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Science and the Environment

All About Garlic: Second Annual Festival Wednesday

David Goehring

Everything there is to learn about garlic is the focus of the second annual Garlic Festival at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center.

Kelly McGowan, a horticulturist with the University of Missouri Extension, says there’s been a lot of interest from citizens since the festival’s first installment a year ago.

“We wanted to have this garlic festival to teach people all about garlic; when to plant it, when to harvest it.” Said Kelly McGowan about the upcoming event.

McGowan is among the presenters during next Wednesday’s workshops, along with fellow extension horticulturist Patrick Byers.

A new segment this year will address the dietary benefits of garlic. Dr. Pam Duitsman, a nutrition specialist with MU Extension, will also be present to answer any health-related questions.

Garlic aficionados will learn how to choose the best variety of the vegetable to suit their dining needs, in addition to growing their knowledge about plant care and post-harvesting storage. 25 trial garlic varieties grown at the Botanical Center will be also be on display for visitors.

Finally, an assortment of garlic strains will be available for purchase following a sampling.  

“We are going to have some different types of garlic that people will be able to taste; both raw and roasted,” McGowan says about the ‘hands on’ part of the event.

The event is looking to host about 30 to 40 people, but advanced registration is required in addition to a fee of $10. The registration form can be found online at or you can call the extension office at 881-8909. The festival runs from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 2.