I was also chosen along with two others from Northland to feature in a book titled "Discover New Zealand Food" published in 2007.
The demand for fresh produce was so strong that I ended up bringing other growers produce fresh from the Whangarei Growers Market to the markets I was doing .
After a few years I started looking for other varieties to grow, people wanted a stronger flavor but still wanted good sized cloves for easy handling. After many years of trialing two came out on top, a lovely red hard-neck [meaning a stalk with flower set.] and a soft-neck [meaning no flower stalk.] also ready to harvest at different times. So now I have the three garlic varieties in different quantities from year to year .
I have no land so leasing was the option that suited growing and not owning land. I discovered that the garlic was a crop that can be grown in the same place for a few years and that its got an amazing resistance to insects and disease. With no added fertilizer or anything except cultivating the land and letting nature do its thing. With cultivation the nitrogen levels come right up then get stored in the soil as nitrates with all the the other vitamins and minerals etc, in a balanced environment to be available to the plants and microbes in the soil and allowing the worms and microbes to thrive and multiply. I then use light deprivation, ie ,[thin black plastic] for weed control around the garlic and then mow between the rows. during the growing season. So No Sprays Needed. After a period of time I punch holes and push a clove Approx 6 months later around the longest day of the year we lift off the plastic, the soil being mostly free of weeds allows my bulb lifter to work without to many problems,hopefully. The rows then have to be worked through and the garlic is laid down in a line with the leaves of the last one covering the bulb of the one before, protecting it from the sun. Towards the end of the day its gathered into piles and picked and taken to sheds with good air flow to dry and cure .
The end result is the healthiest garliky garlic around.