How to Grow an Endless Supply of Alkalizing, Anti-Inflammatory Ginger, Turmeric and Garlic at Home
Herbs and spice have the main purpose to make our food taste good. But, in addition to their ability to enhance the flavor of bland foods, most of them improve digestion, since their natural oils have a therapeutic effect on the digestive tract, and other vital organs in the body. Their strong antimicrobial potential gives them great application in drying, pickling, and other food preservation methods.
Spices are often combined with herbs, at least when it comes to cooking. ‘Herb’ refers to the leaves and young stems of herbaceous plants. Even though many herbs have spice-like features, they are not actual spices.
This label goes for dried plant parts other than leaves. Given that peppers are berries, cloves are actually young flower buds, cardamom is classified as a fruit, and cinnamon is obtained from the bark of the cinnamon tree, this is absolutely true.
Unlike herbs, vast number of all the spices grows naturally in various tropical and subtropical parts of the world.
It is quite a challenge to grow these in ‘regular’ regions, especially because of the fact that some of them are obtained from mature trees. But, the comfort of your own home can easily favor you in growing ginger, turmeric and other spices.
You can grow these spices in your own home garden:
Commonly referred to as ginger root, ginger is actually the fleshy, underground rhizome of Zingiber officinale, a perennial herbaceous plant. It is native to South China, but it was later brought to other tropical areas like West Africa and India.
Then, it was spread to Britain and the rest of the European countries. Ginger is a common ingredient in savory curries, confectionery and baked goods. Ginger is added to herbal teas for its flavor and healing power.
How to grow ginger
Ginger rhizome develops plenty of branches, and it releases new shoots as it grows. New ginger plant can be grown from one- or two-inch pieces. But, the rhizome has to have at least one growing bud, or ‘eye,’ as some like to call it.
Get a larger container and fill it with rich, well-draining potting soil. Place a few ginger rhizomes 6’’ apart on the very surface of the container. Cover them with sand. An inch of sand will do good. Press well. Set your container in a place that gets enough sun, or use grow lights. When it comes to watering, use water when the soil seems dry. Add general purpose fertilizer once in two weeks.
Ginger is cultivated as a perennial plant when grown indoors. Dig in your container and take out as much of the ginger as you need.
Ginger grows well outdoors in USDA zones 10 or above. All you need is a partially sunny location, and regular watering. Keep in mind that proper drainage is of essential importance.
Ginger rhizomes that have been planted in early spring spread aerial stems during the entire summer, but their leaves will turn yellow in fall. Ginger rhizomes that grow in gardens are annual plants, because they do not bare frost well.
Take out the entire plant, shake off any excess soil, and remove the aerial stems. It is up to you to decide whether you are going to dry, candy or pickle your ginger.
Dried ginger is easy to make. Blanch your ginger rhizomes in boiling water. Remove their skin, and slice them properly. Allow the slices to dry well in shade. Transfer dried ginger slices in airtight jars.
You can also grind them finely. You can add ginger powder in cookies and baked goods. Remember, ginger powder and honey make an effective remedy for cough.
You can make candied ginger and pickled ginger using sugar syrup and vinegar respectively. Small amounts of these aid in controlling nausea and improve digestion.