It's temperamental, anti-social and loves life in isolation.
And yet this vegetable - that's right, garlic is actually a vegetable - is an ingredient we rely on frequently in the kitchen.
Garlic sure has a lot to answer for and if you talk to the brave artisan growers who plant it each year you'll appreciate it - and cherish every clove - in a way you never thought possible.
It's so fickle that the recent deluge - which left some vegetable growers around Maitland with mud swimming at their ankles - threatened to decimate the varieties waiting to be harvested.
Some growers were so worried about the impending rain, which is ironic given the drought conditions they've endured, that they harvested before it hit. That decision guaranteed them a saleable product.
Crops harvested after the rain have embarked on a careful curing process to try to dry the bulb out. It's such a fine line that within a few days things can go horribly wrong and a crop can become consumed in mould and entirely ruined.
Last year's crop, which came during the drought, lasted much longer and curing was almost a breeze.
But don't assume for a minute that you can eat local garlic all year round.
As Jocelyn Collard, one of the region's garlic gemstones, pointed out "well, can you eat local apples all year round?".
Eating local garlic is another way to learn to eat seasonally.
There's not much about garlic Ms Collard doesn't know. She has spent well over a decade growing and learning about the varieties, and while she hasn't dipped her toes into a commercial crop this year her mentoring role is increasing.
She held a garlic Q&A at the Slow Food Earth Market in The Levee last month to answer growers and shoppers' questions.
"The growers I know around here are mainly small producers - boutique and artisanal - and they've had a great season. The size of the garlic has been very good," she said.
"It's a matter of understanding garlic and dealing with the variables. I like to encourage growers and mentor growers of garlic. I also see people enjoy growing it in their home gardens."
The rise of Australian-grown garlic in the Hunter region, and across the country, in dishes is a reflection of a menu change and a desire for more flavour and international cuisine.
But, more importantly, it is a desire to avoid cheap imported garlic and instead support an Australian industry.
But it hasn't always been this way. The inexpensive garlic that flooded the market from overseas in the 1990s sent the Australian garlic industry into demise. Australian growers could not compete with the low cost of imported garlic.
Before that grower Patrice Newell said the industry had been focused on making processed garlic, rather than curing and selling whole garlic, and it has been a long road to where it is now.
She has been in the industry since 2007 and continues to produce a crop on Elmswood Farm in the Upper Hunter. This year's crop has sold out, thanks to a regular group of buyers who won't be without fresh garlic.
"I enjoy the thrill of having a crop to sell and knowing you are growing it to sell it. The pleasure is that you can be proud to have the product to share at the end of it," Ms Newell said.
"I think garlic is a VIP product, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I am often frustrated with it.
"I plan to grow it for another six years, but we'll wait and see."
Most growers don't hang around long enough to clock up Ms Newell's 17 years worth of experience.
Why do so many give it a go and move on quickly?
"Agriculture is not for the faint hearted and you don't make a lot of money out of it. I think that's the main reason - people don't make a lot of money out of it and they give up," she said.
"It's a crop that people can grow by hand on a small scale without the need for expensive machinery and they can try it and test out varieties."
Ms Newell has invested in expensive machinery to make tasks like weeding a lot easier.
As if garlic wasn't temperamental enough, it also dislikes weeds and any competition, so that means the soil around it has to remain bare.
"It's back-breaking work without machinery once you get into a larger crop," she said.
"There is a lot of handling involved; the harvesting, the clipping, the curing and the selling - even though we call it a fresh product it is harvested and then it has to be cured. It has to dry and get to that correct moisture level where it is stable and that can take four weeks."
Rain also provided an added challenge to this year's harvest. It was a bittersweet moment after enduring such intense drought.
"We had five inches of rain, we harvested two-thirds and then a third got extra wet and the outside looks good but the inside skins have water staining, they don't look as good. It doesn't impact on the flavour profile of the clove itself.
"The people who buy my garlic have been buying it for years and they know the product, so they are used to it."
Garlic is mostly planted at the end of March and harvested at the end of October and November.
But, not every variety follows this cycle. Some demand different planting times.