Warren Alto and Jesse Davis own Trout Lake Garlic, a 4th generation farm in Trout Lake Township, near Grand Rapids. Late fall is planting season for garlic, which sends down roots and then waits until spring to send green shoots through the mulch. Garlic isn't mulched to keep it warm, but to moderate the temperature so the cloves won't succumb to constant freezing and thawing over the winter.
The most time consuming part of planting is taking the heads apart beforehand. Each single clove will make a new head. Warren has a planter made out of a barrel that he pulls behind a 4-wheeler. It spaces 4 cloves 6" apart in a wide row, with 8"space along the length of the row (pictured above) .
In the interview below Warren and Jesse talk about their planting operation, some of the challenges of growing garlic, and Jesse's role as a panelist at the Food Access Summit in Duluth.