Saturday, August 28, 2010


I just got to thinking that maybe a lot of people don't know how extremely simple it is to grow their own ginger! It is a lily and the actual eating part grows and spreads underground. This root is called a hand, because as it grows and spreads, it resembles fingers reaching out in different directions.

I keep some planted in a little bed especially for the ginger in the middle of my herbs, as it does spread and make more lilies. When I want some ginger for cooking or making gingerale, I put a spade in the ground and just barely dig up the root, and break a little off. I quickly re-settle the plant and let it keep living to make more. It kind of dies back in winter, and little lilies sprout up every spring. So, I really have ginger anytime I want it! I always harvest from the outer edge of its bed to keep it in one spot.

To begin your ginger bed, start with a fairly large hand from the grocery store- maybe five or six inches in diameter. It should not be too dried out looking and have a few "bumps" on it- that's where the lilies sprout from. Plant it in fairly warm loose soil- it takes a couple of months to see it spread from more lilies growing. Easy! I really like the flowers too.

Caution: start your ginger from grocery store ginger! There is a commercial nursery grade ginger lily that is sold for the flowers, because they look like a larger version of food grade ginger. The rhizomes are edible, but not like real ginger.

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