Garlic galore at Milford festival Saturday, Sept. 24

Get ready for garlic.

The Milford Recreation Department’s Benson-Crump Memorial Community Gardens Program will hold its annual Autumn Garlic Festival fund raiser at the gazebo on the Milford Green in downtown Milford on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 25.

It has been another amazing year for garlic, according to program director Linda Ball. She said  eight organic varieties of garlic will be available, including Music, German Hardy, Siberian, Italian Red, Polish Jenn and Elephant.

Garlic enthusiasts will also find a large recipe section with more than 30 free garlicky recipes. Also on hand will be Mr. Garlic – Bill Domeracki — available in the gazebo to answer questions about growing garlic organically and what varieties do best in this region.

All attendees are invited to stop by the gourmet basket drawing canopy, which will include 12 themed baskets, such as Family Fun Movie Night, Wine and Cheese Lovers, All About Chocolate, Italian Pasta Delight, Gardening, Beauty and Relaxation, Jackpot Lottery, Tea and Coffee Lovers, Gluten Free Goodies, Boys and Girls Toys, Barbecue Lovers, and Everything Honey.

Local beekeeper Ralph Harrison will be selling his honey and beeswax candles, and there will be seasonal vegetables from Robert Treat Farm and Shamrock Farm, plus hot apple cider and coffee with muffins and donuts.

There also will be hand decorated organic garlic braids, local apples from Fawn Meadow Orchards and colorful chrysanthemums from Filanowski Farm.

A Kids’ Korner will offer candy, Halloween pencils and tattoos and a free balloon.

Canners Christine and Carolyn will present a talk and demonstration on basic canning and preserving at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

All proceeds will benefit the Benson-Crump Memorial Community Gardens Program, which is a practicing organic community garden in its 48th year of operation in Milford. It encompasses 135 plots on the North Street side of Eisenhower Park. There are more than 250 participating gardeners, including several local community groups.

The Benson-Crump Memorial Community Gardens is the oldest community garden in southern Connecticut and has been an active supporter of Connecticut’s Plant a Row for the Hungry Program (PAR) for the past seven years. Each year the Benson-Crump Program donates an average of 2,000 pounds of fresh vegetables to several local food pantries, including St. Gabe’s Church, St. Ann’s, Home for the Brave, Milford Senior Center, Beth-El Shelter, New Haven Soup Kitchen and the Grace Baptist Church.

Individual monetary donations can be made out to the Milford Recreation Department with                Benson-Crump Community Gardens Autumn Garlic Fest written on the check memo, and mailed to the Milford Recreation Department at 70 West River Street in Milford, Connecticut, 06460 - Attention: Linda Ball on the envelope.

For more information call Ball at 203-214-3407 or Dan Rusanowsky at 203 464-4196.