From its unassuming warehouse on Madison’s far south side, Keene Garlic ships around 40 garlic varieties, most of them in massive heads of fat cloves, all of which can be eaten or planted. Some come from the company's own one-acre plot, while others come from about 60 small farms in Wisconsin and neighboring states.
Business at the warehouse boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic as people looked for ways to eat healthy and grow their own food, said Cindy Hollenbeck, part of the family that runs the business.
The company has customers in all 50 states, she said, noting that Midwestern garlic, acclimated to cold winters, seems to grow well nearly everywhere. The company has also filled its website with advice on how to grow, harvest, cure and store garlic.
“That's why we keep getting our customers back every year,” she said. “If their garlic grows and they're successful, they keep coming back.”