Sustainable Organic Gardening

Hot ginger

When I was a child my grandfather always had a ginger jar on the sideboard, more often than not almost empty with just a few crystallised ginger left in it. He had an amazing collection of beautiful ginger jars giving his not-so-secret penchant away. Crystallised ginger is not something I enjoy but the beautiful ginger root is one of my favourite spices to use in cooking and drinking.

Sliced Ginger Root

Ginger is very easy to grow and will provide a year round supply in frost-free areas. In the sub-tropics where we live I plant in spring and harvest in autumn to avoid our cold winters. It is a shade-loving perennial herb native to the tropics and likes moisture – something our region is not short of, although it hates being waterlogged and must be grown in well-drained soil. It thrives best on loamy or alluvial fertile soils so I provide it with well-rotted manure or compost. Ginger prefers light shade so makes a great under-storey plant. But like all of our great edible plants it’s all in the eating.

The beautiful light golden smooth rhizomes are great used in mains, especially in stir-frys, sweets and drinks. If feeling nauseated I just slice it unpeeled and steep it in hot water to help relieve symptoms. Ginger happily mixes with other fruits and veges to make a great refreshing juice with a little bit of heat to calm the stomach. Using organic produce my usual blend is a small nob of peeled ginger, two green apples, one carrot and cucumber and a dash of lime juice if available.

Calming ginger tea

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3 Responses to “Hot ginger”

  • Ken Robinson says:

    I live in tropical NT, and grow my ginger in 27 ltr pots, filled with premium potting mix, very successfully.
    Some of the ways to use it is, grate about one tablespoon full in a cup or Coke, and simmer for a few minutes, this is my tonic for Asthma, and it works wonders, when the puffers fail, recipe from China, also a friend, chops it finely adds water, honey and citrus, very refreshing.

  • David Trees says:

    Hi LG,
    Thanks for sharing some of your childhood memories and current tastes about Ginger.

    I am wondering if think it’s possible to grow it on the northern end of the Central coast, on the coast, Budgewoi to be precise. Or whether we might need to use a fleece to protect it on the odd night where we might go down to 3 or 4c.

    We are buying a property up near Foster in late 2014 so perhaps it would grow better there?

    I would like to try it this coming summer though if it might work.

    Thanks again LG…

    • Earthwise says:

      I’ve heard of gardeners who have had success raising ginger in containers in cool climates. Try planting in a large pot or planter bag that can be moved into warm and sheltered spots as needed. The potting medium should be enriched with plenty of organic matter like well-rotted manure or compost. Ginger is a warm climate understorey plant, so protection with a fleece when the temperature drops sounds like a good idea.

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