"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Growing gold

Just had to share this. I have finally cracked the trick to growing ginger.
Very happy indeed. For five years now I have been trying to grow sweet ginger without success. According to all of the books and everyone I have spoken to it is very easy. Yet year after year my ginger made a brief appearance before withering and dying. To rub salt in the wound, all of the wild (non culinary) gingers in the area grew like weeds! A fact not lost on me as I sweated and laboured in the summer sun cutting back tonnes of the wild growth that was attempting to overtake the garden beds. I was able to grow all of the ginger relatives with no problems- such as Turmeric and Galingale yet still the simplest of them all continued to elude me. Yet I would not give up, apparently I can be pretty pig headed in that way according to the child bride.
Just harvested. The roots come out in a tangled clump.
So last season I threw away the gardening books and guides along with almost everything I have ever been told about growing ginger and made up my own mind. I had obtained some more rootstock from a kind friend who could not understand my inability to grow this weed, "Man I'm almost throwing the stuff away it keeps getting out of control..." (to which my response is unprintable). I planted this out in a rich mix of local earth and my own compost in a large tub and placed it in a spot that would get some morning sunlight and a fair amount of water. All in contradiction to just about everything I have ever read.
And it grew!
Hose out the dirt.
Today I noticed the tops had died back with the cooler weather. So I pulled the ginger and discovered lovely plump roots, sweet and fragrant when broken. It was like winning the lottery, I was so happy. After a quick wash under the hose I broke the roots into sections so the air could circulate all around and set them in the sun to dry for a day or so. I will actually be replanting most of the root to increase our stock for the eventual semi permanent ginger beds I plan to keep.
Drying in the sun. Hardens up the skin and helps it keep longer.
The child bride tells me that ginger is about $32 a kilo in the shop at the moment. We eat a lot of ginger with our cooking so you can see why I am growing our own.
Well I'm off to get some of our pork out of the freezer. Stir fry pork belly with ginger sauce for dinner!


  1. Yum! Why do I always want to rummage in the cupboard after reading your blog?