Several months ago I was given a large terra-cotta pot from someone moving out of my apartment complex, so I decided to plant some ginger root to see how it would do on my porch. I use it daily in my smoothies and thought it would be nice to grow my own. It was slow to start but eventually the shoots began to surface. I had grown it during my farming days in Louisiana in my restaurant garden and it did well if I kept it heavily mulched through the winter, but I had never grown it in a pot.
Just about the time that it was looking healthy enough to spare some of its root, I happened upon Jenica and David of Bear Creek Farms at the Barton Creek Farmers Market.
Funny how that happens, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
They were selling beautiful young ginger and turmeric and I asked them how to harvest small pieces of it without disturbing the plant. David said to take one stem, insert a knife in the soil, and just cut through the root. Out came a perfect little young piece of ginger.
Yesterday, I went back to the market and asked a few more questions for this blog post. I was told it grows as a perennial in Austin and will go dormant in the brief winter months we have, then come back. It likes to be wet, grown in well drained soil, and in the shade. These two wonderful farmers will be at the market for two more weeks if you would like to stock up on some for the winter months.
As always support your local farmers, but I encourage you to grow your own as well. It is one of the powerful healers of the plant world. The Chinese have used ginger tonics for thousands of years. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and cancer fighter and is also used for pain relief, nausea, and cold and flu symptoms.
Share with me what edibles you have grown in your own garden!