We are Jeff, Sandy, Dan and Erica Duda, the owners and operators of Northern Lights Garlic. We are a small farm located in the Town of Goodman, Wisconsin, in northwest Marinette County. Jeff grew up on a small dairy farm in Goodman. Sandy also grew up on a small farm, which leads to our desire to stay connected to the land that we love. While our careers had taken us to Sheboygan Falls WI for many years and then to the Western Slope of Colorado, our family and love for Wisconsin brought us back to the farm that Jeff was raised on after his retirement in 2021.
When Jeff started thinking of retirement, he was looking for a retirement "project". Knowing that traditional dairy farming would not work for us, we began looking for a high-value crop that could be produced on a small acreage. After first trying lavender which was found to not handle the cold northern winter well, Jeff continued to research and after finding several options garlic was the unanimous decision to research further. We began to learn as much as we could about planting and growing garlic. We learned there are many unique varieties that require various types of care and growing conditions. We also learned that there is an incredible demand for high quality USA grown garlic. We had found our answer!
In Autumn 2019, we planted our first garlic crop. We have since focused on growing several varieties of hardneck garlic as both garlic seed and eating garlic. We started with 100 lbs. of seed in 2019, and have continued to increase our volume, varieties, and size each year. We do not use herbicides, or pesticides in our land, and do almost everything by hand. Jeff made a machine to make the row spacing and holes for planting, and next year we will be using a machine for assisting in harvesting. Weeding is weeding, LOL, it is never ending and time consuming, but EXTREMELY necessary, as garlic does not compete well with other plants for nutrients in the soil and this does have an effect on the size of the bulb.
The community that we were raised in was there for us when we grew up, and we plan to give back to our community and help the people understand that they have a very real opportunity to have a sustainable, profitable, and rewarding business where we live. Does it require a lot of work? YES, but when we were thinking about what could work in our area, the number one resource that is available is LAND! There are acres and acres of good, rich, fertile farmland here, which has unlimited potential for our future. We do our best to produce the best garlic that we can, it will not be perfect, as nothing is, but will be grown with knowledge, care and a work ethic that will never stop. We welcome feedback, positive or negative from you, as this helps us to produce a better crop and have a positive experience in this process. We hope you enjoy eating or planting our garlic. We grow it for YOU, and we want it to be the best you have ever had.