38 Centre Street
Stratford, ON
Canada, N5A 1E3

August's Harvest

Even if you already love garlic, theres probably a lot you dont know about it. Meet Augusts Harvest. Formerly known as Flat Creek Farms, owner Warren Ham says the name Augusts Harvest is about my grandfathers, August Ham and August Augustson, who came to the U.S. and Canada just before the turn of the century for a new start. It is also my middle handle, so needless to say it made the shortlist and finally prevailed on New Name Survivor.

Warren and his family have been farming this land for about two years and have been producing their Heirloom organic garlic varieties of garlic since 1991. Along with the garlic are offerings of shallots, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, and leeks. Some of the garlic is processed into such products as organic preserves and roasted garlic. They also offer a delicacy little-known to our culture: garlic flowers, which appear on garlic plants native to northern climates. The most important garlic flavor discovery since roast garlic is “living food,” or the fermented garlic scapes. Truly you should not leave the planet without a try. This is just the beginning!

We bet the Ham children already have pretty sophisticated palates with all this gourmet garlic around. Seven-year-old Reicza, shown here, is as good a worker as half of the adults, though she also loves to play with the children of the Mennonite workers. Adrian excels at helping in the booths at garlic festivals and likes sampling the value-added products. Tess can prepare the packaged products quickly and pads her pockets with the efforts. Eli is in third-year university and spent many summers running the packing line, driving forklift, and showering to get the garlic smell off before a date. Nicola’s artistic bent appears on a lot of promotional material and packaging.

Why is growing organic a priority for your family?
We have children whose bodies will not be able to sustain the effects of how we have been producing food for the last 100 years.

What is your favorite part of being an organic farmer?
When a retail customer asks if it is organic. It shows an appreciation and understanding of where food comes from and that it impacts what happens to them and their environment.

Why should people buy organic products instead of other options?
Economics. It employs more people in a less stressful environment and provides healthier bodies that are less costly to our collective system. It connects us by giving a better understanding of what food does for individuals and society.

What makes your farm special?
We grow Heirloom old world hardneck garlic, which has some very unique qualities. It produces an edible flower. Its allicin content is high. [Allicin is a chemical formed when garlic is crushed, and appears to have antibacterial properties.] The taste profile is much preferable to commercial softneck garlic. Its the oldest form of garlic in the world.

Where can consumers get your products?
For more information about Augusts Harvest, e-mail Warren at w.ham@sympatico.ca or call (519) 272-1742 or, toll free, (877) 272-1742.