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Ginger Turmeric and Maranta Harvest : Moment of Truth

Planted 5 each of Ginger and Turmeric rhizomes in November 2014. Harvested today 8th June 2015. Received a Maranta plant from Janet and harvested it too. All three plants were grown in wicking pots under 50 percent shadecloth. The Ginger and Turmeric shared a 200L bin with a seedling Davidson Plum (courtesy of Rob Collings). The Maranta lived in a separate pot with a self-seeded stinging nettle companion.

The yield was 1.8kgs of Ginger and 1kg of Turmeric with 300 grams of Maranta. Although not huge roots, both Ginger and Turmeric are quite fragrant. When cutting up the leaves and stems for composting I wondered if other traditions had used the leaves for food-wrapping, especially the Ginger has a heady smell which would complement foods when used as a wrapping.

We tried the Maranta today, air-fried with ordinary Potatoes, own Sweet Potato and Pumpkin. It took a little more cooking but cutting smaller would fix that. Taste was subtle, slightly sweet and akin to Queensland Arrowroot in flavour and texture. Except that ... the Maranta had strings right through it. Is this common? If not, how is it grown to eliminate the strings? Or prepared so the strings are not noticed. Or do you need to only use the fat tubers?

Wondering about keeping the rhizomes for next season's planting. Usually I just keep a few pieces of Ginger and Turmeric with developing 'eyes'. This time I have set aside some stem bases which look as though they still have plenty of life in them. I will plant them soon and see how it goes. I will keep some un-frozen rhizomes so I have some planting material for next spring if the re-plants don't thrive.

The Ginger flower buds didn't open. Here's two pix, the immature flower bud is outlined in green:

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Comment by Andrew Cumberland on June 8, 2015 at 23:54

We need to ask Janet.  I've not harvested mine yet.  It just seemed like the obvious answer, although they might get less stringy as they get fatter.  

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on June 8, 2015 at 23:52

Thanks Roger :-) Moving crops around is a good practice. Apart from continual monocultures, most commercial growers don't encourage microbes and worms. Especially some of the microbes which can out-breed or kill pathogenic microbes.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on June 8, 2015 at 23:48

No Andy, baked it whole. Do you mean that it is always so stringy? Dang might as well grow Qld Arrowroot, picked young those rhizomes are as tender as.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on June 8, 2015 at 23:04

Did you cut the Maranta into pieces Elaine? (Against the string grain).  

My tumeric was a great crop but your ginger left me for dead.  I used one tuber in the ginger beer but the rest has been re-sowed. At this stage, I'm not even touching the Maranta. 

Comment by Roger Clark on June 8, 2015 at 22:41

A great looking harvest Elaine! I've never heard of Maranta, but I've grown both Ginger and Turmeric over the last few summers and they are probably my most productive summer crops. I always save enough of the roots to plant next seasons crop, but I don't dig these bits up until its very close to the planting time, around September. I then move the two crops around to a different place each year. Both these seem to be pest and disease free, and by moving it on I aim to keep it that way. I did hear that the Ginger farm at Buderim has been having disease trouble, and I expect that this is at least partly due to growing the same crop year after year in the same ground. Also the Irish Potato Famine (and possibly even the Banana industries current troubles) may be due to the same problem.  

Comment by Rob Collings on June 8, 2015 at 19:29

That's a nice harvest Elaine, the ginger flower looks great and its a nice closeup.

I know that Australian native ginger leaves (Aplinia Caerulea) was traditionally used for cooking meat - wrapping the meat in ginger leaves, then cooked in an earthen oven.

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