After a fulfilling ten-year stint as VP, International Distribution for a New York-based digital media company, festival founder Peter McClusky resigned his position to explore small scale farming and follow his life-long passion for food. In 2010 he worked as a farm intern at Whole Circle Farm, near Guelph, Ontario, where twelve hour days were filled with learning about organic and biodynamic farming methods. Tasting Ontario garlic for the first time was a revelation for Peter, he immediately decided to start growing garlic, and even got inspired to start the Toronto Garlic Festival. The idea attracted support from members of the Ontario Garlic Growers Association, chefs, local media, and farmers’ markets. Currently, he grows 20 strains of garlic on his farm, commuting from his home in downtown Toronto to tend to his crop.
So, if Ontario garlic is so great, why isn't it in my supermarket? Basically, imported garlic is cheaper and more uniform-looking, so supermarkets prefer it to the more expensive local varieties. It's simply a matter of supply and demand.
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