Garlic heist upsets farmer



An organic farmer in Bellingen has lost an entire season's planting material of garlic, valued at about $30,000.

Thieves stole more than two tonnes of organically certified giant Russian garlic from a shed on the young farmer's Brierfield property some time before Friday morning.

The upset farmer, who did not want to be identified, said yesterday the theft was 'a major loss and a very specific theft' as it represented all his planting material for the autumn season, retained from last November's harvest, the farmer's second. Nothing else is missing from the property.

The garlic, which had already been split from the garlic bulbs into corms ready for planting, was stored in orange mesh bags similar to onion bags in a closed shed on the property and would have required utilities or trucks to transport it.

The theft was discovered when the farmer went to get the seed garlic for planting on Friday but he said it could have occurred any time from Wednesday evening, as he had not checked the shed before Friday. He is hoping that the garlic will prove difficult to sell.

He is not amused by the jokes about vampires and thieves with bad breath that have accompanied reports of his loss in city media. It would have been his third season's harvest, which he had been counting on to become his family's main source of income.

n Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Coffs Harbour Police on 6652 0299.



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