Tuesday, June 27, 2006


This was growing too long for comments, so...

I buy my ginger roots for growing at the local farmer store in May. (Often ginger root sold in food stores has been irradiated to lengthen its shelf life; check first, if buying to replant.) At the farm store I get planting roots for Oshoga ("big ginger"), the older, stronger, conventional ginger not eaten directly but used for flavoring, and Koshoga ("little ginger") the younger, smaller more delicate kind, used for pickling and garnish or cooking straight up. Both produce the second-growth ginger you see in the foto, with the reddish tops. That new ginger is what I mean. You get new ginger from either root type. In fact, the whole young new ginger plant can be cooked as a good vegetable.

I think that in temperate climates you could easily grow ginger in a window pot, or outdoors in a sunny/shady spot if you can keep the ground damp enough... In colder climates, maybe a window pot or small greenhouse. I live in a coldish temperate area, and I planted outdoors about a month ago. I soak the ginger patches a couple of times a week when there's been no rain for a while, which is not a problem this time of year. The first green shoots are spiking up now; will harvest as needed for cooking throughout the growing period; then from September, when the stems die down and all the energy goes into the root, we'll harvest whatever we want for pickles etc. and leave the rest in the ground, to dig up for use as spice, tea and whatnot throughout the winter.

Ginger is a versatile herb, excellent tonic for the body and a legendary Asian medicament, but another great feature of the magic root, that many unfortunate folks are not in a position to appreciate, is that monkeys don't like it at all.

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