Joel Girardin and his wife Colleen met me at Norton’s Restaurant in Red Wing early March to celebrate his birthday. Joel is known at the “Grandfather of Minnesota Garlic.” He has been growing garlic for around 15 years and at one time grew close to 200 varieties. How he kept track of all of them is beyond me. He is an adviser to Seed Saver Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, and has received their Oak Medallion award. He and Colleen live right here in Goodhue County outside of Cannon Falls. They are two of the most giving people I know.
There’s nothing like talking garlic, eating good food and laughing hard. This is what you do off-season as a garlic grower.