Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sustainable Saturday-The Shocking Ginger Harvest

Earlier this year, we read a blog post about growing your own ginger (and other crops, from food scraps), and had to try it. 

My husband, sometime in the late spring, bought a large hand of ginger and planted it (not cutting it up first) and planted it in a large pot, with where leaves would grow from pointing up.

It took a long time to germinate, and we were discouraged. Perhaps, we should have cut the hand apart.  But finally, we had little sprouts coming up.  Then, in May, my friend who lives in Brooklyn gave us several tiny tomato seedlings, and into the pot they went.  And then some volunteer basil joined the party.

By August, this was our ginger pot.  (the ginger is the tall, broad leaves).

Last Saturday, a hard freeze threatened the following day, so it was time to harvest the ginger.
The basil and tomatoes were long harvested, but the ginger was still growing.

Then the harvest began, as my spouse tipped the pot over, and started to dig through the soil.  Would we find anything?

We thought maybe we would have a little handful of immature gingers, which look like this.
But our shock...this was the harvest.
And, this is what it looked like once it was cleaned up.  We let it sit for a week to dry out a little, and then froze it last night.

Not bad, for an area where ginger "can't be grown to maturity because it won't mature in our short season". We figured we got a $10 harvest from around a $2. investment. As to the immature ginger, it runs about $12.00 a pound at the farmers market. 

Our shocking harvest could be beginner's luck.  Or it could be because it was in a pot on our porch, where the soil temperature would reach 80 degrees consistently before our ground would.

Want a recipe for candied ginger?  Try this one. Or zucchini ginger bread?

Our own ginger certainly came in handy last weekend, when I accidentally got myself motion sick while viewing Google Maps. (Don't ask).  I slowly chewed some of the raw ginger, and it helped a lot.

Next year, we are thinking of two pots.  One, we would harvest in September for the baby ginger we have grown to like.  The other, we'll keep going until a freeze.

Have you grown something that "wasn't supposed to grow" where you live?


  1. That's really great! I so seldom use ginger...but if I could grow it maybe I'd use it more! ..So you grew this from seed...but you can root a piece of ginger? impressive! I'm inspired! How do you know when it's ready to harvest?

  2. Do you think perhaps the fact there were other plants in there too it helped? Don't know anything about gardening but just wondered?

  3. I've always fancied growing ginger, this looks easy enough to have a go :D I used to have a big garden and miss growing my veggies. My favourite was chillies (I'm a big spice fan) which I grew in the greenhouse, but one year I grew them just on the patio and was surprised to get a bumper harvest as it's meant to be too cold to grow them outside of a greenhouse here. You never know until you give it a try :)

  4. Alana,
    What a success story! And the build-up was so successful! I wasn't sure whether it was going to be a boom or a bust! Good for you! I am FOREVER trying to grow things that aren't supposed to grow here in the Midwest, as you know, and it is so satisfying to do something that you're not supposed to be able to do. I am so inspired--I think I'll try to grow some ginger in my hoophouse and see how it turns out. Might be worth a little research, at the very least. By the way, thanks for the kind linking!


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