Farmer Highlight – Silvia Abel-Caines (Garlic eScape)

Silvia Abel-Caines of Garlic eScape

Silvia Abel-Caines, who recently posted her profile on the Northeast Illinois FarmLink site, is a farmer with a very specialized interest – GARLIC. 

While many recognize this specialty crop’s culinary status, she promotes its medicinal virtues. Garlic, she says, is “an easily acceptable and affordable way of providing healing for both animals and humans.” She knows this firsthand as she is a veterinarian who specializes in ruminant nutrition and who serves organic dairy farmers who are part of the country’s largest cooperative of its kind – Organic Valley.

Her experience with dairy cows and the worsening human health she has seen have caused her to dive deep into the remedies nature can provide. What she has found in her research gives her hope. 

“Humans and animals can address their health challenges using nutritional support from medicinal compounds found in plants,” she says. Garlic, she has found, is especially valuable.

As a mom of three, avid organic gardener, and active community volunteer, Silvia also has a passion to help people in her local circle connect with good food and nature. For over two decades, she has organized free cooking and gardening workshops for members of her community in Hanover Park - most of the time teaching simultaneously in English and Spanish for her multilingual audience.

Silvia and garlic crop coming up
Silvia at her leased land in southwest Wisconsin celebrating new garlic plants popping through this spring.

Silvia’s search for land is related to her two health-promotion goals: (1) propagating the most beneficial garlic varieties and (2) educating others about how to harness its healing potential. Silvia is seeking 10 or more acres of farmland within a one-hour drive of her home. While electricity, water access, and an existing structure to dry her crop would be welcome, just bare farmland will be suitable. Purchasing is preferred, but she would also be open to a lease-to-own opportunity.

Silvia’s passion first led her to start growing garlic in her backyard about a decade ago. Recently, Silvia has been growing garlic on a couple of acres she leased from a friend in 2019. To put her commitment and land access need in perspective, she did so not in Illinois, not just north of the state line, but three-and-a-half hours away in western Wisconsin.

You can learn more about Silvia, her farm’s vision, garlic’s health benefits, and how to contact her at www.garlicescape.com. She would be grateful to hear of any land possibilities that match her criteria.