Montreal

Quebec farmer comes home to find 2,000 heads of garlic stolen from field

Lyne Fortin, owner of Jardins Côte à Côte in Shefford, said she was enraged when she found out.

Lyne Fortin, owner of Jardins Côte à Côte, said she was enraged when she found out

Lyne Fortin said she was filled with rage when she saw that almost her entire crop of garlic had been stolen overnight. (Submitted by Lyne Fortin)

Lyne Fortin left her home in Shefford, Que., on Monday night only to return Tuesday morning to find almost her entire crop of 2,000 heads of garlic gone without a trace.

Fortin, who owns Jardins Côte à Côte with her husband, said she was filled with rage when she saw what happened.

She said in terms of sales, it represents a loss of about $4,000.

Their farm is a small operation, less of a business and more of a hobby, she told CBC's Quebec AM.

Around 2,000 cloves of garlic were stolen from Les Jardins Côte à Côte in Shefford overnight Monday into Tuesday morning. (Les Jardins Côte à Côte/Facebook)

"It just sank in after a while," said Fortin. "All our garlic was stolen. It was almost ready to harvest."

She said it was all the more shocking since their operation isn't close to a busy street and there's no sign advertising their garlic for sale.

"People would have to have been surveilling the house," she said. "It's creepy."

Fortin said they found some stray garlic heads in the ditch at the edge of their field, so she suspects one or more thieves must have loaded the bounty into a waiting vehicle.

She added that the thieves must have known something about gardening since they knew which were the mature plants ready to be harvested.

She contacted the police, but they said there wasn't much evidence to go on.

Lyne Fortin and her husband bought Les Jardins Côte à Côte in Shefford several years ago and started growing garlic. (Les Jardins Côte à Côte/Facebook)

Most of all, Fortin said she's disappointed to lose all the hard work she'd invested since the garlic was planted in October.

"We spent a lot of time on the field to make sure that our garlic was big and healthy, then all that disappears​​," she said.

Despite this setback, Fortin said she and her husband plan to press on.

"We just decided to buy some more garlic and start again," she said.

Fortin is also putting out a call advising people to buy their local garlic from established producers, not from the side of the road.

With files from Quebec AM