January 2014

Tadeusz (Ted) Maczka

The picture shown is of a portrait by Milé Murtanovski, 36" x 24", oil on canvas, 2011, in the collection of the County of Prince Edward Public Library and Archives.

Articles on Ted’s demise appeared starting with the Toronto Star of January 2 and then being picked up by other newspapers across Ontario. For those with Internet access, you can read these various tributes from reporters that knew of Ted simply by googling Ted’s name.

Fish Lake Garlic Man

Ted was predeceased by his wife Wilma. He is survived by his son, Taj, his daughter, Barbara, granddaughter, Ally, and four great grandchildren.

Ted had been admitted to hospital on Boxing Day from a stroke and didn’t recover. He had been living in the Maples Retirement Home near Picton, Ontario since 2005 but continued to grow a bit of garlic on his farm near Demorestville in Prince Edward County.

There will be no funeral. There will be a memorial visitation to celebrate Ted’s life at: Whattam Funeral Home, 33 Main St., Picton Ontario, Phone: 613-476-2450.

Messages of condolence to the family may be sent to Whattams funeral home (on their website), or, to Jean Dorenburg, Maples Retirement home, phone 613-476-6318, and Jean will forward them.

As garlic growers, we should all be thankful to Ted Maczka, the famous Fish Lake Garlic Man. Through personal dedication and unceasing effort, he, more than anyone else, helped to create a thriving garlic growing industry in Canada. It was his drive and determination to make us self-sufficient in garlic that impressed itself on hundreds of thousands of people. If there was ever a Canadian Garlic Hall of Fame, Ted Maczka’s picture and record would hold the place of honour. Paul Pospisil, editor


Tadeusz (Ted) Maczka
The Fish Lake Garlic Man
Born: January 14, 1930 in Tarnow, Poland
Died: December 30, 2013, Picton, Ontario

It was with regret that I learned that Ted Maczka had passed away on December 30 in hospital in Picton, Ontario.

With his passing, the garlic world has lost a true pioneer of the garlic industry in Canada. Ted was Canada’s bestknown garlic personality, a familiar figure at garlic festivals and events, and a darling of the news media. He drove a van with a huge garlic bulb on top and wore a hat or cap decorated with garlic bulbs. He would set up a garlic information stall and preach the gospel of garlic without a break all day.

He was known by gardeners and growers across Canada, shipping his “Fish Lake brand” of garlic varieties by mail order. His personal favourite was a Porcelain type that he dubbed “F3”.

He called his farm in Prince Edward County his “Garlic Research and Experimental Station”. He collected and grew dozens of different garlic cultivars and experimented with growing of garlic from bulbils.

Ted established the garlic competition at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto and donated a grant of prize money with the hope that the competition would be continued in perpetuity. During his younger years, Ted would have a garlic information stall at the Royal, manning it for 12 hours a day for the 11 days of the fair, reaching thousands of people with the garlic message.

I recall driving to Toronto to help him with this selfimposed task and was amazed at his stamina and his high spirits, even at the end of a long day on his feet. He seemed to be energized by his talking about the health benefits of garlic and very pleased to be able to tell beginners how to grow this most wondrous of all vegetables. Ted would talk about garlic anywhere, anytime. When he answered the phone, he would say, “May I help you?”