From Ukraine to Acadia: The Story of Gido's Garlic
By Sarah Boudreau
Wolfville, NS - In fall 2017, David Kristie, the Director of Research for the KC Irving Environmental Science Centre, donated heirloom garlic to the Acadia Farm that traveled all the way from Ukraine.
The story behind Gido’s garlic starts in the 1960’s when David Kristie’s Grandfather traveled to Ukraine. There he collected some of his family’s garlic with plans for it to return to Canada with him. It would not be easy to transport as he was under watchful eye during the Cold War, technically not allowed to transport goods such as garlic across borders.
He was clever, and individual cloves were stitched into the cuffs of his pants. They were carried across land and sea to Hamilton, Ontario where they were first planted into Canadian soil. The garlic was passed down through the generations in the Kristie family and can now be found growing across the country in British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, including now on the Acadia campus.
It is not known exactly what village David Kristie’s Grandfather traveled to in the 1960’s, or what the original name of the garlic variety was. For this reason, and the cunning endeavor undertaken by David’s Grandfather, the garlic has been named Gido’s Garlic. “Gido” translates into Grandfather.
The Acadia Community Farm currently planted approximately 150 bulbs growing. After they are harvested and cured they will be making their way to Wheelock Dining Hall for Acadia Students to enjoy as well as to the Wolfville Food Bank. Some garlic wil be saved as seed to grown again next year and continue Gido's line of garlic.