Garlic farmer tends to field in Murray

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 June 2016 at 12:00 am

HOLLEY – Randy Piedmonte was out with a cultivator this morning at the family’s garlic farm at the corner of North Main Street Road and Lynch Road.

Piedmonte is working an organic field of garlic. He said weeds have been a problem, and required lots of manual labor in the past. But this year he tried something new, outfitting the tractor with a cultivator that eliminates weeds, reducing labor costs.

The Piedmonte field is next to the Holley Junior-Senior Central School.

Randy works the farm with his father David, who started growing garlic about 40 years ago. Randy said last year was difficult due to an abundance of rain. This year is off to a better start, although the recent rain has weeds growing strong.

Piedmonte said growing a niche crop like garlic is a way for a smaller farm to stay viable as bigger farms acquire more land.

“It’s a way of life,” Piedmonte said. “I love it.”