Thursday, September 8, 2016

Vermont Stinks!

That's the motto of The Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival. It's an annual event held over Labor Day weekend in Bennington, VT, a nice little town. We attended it for the first time last year and had a great time, but found the 3 hour drive a bit much, so this year we decided to stay overnight in the area.

The venue is not huge, and can comfortably be thoroughly perused in a few hours. But there are many reasons to make a day of it, like if you are seeking garlic knowledge, enjoy shopping for crafts, or just want to listen to the many good bands while eating good food.

If you choose to enjoy the wide beverage selection, it's good to follow this advice:

I'd recommend skipping the garlic Bloody Marys. They are good, but the garlic pieces clog up the straw. Frustrating!

Of course you attend for the garlic, either for planting this fall or your culinary needs. And there are many booths with commercial growers supplying both, at attractive prices.

Note the "Garlic Antidote"

Did you know you can (sort of) braid hardnecks?

There were many garlic products. We really loved the scape pickles, and wish we had enough scapes to pickle ourselves.

How about chocolate garlic muffins?

There were also quite a few local micro-wineries and micro-distilleries on display. Watch out! The tiny sample sips add up!

Good advice!
This gentleman sells mushroom products. I told him he must be a very "fun guy," but he didn't react the way I thought he would.

More good advice:

After the event we visited the Battle of Bennington monument. This was a famous colonial victory in the War of Independence, actually fought 10 miles away in New York State. But the Redcoats and Hessians were on their way to Bennington to seize supplies and horses, so that's how it got its name and why it's here.

You can ride an elevator to the top. We decided to save that for next time.

We stayed at a really nice place, the Safford Mills Inn & Cafe, located on the opposite side of town from the festival. They aren't a B&B, they're an "A&A." What's that stand for? Accommodations and Aperitifs! Meaning no breakfast, but cocktails and light fare in the evening included in your room rate. That worked perfectly for us! We highly recommend it.

Next morning, on the way home, we stopped at the Hogback Mountain Overlook. They claim "100-Mile Views." I don't know about that, but the views are nice.

We were home Sunday morning, with plenty of time to do gardening. It was a great trip!

So what did we buy? Last year we bought Music, Georgian Fire, and German White seed garlic. All did very well. After trying many samples, we bought four new varieties this time.

Not too long before these get in the ground!

If garlic is your thing, we heartily recommend attending this festival, or seeking one out in your area.


  1. The granddaddy of garlic festivals is held about an hour from here - the one in Gilroy. But I think the Vermont festival looks like much more fun. Gilroy is way too big, too crowded, too much traffic. Looks like you chose some interesting garlic. I wish I could grow garlic again, but rust is too big of a problem.

    1. I can just imagine the Gilroy festival. I like that in the Northeast there are so many small-scale garlic farmers, mostly in upstate NY. How do the California garlic growers deal with rust?

  2. Sounds like a great time! I want to start attending more events like that but I think it would kill me to go to a garlic festival and not be able to bring any bulbs back, especially after seeing those displays.

    1. Why can't you bring bulbs back? If the event is in Canada that is.

    2. Oh, in Canada no problem - and we have some pretty good festivals - but many of those held in the States look amazing too (and often larger) and it would be so hard to walk out empty handed.