The Non-Missish Newsletter of
Minnesota Garlic Festival
- OFFICIAL COOKBOOK NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE
- GARLIC CONTEST STARTS in 2012
- PROMENADE WINNERS SCANDAL
- THE STINKY INDEX
- BOCCE? YOU BETCHA!
You can read past issues of The Stinky News at the festival website, www.mngarlicfest.com; just look for the links on the left side of the page.
OFFICIAL COOKBOOK NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE
Regular readers of The Stinky News will know that we are not given to hyperbole, over-exuberance or puffery, but we are more than a bit sanguine about this: The OFFICIAL MN GARLIC FESTIVAL COOKBOOK, which premiered at this year’s festival, causing a near riot of avaricious alliumphiles*, is now available to purchase online. Mary Jane Miller, the Festival’s Chef Wrangler and Maven of Mmmmm, has compiled this copious compendium of recipes and garlic lore specifically suited to northern garlic, and here’s the coolest part: it’s a ring binder, so it sits on the countertop and stays open while you’re up to your elbows in pesto, and each year you can add more deliciousness in the pre-labeled sections, customizing your own personalized culilnalexicon.
GARLIC CONTEST STARTS in 2012
Blue ribbons, bragging rights and big garlic: the Minnesota Garlic Festival announces its first “Garlic Growers & Gardeners Contest: The Big, The Small and The Ugly” to be held during the fest at the McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson on August 11, 2012.
The contest will be open to all garlic grown in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Iowa. There will be prizes for the biggest and smallest heads overall, and a prize for the biggest head in each of ten garlic categories: Artichoke, Asiatic, Creole, Glazed Purple Stripe, Marbled Purple Stripe, Porcelain, Purple Stripe, Rocambole, Silverskin, and Turban. Finally, there’s a “Worst in Show” award for the ugliest garlic (must be disease-free and edible to be eligible).
Here tips from contest mastermind, Carol Schmidt, on how to get the BIGGEST bulbs:
- Select the largest cloves for planting.
- Plant them with plenty of room—at least 8 inches in all directions.
- Fertilize before planting, when the sprouts first appear in the spring and lightly every two weeks till about one month before harvest.
- Eliminate all weeds.
- Cut the scapes on hardneck varieties as soon as they appear.
And here’s Carol’s tips on how to get the SMALLEST heads:
- Dig a trench about four inches deep and six inches wide.
- Throw in willy-nilly all the smallest cloves you have, keeping them as close together as possible.
- Do not fertilize water or weed.
And, finally, here’s how to grow an UGLY bulb:
- See #1-3 under “smallest heads,” plus
- Play Barry Manilow Music to the plants 24/7 at 110 decibels.
Watch the website, www.mngarlicfest.com, for complete details coming soon.
PROMENADE WINNERS SCANDAL
As everyone in the upper Midwest knows**, competition is stiff for the prizes presented to the participants in the Peculiar Pragmatic Promenade, and now it appears there may indeed be scandal and impropriety as well. This year’s star-studded awards ceremony*** was going famously, without even a hint of indiscretion, until the end. First, the award for “Most Peculiar” went to The Narren of New Ulm; no one would argue the fact that these folks are the epitome of peculiarity. Then the “Most Pragmatic” award went to the Cowboys and Cowgirls of the festival, children who participated in a workshop specifically designed to make them the cutest darn thing to ever march in a parade. The “Most Promenading” award went to festival newbies, The Mudboots Crew Marching Band, and without a doubt, these folks have redefined the fine art of promenading.
But here’s where the problems started. Our investigative staff has learned that in both 2009 and 2010, Festival Director, Jerry Ford, and his faithful sidekick, Brandon Wiarda, have won awards in the Promenade for their garlic/pink flamingo bicycles, which raised ethical questions: should the Director be eligible to win such valuable prizes?**** Thereafter, supposedly a promenade prize policy was passed precluding festival staff from eligibility. So it’s easy to understand the outcry that ensued at this year’s ceremony when the judges awarded an unprecedented SECOND “Most Promenading” award to a couple of garlic-festooned participants who turned out to be Ford and Wiarda, poorly disguised in flowing skirts. When pressed by the press, Ford said, “As director, I’m just a powerless figurehead and not concerned with punctilious policies, and will not stoop to such calumny”; and when Wiarda was asked if he thought it was fair he responded, “Whatever.”
THE STINKY INDEX
- People who participated in the 6th Annual Garlic Festival: 3,500
- Percentage of those who left the fairgrounds smelling different than when they came: 99.99%
- People who left smelling the same: 1 (The Garlic Diva got a head start with a 15-clove omelet for breakfast)
- Number of Vendors and Exhibitors: 64
- Garlic Vendors: 15
- Vendors who intentionally had worms present in their booth: 1
- Sousaphone players (that would admit to it): 1
- Paraders participating in the Peculiar Pragmatic Promenade: at least 40
- Number of Chef Demos: 7
- Chef Demos that included high fructose corn syrup: 0
- Amount of “waste” recycled: Approximately 360 gallons
- Amount composted: Over 1,000 gallons
- Times that hyperbole is used this issue: more than can be counted
- Times that over-exuberance is used: Wow, like a freakin’ lot!!!!
- Times that puffery is used: A great deal, but we do it so well *****
BOCCE? YOU BETCHA!
Editorial by Jeff Aldrich
I made the mistake of mentioning to Festival Director, Jerry Ford, that only a small handful of folks love garlic as much as the Italians, so it only made sense to introduce a Bocce tournament as part of next year’s Garlic Festival. I should have guessed that he, like any seasoned farmer, is pretty darn good at delegating work to the hired hands. (Publisher’s note: we blackmailed Jeff into running the Bocce competition.)
For those of you not familiar with Bocce, it is a form of lawn bowling that dates back to the Roman Empire. The official World Bocce web site claims that it is the world’s second most popular sport (huh?) next to soccer, which the Italians also like quite a lot. Generally, there’s a little ball (not much bigger than a golf ball) called a “jack” or “pallino,” and eight larger balls (four of two different colors, about the size of a softball), that opposing teams try to throw closest to the little ball after one of the players throws the little ball out into the alfalfa field. Confused yet? Think horse shoes with wooden balls and a moving stake. I actually thought I had a pretty good grasp of the game until I visited the aforementioned World Bocce web site and reviewed the rules. What? They play this game in clay courts? There are zones and fouls? This doesn’t sound anything like the ambling around the yard on a Saturday evening with a cold beer version that I’ve been playing for the last ten or so years!
So as I thought about it more, I realized that it would probably take me more than a year to learn the official rules and that, except for a few of us in no hurry to get home and do chores, most guests probably wouldn’t stick around all day for a multi-bracketed full-day tournament. That was when I visited the carnival at the Wright County Fair…
In 2012, we will introduce a Bocce event in the format of a carnival game with a bit of a twist on the official rules. One of the farm vendors at this year’s Garlic Festival had a “garlic wheel” at their booth. My son loved it! If your spin landed on yellow, you won one bulb, green was three bulbs, and the sole blue was a whole pound. Each spin was a dollar. Marvelous idea. Anyway, I was thinking we could introduce a Bocce-type carnival game wherein participants toss the pallino (or garlic bulb if we wish) and get three or four chances to roll the larger balls within, say, six inches of the pallino in order to win a prize. Cost per throw and types of prizes are open for discussion (I’ve never been very good at gambling or statistics), but as I write this, I’m thinking it might actually be a lot of fun–and a potential revenue source.
At this point, I’m merely speculating, but I would appreciate hearing everyone’s feedback and thoughts on “cost per toss”, possible prizes, and proposed format of the game–or whether or not we want to get into the carnival arcade business at all, of course. Write to Jeff Aldrich at firstname.lastname@example.org
(End of Editorial)
Sneak Preview: We’re planning to add Full Contact Ultimate Croquet in 2013.
7th Annual MINNESOTA GARLIC FESTIVAL
Saturday, August 11, 2012
McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sustainable Farming Association of MN
* This phrase is an example of the hyperbole to which we are not given.
** An example of the kind of over-exuberance to which we are not given.
*** An example to the kind of puffery to which we are not given.
**** Prizes include garlic from Living Song Farm (which just happens to be the Festival Director’s farm), a CD recording by Ford’s wife, Mariénne Kreitlow, garlic soap from Basic Care, and a drachm of asafetida.
***** As opposed to amateur bono lawyers.