Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Garlic and Grapes in the Finger Lakes

If you have lived in Upstate New York all your life, or more specifically in the Finger Lakes area like I have, did you know that the Finger Lakes are known for their garlic as well as their wine? I must admit that I did not!

Drive along any of the Finger Lakes....Keuka, Canandaigua, Seneca, Cayuga..... and there is that familiar sight of grape vineyards rolling down the hillsides.....dotted with a barn and fences. The grapes are clustered on the vine, almost ready to pick.

It is quite beautiful.

But where is the garlic grown? I never knew until two years ago when I came upon The Garlic Festival, held every year in August at Fox Run Vineyards on Seneca Lake. I thought it would be a nice drive down Rt. 14 S along the lake to see what it was all about. We were pleasantly surprised to see the abundance of garlic, garlic scapes and garlic products that were set up in tents to taste and buy. We have gone back twice since then and it seems to grow every year.....

It seems that the climate is ideal for Northern European varieties of hard neck garlic. Just as Vitas vinifera grapes thrive here, so do these specialty garlic varieties. There are many garlic farms dotted throughout the Finger Lakes taking advantage of the perfect conditions of water and air and sun to grow their special garlic. They make their garlic into butters, salts, braids and wreaths to buy.....

There were tents set up for festival vendors such as homemade soap, jewelry and flowers. There were cooking demostrations by area chefs and a flameworker from the Corning Museum of Glass. There was a tent full of any spice you could dream up to use in cooking or baking.

I couldn't resist buying a handmade silver ring made out of an old fork.

And I got the last bunch of silver dollars from a flower vendor....I could have sold them 3 times over to others that were sorry they missed out! That's me, my husband Frank and son Michael.

My daughter Jena, her husband Britt and baby Chloe joined us for the day.

Lake breezes, sun, garlic slices on crackers, gourmet food, family and entertainment. A very nice way to spend a 90+ degree day!

How have you been spending these hot, hot days of summer?

AnnMarie :)
Linking up with this great blog party!


  1. Well, I've been staying in the a/c as much as possible but we did spend a week up in New York and fell in love with it. What a gorgeous state. I was born in the Adirondacks but we moved while I was a baby. We really enjoyed the Northville area. Now I want to go back up and visit the finger lakes and see the vineyards and garlic. Thanks for the virtual tour.

  2. We love Garlic! That would be a great road trip for us! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I really like your silver ring.

    I was looking for garlic in a jar at the supermarket tonight. Did not get any as every one was imported from China :( We have an excellent climate for growing garlic here in Australia but the Aussie growers can't compete with the cheap stuff from overseas. I would love to visit the garlic festival.
    How cute is little Chloe?!!

  4. I live on Long Island, NY, and while it is beautiful with the ocean, there is something to be said about the tranquility and beauty of Upstate NY, especially in.Autumn. I love the calmer, country appeal of Upstate- baked pies, quilts, cooking lunch rather than simple peanut butter & jelly sandwhiches, tire swings, etc. It is a life I long for... perhaps one day :)

  5. Sooo beautiful! We love both garlic and grapes!

  6. My husband and I enjoyed the Finger Lake area very much when we visited New York a couple years ago. It was in October and it seemed every home had a pumpkin and flowers on the front porch. It was idyllic. We missed the garlic but enjoyed the beautiful rows of grapevinces criss crossed here and there. You live in a gorgeous area!

  7. what a lovely way to spend the day with your beautiful family.

  8. wow! I had no idea that garlic was grown like that over there! I have been to a few garlic festivals in Central California but it looks nothing like this. The photos you took . .so beautiful! What a fabulous day to spend with your family. oooooh and I love the fork ring as well . .so cute!

  9. It looks like you guys had a fun time. I have never been to a garlic festival before. I love using garlic when I cook. Since my mom is from New Orleans, they use, onions, garlic, and bell peppers a lot. They call it trinity.

  10. Yum! I've been spending my days outdoors taking photos and listing them on Etsy!

  11. Looks like a day memories were made. I grow my own garlic. Just cleaned it up and tied it into a braid today. This year was the first time I tried growing it in a pot on the patio. Won't do that again. The cloves are small. Back out into the vegetable garden for next years crop.

  12. I love garlic! I would eat it in so much more stuff if it weren't "bad manners" to walk around with garlic breath constantly.

  13. Seems like so much fun going to a garlic festival. I love garlic so much I would just love to see the different creations.

  14. It looks like a wonderful area to live...grapes and garlic...two really great things to harvest! Love all your pics of the area and the festival! Nice family!!!


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