Dave, or “Dr. Garlic”, as he is known in the Stevens Point Farmer’s Market in Wisconsin, grows certified naturally grown organic garlic which has been described as, “beyond organic.” Dave explains that he rejects USDA organic’s guidelines and doesn’t use anything unnatural. He has been growing garlic and other veggies for over 33 years. Dave said he didn’t set out to grow garlic, but that, “Garlic found me.” He actually builds the soil, not using any pesticides because it kills off beneficial insects. Dr. Garlic claims to have the “purest” soil around.
Dave grows and sells a variety of garlic including Montana Giant, Georgian Fire, Persian Star, Killarney Red, Music, Chesnok Red, Romanian Red, and Georgian Crystal, all of which have distinct and unique flavors.
Garlic is known as one of the world’s healthiest foods. Health benefits are many and include, being anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, cancer preventing, reduces blood pressure, prevents colds, improves bone health and most recent research includes antioxidants may help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Maplewood Garden’s is a division of Whistling Candleman Enterprises. He self-designs his own labels which originated years ago when he made and sold candles out west. Dave said he would play the whistle while he sold the candles, once bringing the attention of someone who was so inspired by Dave that he wrote an epic poem titled, “The Song of the Whistling Candleman.”
Dave reported that at a young age, he “Formed the habit of excellence”, and “Explores things seriously.”
Not only does Dave grow garlic, but he also makes wine out of golden raspberries sweetened with maple syrup on land that he cultivates, grows the berries, and taps the maple syrup, which he has been doing for over 44 years.
Dave is also an Artist and Opera Singer. He is a man of many talents and has led an interesting and self-sufficient life. At the age of 75, Dave works, “Almost 90 hours a week during the summer.” He believes that work is good for him but hopes to slow down someday to return to other passions including singing opera and woodworking.
“Don’t just be one thing in life, be many things”, Dave said, and explained that often times, “People separate themselves from their work.” Dave believes that we all have many skills and talents but people get lost focusing on one thing, while other interests or passions get lost along the way. Dave truly inspired me to continue to pursue my varied interests and passions and to fully embrace all of them.
Dr. Garlic is truly one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. He said he loves the farmer’s market because he gets to meet people and educate them on organic farming. He also shares his passion for healthy food and for sustainable gardening, excelling every organic inch along the way.
Next time you’re at the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning, stop by Maplewood Gardens for some great garlic, pure maple syrup, and for some words of wisdom about organic gardening or about life in general, you won’t be disappointed.