Saturday, January 9, 2016

Ginger Time

I love ginger, spices in general, cooking, so why wouldn't I like to grow my own. 

For years, I have been wanting to grow my own ginger.  I do grow Canadian Ginger (Asarum canadense) which is a native perennial.  Many people ask if it is ginger (the spice). No, nothing like it, completely different species.  In fact, even though the Native Americans used it medicinally, it is also reported to be a carcinogen. I'm not trying it.

Ginger (Zingiber officiale) is surprisingly easy to grow and you do not need to spend much to get some.  Hence my tale....  update to a post on my Facebook page.

In October or 2015, I purchased a piece of ginger at the Seaport Farmer's Market in Halifax complete with a nice sprout.  I had been looking for a piece of ginger like this for some time.  The young man selling the ginger pointed out that I could plant it. Yes, that was exactly what I plan to do. Cost: approximately $2.50.   Max.

Went further into the Market and found fully sprouted ginger. Paid $5-6 for this piece, it was 1/2 the  size of the first piece I bought.  And it was selling fast, they had a whole table of it.  At that price, they were making good money. I figured one or the other would give me a pot of ginger.

 I planted the fully sprouted piece, over the next two weeks, the nice green shoots gradually died back and as of today (January 2016) I have not seen anymore green shoots.  It is just sitting in the pot on the window sill, getting a bit of water from time to time to keep it moist but not wet. I'm not holding my breath it will grow, but I do have hope. Eternal optimist. Perhaps I should have cooked with this one.

However, my cheap, regular old ginger, and I did not even plant all of it, sprouted and grew wonderfully, it is currently sitting near the window in the winter sun. I will re-pot it the spring when I have more heat on in the greenhouse and see how it goes.  If you just google growing ginger as a houseplant, you can get more specific instructions.  I don't know about growing it outside in the ground. I would assume if you did plant some in the ground, it would need to be dug in the fall and treated as a tender bulb (rhizome).

But it would be fun to try.  Seen a picture of a turmeric plant somewhere on Facebook last year, I think.  Want to try that too.  Anyone have a piece??