Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I harvested some more ginger today. It's really quite amazing how it increases from a tiny nub to a big claw of gingery goodness in 8 or 9 months with very little attention. My polystyrene box had 1150g worth of rhizomes.

I am leaving them out for the skin to dry a little before packing them away in a box of sand which my research tells me is the best way to keep ginger and turmeric fresh and tender longer. In fact Morag Gamble says it works for carrots and spuds too. I guess that is probably true for sweet potato as well. Anyway, I laid my little turmeric harvest and last week's ginger harvest in the first layers of sand today. Hope it works for me. The box was a packaged meal delivery one that someone at work was throwing out.

 Has anyone else tried this before?

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Interested to see how it works. I've only read about it and assumed it applied to cooler climes. With both Ginger and Turmeric, I wash well then cut into meal-sized chunks then freeze in ziploc bags. Lasts for years. Sweet Potatoes stay in a lower basket in a storage unit as do Potatoes but then we don't have more than a couple of kilos at a time to store. One reason why growing ordinary Potatoes is not an option for us. With Sweet Potatoes we stagger the plantings so only have a few roots to store.

Not me - but I'm keen to see how it goes.  

Cathie, you have a great crop there. I find these fullproof crops to grow in Summer when most things suffer from the heat. Like you say you get a good amount from a smallish growing space, but to store it for use through out the rest of the year can be a problem. 

I have tried storing in sand. I didn't have any success (Ginger only), I stored it under my verandah in a 20 litre metal drum and it just shrivelled up. I would not store all of my Ginger and Turmeric this way in case it doesn't work out. Some I slice and dry, before grinding it to a powder in a small coffee grinder type of machine. Some I cut and freeze (like Elaine).

I also find that if I leave it late to pick it gets quite fibrous and hard to grate or slice, so I pick most of mine well before the leaves start to yellow. The tubers are then very moist and easy to work. I still have some in the ground, but this I will leave there until it is ready to reshoot in Spring. This is my planting material for next years crop. I dig out and cut up for replanting in another site for crop rotation reasons. Good luck with yours! Please let me know if you get success with the storing in sand method. Maybe, if you have a really cool, dark place to store it, it might work. 

I usually store any  and all my ginger or turmeric as frozen roots. Unpeeled. Simply washed, then dried before freezing.

I then take out what I need and grate it, unpeeled,  for addition to any recipe. No waste at all.

I also ferment turmeric which is a good idea as it enriches its nutritional value. There's a recipe HERE.

The taste is sweeter than in the un-preserved form. Homegrown turmeric, grated for preservation, really doesn't need the addition of catalysts like whey. The salt will be adequate. Just don;t over wash your roots in chlorinated water...as you want to harvest the lactobaccillus still on them.

I chuck mine whole into the freezer and then snap off bits as I need.  Easy to rub the skins off too when they defrost. 

Thanks everyone for your input.  I have always stored mine grated and rolled into finger sized 'sausages' in the freezer but when I heard Morag Gamble share her method I thought it might save me room in the freezer.  But I would hate to find it shrivelled up in the sand so I'll probably just try it with a small amount and store the bulk in the freezer after all. 

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