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Garlic Fair & Growers' Exchange


With harvest time near, here are tips to cure garlic successfully. Brush off the dirt, and lay the bulbs out to dry in a cool spot on newspaper, raised up on a grill or hang them with ample air circulation.  If you are growing more than one variety, be sure to keep the types separated. They should be cured for a couple of weeks at least before you trim off the hardnecks. Remember to leave six inches of that hardneck on for ease of labeling and preventing decay.

Donating Garlic?

We will be delighted to receive your cured, cleaned and labelled garlic at our offices before the garlic event (see details below).


Garlic Fair and Growers' Exchange 2018

When: September 22, 2018

Where: Golden Acre Home and Garden

620 Goddard Ave NE, Calgary 

3:00 - 6:00pm

Cost: Free for Calgary Horticultural Society Members

$5 at the door for Non-CHS Members

What's Happening?

This is a fun, family friendly event.

Learn how to grow garlic from one of our experts.

Chat with like-minded growers.

Listen to one of the several talks that will be offered on topics ranging from Growing Garlic to Cooking with Garlic to The Health Benefits of Garlic.

Buy some garlic to plant and grow and share.

Join the Exchange!

Village Brewery is launching their Garden Beer

Listen to music, walk around and enjoy.

Participating in the Growers' Exchange?

No experience is required! By participating, you gain connection with other gardeners and resources while becoming a part of the local movement to cultivate heritage hardneck garlic.

Our Goals are:

To increase the:

  • Knowledge about how to grow garlic in Calgary;
  • Number of people successfully growing and enjoying different varieties of hardeneck garlic.

To decrease the:

  • Dependance on importing food by promoting food production locally.

We also hope that enough people become interesting in donating, as well as exchanging a portion of their crop such that we will no longer require purchasing seed stock, ie. the exchange becomes self sufficient.

Why is Heritage Hardneck Garlic a wonderful plant for Calgary Gardens?

  • hail resistant
  • thrives in hot weather 
  • drought tolerant, making it a waterwise option for the garden
  • succeeds in all types of soil
  • increases local availability of a typically imported food crop  
  • easy to grow, harvest and propagate

There are up to 50 varieties of heritage hardneck garlic that grow well in Calgary and are available from seed companies.

Here is how the exchange works.

Please note: we made some key changes this year to improve the exchange process and prevent disappointment.

Garlic _Fort Calgary

There are:

Two Levels of Growers:Individual  Growers Residential  or individual community gardeners.

Partner Growers: Residential gardeners or community gardens dedicated to growing enough garlic to support this exchange with varieties of garlic stock to sell to new participants.

Growers are asked to:
  • Plant and label garlic in the fall, cut scapes mid-July to promote bulb growth and harvest garlic mid-August.
  • Keep track of each variety while growing & harvesting, clean, cure, and label bulbs the following year.
  • Return the clean, cured  and labeled garlic, grown in their own garden to the Horticultural Society office.
  • Receive credit notes to put towards your purchase of new varieties or more of the same varieties of garlic to grow for the following season.
  • Enter their name to win our raffle as a thank you for supporting us.

Return their harvest to the Horticultural Society Office 208 50 Ave. SWfrom August 22nd to September 14th (between Tuesday to Friday 9:30 to 4:00). If that timing does not work for you. Send a note to Laurie to

Receive a credit note on a three for two basis e.g. bring us three bulbs, we'll give you a credit note for two in return to exchange for a different variety at The Garlic Fair & Growers Exchange on Sept  22nd. Please know that all garlic donations will be used to provide variety in our exchange area. We welcome extras for this purpose!

Note to All Growers:

  • Please commit to using NO chemical sprays (herbicides, pesticides) on your garlic crop.
  • Assure that only organic or chemical free fertilizers are used in the garden bed where the garlic is grown.
  • Maintain records of the garlic varieties that are being grown and properly label bulbs upon return to the exchange next year.
At the Event:
Bring your credit note and use it towards the purchase of a different type of garlic or get more of the same if you loved what your grew last year!
The Exchange area will be separated from the sellers market and access granted only to those who have credit notes to enter and exchange.

New growers interested in joining the exchange can sign up with us and purchase seed to plant this fall for next summer.

We are also providing Garlic Vendors a chance to sell garlic outside of this area to ensure that everyone leaves happy and supplied with garlic seed to plant for next year as well as having enough to eat!

As a non-profit organization, we consciously keep our operational costs low while offering meaningful support to Calgary Gardeners. Monies generated from the Garlic Growers' Exchange go towards the purchase of seed garlic, plant labels, and event fees.

 Want to help out?

We are actively looking for volunteers to help put on this event. If you are interested, please leave a message for Norm Cook, Volunteer Coordinator, at 403-287-3469 or email and he will contact you.