You know when the recipe called for 2 garlic cloves and you nod, then casually go ahead and add 6 cloves – bad breath be damned? Looking over the fields of garlic at the family-run farm Bernier Farms reminded me why I do this. Obviously, because garlic is delicious, but mostly because it elevates the flavor of every dish it’s in.
Needless to say, the Bernier family live, breathe and eat garlic 365 days a year – and wouldn’t have it any other way. For Yael Bernier, garlic, specifically the Northern Red varietal, was her introduction to farming when she was living in Penngrove back in 1973.
“She was struggling with a little garden in her backyard,” Yael’s son Zureal tells me. “And her old Italian neighbor, Mrs Lucchini, was watching her.”
Mrs Lucchini knew what the problem was. She needed to start with a bigger seed. So she gave Yael some seeds of Italian Red garlic, brought to California from Europe.