For the second consecutive year, Dorothy Oogarah of Wagar Oogarah Farms is the Champion Garlic Grower at the Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards Competition held at the Lions Hall in Verona.
Catherine Cheff of Renfrew was the Reserve Champion (2nd place) and Marchand Lemarre of Kirkfield received Honorable Mention (3rd place). It was a second consecutive Reserve Champion win for Cheff as well.
“I’m totally amazed, my crop was not all that good this year,” Oogarah said.
“Quality, I guess,” said husband Viren. “I had to talk her into entering this year.”
Paul Pospisil, who has been overseeing the competition since 1997, said that the judging standard used this year is an updated version that places greater emphasis on garlic quality and less on bulb size in keeping with accepted horticultural practices.
“Quality of garlic is measured by numerous criteria that determine its relative merits as food,” Pospisil said. “Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to garlic.”
Pospisil said the number of exhibitors was up from last year’s awards with five of 22 counties represented and three first-time exhibitors including Lemarre.
En route to her win this year, Oogarah placed 2nd in best single bulb, 1st in best display of 12 bulbs of the same cultivar, 1st in best collection of five varieties and 1st in best garlic braid of 12 bulbs of the same cultivar.
Best single bulb winner was Amanda Vaughn of Codrington.
Prizes were donated by NFU Local 316, Local Family Farms and Pospisil