In Lomagne, the 2019 harvest has officially begun. The first plots of white garlic of Lomagne PGI were harvested on Wednesday, June 19th, under a blazing sun. The harvest will spread over a fortnight, if the weather allows it.
The goal is to bring the harvest in as fast as possible in order to start the drying phase and be ready to start selling around the 20th of July, right after the official launch of the marketing campaign for French garlic, which will take place on the 18th of July at the Maison des Fruits et Légumes, Boulevard Perreire, in Paris.
In the fields, the current conditions are ideal, enough to forget the troubles of 2018. This year, despite the cool temperatures in April and May, which slightly delayed production, all the conditions are right for a good harvest. The quality is good, the quantity will depend on the calibers but should be in a good average. A little more rain at the right time would have been welcome, particularly for the non-irrigated plots.
The commercial outlook is also favorable. The Chinese garlic, which generally floods the global market at ridiculously low prices, is three times more expensive this year, despite the closure of the US market. This closure should therefore benefit the Spanish production, whose harvest has just ended and which hopes to gain market shares overseas. Competition on the French market is not as strong. This gives hope for a fair value for quality products like the white garlic of Lomagne PGI.
The white garlic of Lomagne PGI has generous bulbs, of a caliber greater than 45 mm, marketed in bulk or braided. Its well-rounded cloves are pearly white. Caliber and presentation are selection criteria certified by the PGI specifications. The white garlic of Lomagne is sought after by gourmets and top chefs. It is an essential item in the kitchen, both for its culinary qualities and its medicinal virtues recognized since antiquity.
Lomagne is an old Gascon region located between the Gers and Tarn-et-Garonne. The production area of the white garlic of Lomagne PGI extends over 200 municipalities spread over 2 departments. On the hillside landscape, the plots used for the PGI production are clay-limestone soils with a pH greater than 7.5 and containing more than 20% of clay, both of which are essential factors for producing quality garlic. The aromatic potential of the white garlic of Lomagne, both scented and spicy, gets all its intensity from this exceptional terroir where the first traces of garlic cultivation go back to the 13th century.
The white garlic of Lomagne PGI is grown using certified seeds, corresponding to varieties with the characteristics of the traditional “Blanc de Lomagne” populations. Planting takes place in the fall on referenced plots. The harvest starts at the end of June and is followed by a drying period of 4 to 5 weeks. The white garlic of Lomagne is partly harvested with its tops, in sheaves, and then dried “on the racks”, in the traditional way. These steps are what enables the confection of braids of white garlic of Lomagne. For the garlic sold in bulk, the bulbs are trimmed in the fields, then dried by dynamic ventilation. Whatever harvesting method is used, each bulb of white garlic of Lomagne systematically goes through the producer for peeling, an essential step which gives the beautiful white color. The drying and manual peeling of the garlic are crucial phases to guarantee the quality of a PGI-certified product.
White garlic of Lomagne in figures
• Area: 187 ha
• Production potential: 1,300 tons
• Number of producers: 69
• Number of marketers: 5
For more information:
Association de Défense de l'Ail Blanc de Lomagne
47931 AGEN cedex 9
Phone: +33 5 53 77 22 71
Mobile: +33 6 14 11 25 03