Growing edible root ginger in the Tropics and sub-Tropics in the home garden is very easy, low maintenance and sustainable, the climate and the tropical environment is perfect for this crop. As long as the soil is fairly well drained, the crop thrives on heat and humidity, and tells us it needs to be harvested when it's flowers start to emerge from the ground on stalks and the leaves start to brown off. Sorry no photo of this. So for us, now is the time to harvest our crop. Fresh ginger is very expensive to buy, and can be used in so many dishes both savoury and sweet, in drinks, in smoothies, teas, really the list is endless. We love the flavour. It is also known for it's anti-inflammatory and anti-antioxidant properties, with gingerol thought to be its main bioactive compound. So lets get hot, spicy and sweet and start using ginger as often as we can.
Ginger is a root herb, and when it's dug up out of the ground the green foliage needs to be removed and placed in the compost bin, the soil needs to be washed off the roots, and the ginger cleaned very well ready for preserving how you wish, such as dehydrating, freezing or just cutting up fresh for use.
Over a cup of coffee one morning, Mr. HRK came up with the innovative idea of using our gurney to wash the ginger. What a great idea I agreed. So he placed our compost sifting rack over the compost heap box, spread the ginger over the rack and began gurneying. Ah, men and their gurneys, and women love them too here in the tropics. They are an essential piece of equipment to keep in the shed for reducing mould on driveways, garages, and all sorts of other essential things. Just can't do without them.
|Cleaning the ginger with the gurney|
We were unprepared for what a great job the gurney did. Not only did the jet spray of water remove all the dirt, but also removed the outer shell leaving the fresh ginger ready for use. When we broke up some of the larger ginger clumps later, there was still a little dirt left in the crevices, but that was easily washed out in the laundry sink. I think we're onto something here he said. Yes, our annual ginger harvest has just become mechanised.
|Mr. HRK sorting the ginger on the frame|
We harvested 2.6 kilos of ginger this time, which is a good amount for us to handle. We froze 500g in vacuum sealed pouches, and dehydrated the rest. 2.1 kilos of ginger dehydrated and ground to a powder, transformed into 319 g of dried ginger. Now, with supermarkets here selling ginger at $50.00 a kilo, no-one is going to buy ginger from the supermarket to make their own dried ginger spice. However, fresh ginger is selling at our local markets for $20.00 a kilo which sounds much more realistic. Given that the ginger we are seeing but not buying in our supermarkets is probably grown around Brisbane, being a Queensland crop, I wonder how the markup in price can be justified, when it can be sold locally for $15-$20.00 a kilo.The reality is though that a very small quantity is generally needed for cooking, so customers will buy a small knob of ginger and pay the price. I always leave a small amount of fresh ginger in the garden for our use, but the frozen ginger works in a lot of dishes.
After washing and cleaning the ginger, it needs to be sliced finely for the dehydrator.
Ready for slicing and dicing
Mr. HRK sliced the large knobs very carefully using the mandolin, better him than me for that job, and I sliced up the small bits with a knife.
We arranged thin layers of sliced ginger on each tray of the dehydrator.
That's fantastic! Nothing beats homemade..clean, fresh and delicious! An excellent job!ReplyDelete
Thanks Angie, it's a good job to have done at home.Delete
This is so cool, Pauline! I envy that you have fresh ginger, and am impressed with your processes!ReplyDelete
Thanks David, we are just fortunate that we can grow it so well in the tropics.Delete
Wow, this is amazing! And I love the Aussie word (gurney) for what we call a pressure cleaner. Well, at least I gather that is what it is. I am going to share this post with a friend who wants to plant ginger this summer.ReplyDelete
Thanks Tandy, yes I think our gurney is your pressure cleaner, a very Aussie word eh? We're full of them ha, ha.Delete
Love ginger! I'd be in heaven with that harvest -- so much! Really fun post -- thanks.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much KR, it's certainly wonderful to have such aromatic and homemade ginger on hand. Makes such a difference with cooking.Delete