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Ginger: Did it work?

Well, your Aunt Toby has been out and about and across the big pond and back again and I have absolutely no excuses for no postings but that is the way it goes. Lots to cover. In an early May episode, I decided to do a little experiment to see if I could, in chilly, short-season Upstate New York grow ginger. Make Friends With Ginger

I bought a ‘hand’ at the grocery store, cut off several likely looking pieces, started them and then transplanted them into a growing bag. And frankly, with everything else going on in the garden, I promptly forgot them. I put the bag in a spot that is sunny in the morning and shady in the afternoon and pretty much ignored it all summer until we came back from vacation, at which point I had a panic attack and went searching for the bag. Realizing that we would be getting colder weather here, I carefully transplanted the plants into a big pot which I hauled into the greenhouse where it has been sitting until today.

In the spirit of my usual careful experimentation, I looked in the pot and stuck my hand in next to one of the plants and carefully pulled the whole thing out and washed it off.

And whadya know – ginger. That brownish piece in the upper left hand corner is the original piece that I planted – it’s still firm and can probably be used for cooking, once I wash it and peel the brown skin off it. Number 2 and number 3 (see the labeling on the paper) are baby gingers and they don’t have the brown skin on them. I took a little slice off those and I’ll be able to use those without peeling at all. The surface is very tender.

Before I did the slicing, however, I cut off the red and green stems and I weighed the ‘mom’ piece – that was .5 ounces; the daughter clump was 1 and 3/8 ounces – not quite three times the original piece. I am sure that had I started these earlier and had paid more attention to watering and so on, I would have gotten even better production. I started these in May; I suspect that with some bottom heat out in the greenhouse, I could start piece in early April or even March for next year. Considering the price of fresh ginger in the grocery store and how little effort it took me to grow these, I’m thinking it’s definitely worth doing.

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