Are you a fan of garlic? This festival is for you

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

The rain date is Sunday, Oct. 4.

“It has been an outstanding year for garlic and four delicious organic varieties which include Music, German Hardy, Siberian, and Elephant will be available for sale,” said garden program director Linda Ball.

There also will be a large recipe section containing more than 30 free garlic recipes. Also on hand will be Mr. Garlic – Bill D., who’s available to answer all questions about growing garlic organically and what varieties do best in this region.

There will be a gourmet basket drawing that includes 12 themed baskets such as Family Fun Movie Night, Wine and Cheese Lovers, All About Chocolate, Italian Pasta Delight, Gardening, Beauty and Spa, Jackpot Lottery, Tea and Coffee Lovers, Bakers Delight, Golfing, Shitake Log, and Kids Toys.

Local beekeeper Ralph Harrison will be selling his honey and beeswax candles; there will be seasonal vegetables from Robert Treat Farm and Shamrock Farm, and hot apple cider with cinnamon donuts will be for sale along with brightly bundled autumn corn stalks and hand decorated organic garlic braids.

All proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Benson-Crump Memorial Community Gardens Program, which is a practicing organic community garden in its 46th year of operation. It includes 135 plots and more than 250 participants, including several local community groups.

Ball said it is the oldest community garden in southern Connecticut and has been an active supporter of Connecticut’s PAR (Plant a Row for the Hungry) Program, which works in conjunction with the Connecticut Food Bank.

The Benson-Crump Community Gardens Program maintains three active PAR plots on site with the help of community gardener volunteers. Each year the Benson-Crump Program donates an average of 1,200 pounds of fresh vegetables to several local food pantries and charities, including St. Gabe’s Church, Milford Christian Academy, Home For the Brave, Milford Senior Center, Beth-El Shelter, and the Grace Baptist Church. In 2013 and 2014, the garden program received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Connecticut Food Bank for its support and dedication in the fight against hunger.

Individual monetary donations can be made out to the Milford Recreation Department with                Benson-Crump Community Gardens Autumn Garlic Fest Donation 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 203-877-2592.