Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How To Find Good Ginger (And Grow It)

A perfect piece of ginger for planting.
When I was a kid, we were friends with a Chinese-Malaysian architect. He was the first person I'd ever seen growing ginger.

Before I saw him pulling roots from a large flowerpot, I had no idea that ginger even was a root. I only knew it as a the zippy half of "ginger ale."

Now that I'm older, I've really come to appreciate ginger both as an ornamental and a culinary plant. Over the years, I've planted ginger root from the store many times; however, good roots are getting harder to find. A lot of what I've seen lately is limp stuff from China without any good "eyes" on it. You have to look hard to get good pieces. As you saw last week, I found some recently on a trip to Whole Foods.

You want pieces that have eyes like this:

Nice, healthy yellow-green bumps. Those are where your new ginger plants will grow from. Watch out for pieces like this:

That's what a lot of the ginger in the store looks like these days. The growing eyes have been chopped or abraded off. Skip them and keep looking.

When you have your nice, healthy pieces of ginger, break them up into a few pieces if they're huge chunks, and ensure each piece has at least one or two growing buds.

I just planted a long row in a planter bed as part of The Great South Florida Food Forest Project - check it out:

After spacing the roots on the surface like that, I buried them all a few inches deep. In a few months, ginger plants will pop up in a lovely row and it's off to the races.

Forget popping in non-edible ornamental plants... why do that when you can grow something delicious and beautiful? Growing ginger in Florida is easy. They have few or no pests, grow in so-so soil, like the shade and they're good for you.

We use it for seasoning (the leaves can be added to soups like bay leaves) and to treat upset stomachs (ginger is a champion at calming queasiness... I pop chunks of it into tea all through campaign season).

Grow it - it's fun!

(Want to learn more on growing ginger? Click here.)

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At December 10, 2013 at 1:29 PM , Blogger Matthew and Valerie of Gooseneck said...

Sir I have been reading your blog for a couple of months now. I have decided thatiI really like it. You have been put in my daily reading rotation. Really good info here. I live in south Georgia. I bought some mex sunflower s from you.

At December 10, 2013 at 1:30 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

Thank you very much.

At December 10, 2013 at 4:25 PM , Blogger Dr. Mom said...

Hahaha, I am not the only one who goes plant shopping in the whole foods produce section. I just did the same thing with turmeric root!

At December 10, 2013 at 4:30 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

Cheapskate foragers of the world... UNITE!

At December 10, 2013 at 5:00 PM , Blogger Dr. Mom said...

Just FYI, I saw some really cool beans at William Sonoma at the mall which might be worth trying to grow. They might be online as well.

At September 5, 2014 at 2:57 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

thanks for sharing with us that awesome article by the way i have an arabic article about ginger check it here and thanks in advince
sarah felix

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