Anton Hatfield-Nicholson is full of fun facts about garlic — and yes “fun facts” and “garlic” can peacefully co-exist in the same sentence.
For instance, fishermen looking to repel insects should consider munching on a few cloves before heading down to the stream.
Similarly, if you’re looking for an organic way to keep pests away from your roses, consider planting a little bit of garlic nearby.
Oh and that evening roast? Some garlic, olive oil and onion will really help make the flavor pop.
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It will destroy your garlic.
These and more pearls of wisdom were available on Sunday outside of the Boal Mansion Museum, where the second Herb and Garlic Festival was in full swing.
Hatfield-Nicholson was there under the auspices of his Juniata Stinking Rose banner. He sells onions — lots of them — but Sunday’s excursion to Boalsburg was also about educating the public on the evils of the aluminum leafminer, an insect that is the great scourge of his product.
“It will destroy your garlic,” Hatfield-Nicholson said.
Festivals like the one in Boalsburg allow him to interact directly with potential customers or people who are just plain curious about garlic.
It’s just completely different from anything you can buy at the grocery store.
Luckily for him, that’s something he knows a lot about. Hatfield-Nicholson used to grow up to 27 varieties and 10,000 pounds worth of the stuff.
“I started as a hobby,” Hatfield-Nicholson said.
Other herbs were well-represented at the festival. There was oregano leaves, organic nutmeg, chamomile and more available for purchase from BellaDonna Herbs in Lemont.
For those who prefer to grow their own supply, plants like rosemary arp and English thyme were also available, along with flowers from Fox Hill Gardens.
Cindy Shaler, president of the board at Boal Mansion Museum, said that she tried some of Hatfield-Nicholson’s garlic and almost fell over.
“It’s just completely different from anything you can buy at the grocery store,” Shaler said.