk Giant, Deerfield, Vietnamese Red, Georgian Fire and Metechi to name a few.

Some garlic geeks will be looking for Porcelain varieties. They contain the highest levels of allicin, the broad-spectrum anti-bacterial element that garlic is known for. Others know about the Rocamboles. These amazing bulbs roast up creamy with that intense classic flavor.

Others may come for the Vietnamese Red, our local chef’s favorite. At least one vendor will feature braided soft-neck garlic with dried flowers woven through the bulbs. Place these on a kitchen wall for the decorative effect, then begin using them this winter. The cured bulbs will last until April.

The Clatskanie Farmers Market always has fresh produce, live music, children’s activities, a food cart and arts and crafts, but on this day you should come for the flavor of the season. Vendors will offer garlic tasters: roasted garlic on toasted artisan bread, gazpacho, pestos, salsas and more.

Go to the festival to stock up. Some varieties will last well into the spring. Go to the festival if you want to plant your own garlic patch; the growers at the festival earmark all their largest bulbs as seed stock. Go to the festival if you like garlic, garlic and more pungent, savory garlic.

The Clatskanie Farmers Market just received the Innovative Market of the Year Award from the Oregon Farmers Markets Association.

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