The Laker News logo as created by Liane Rogers. (Healey photo)

FALL RIVER: The garlic people of Fall River are getting ready to do it again this year.

The Jones family plant their garlic in early fall, in this case October 2019 to prepare the crop for the following season.

“In June we pull the scapes, which is the shoot that comes out of the top of the garlic, we cut those down,” said Peter Jones. “When the scapes start to turn, when they come out of the garlic that is when you must cut them off, and they start to twist. If you don’t the bulb doesn’t get any bigger on the ground.”

Jones said if you leave them, they will turn into a flower and that is where all the energy will go.

He said in mid-August they start pulling the garlic out of the ground.

“We have so many days that we have to dry it and so many days that we have to braid it, or it will dry out sow e can’t braid it,” said Jones. “We leave it on the stock, our garlic lasts about 10 months.”

Jones said locals will know when they are ready to sell as they will have their sale sign down at the end of their driveway to let people know they’re open for business. The home is located near Mason’s store, so locals should keep their eyes peeled.

“I will make a post on our Facebook page that we’re getting ready to sell, and people will start to call,” he said. “Some people will get 10, 12 braids worth of garlic (or $300 worth).

“I know a lot of friends who work with my wife and they buy a lot of the garlic.”

To make it a success, it truly is a family affair, said Jones.

“We all chip in on taking the garlic out, each of us with our own roles,” said Jones, adding “we even beg people to come help us. There are 7,500 garlic we must take out so while it seems like there’s not much, there really is.

“It takes about two days (eight hours each day) to pick it out. Once you start, we can’t stop, we have to keep going even if the weekend is full of rain.”

He explained why the family started planting and selling the garlic—from experience earlier in life.

“I always watched my parents suffer, putting gifts on their credit card and stuff like that,” he said. “This is why we basically started this so we can pay for Christmas and the other things, so we don’t have to take it out of paycheques or put it on our credit cards.”

Jones ended the interview with a bit of a funny.

“If you’re a vampire, do know the garlic people are starting soon so you best stay away,” he said with a chuckle as he rode off on his ride-on-lawn mower to finish some lawn cutting on a beautiful June night.

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