Harvesting ginger

Last spring, a lovely man that Adam was doing some farm contracting work for gave us a few ginger roots to plant. Exciting! I spoke to a friend of Mum and Dad's, David, who successfully grew it every year and he convinced me to try it in pots. 

I watched the green shoots shoot and the leaves unfurl. I dreamt of delicious fresh ginger in winter. On David's advice I watched until the leaves really started to die off. I'd admired other people's ginger plants including Fraser's, and sneakily thought how much bigger my plants were. Must be my general gardening awesomeness, obviously, that meant my ginger grew much thicker, much taller and with bigger leaves. 

This week I confidently upended a pot and harvested my ginger root. Except it didn't look entirely like ginger root. It wasn't a clearly seperate tuber (or rhizome), it grew up into the stem and didn't easily break off. It didn't smell like ginger. The guy on youtube said it'll hit you in the face, fresh gingery ginger. I nibbled some. Didn't taste like ginger. I paused for a moment and wondered if it was something poisonous. 

I called David. 

He said to slice a bit, it'll smell like ginger. Didn't. I took a bit round to his house and he poked it and said, doesn't smell like ginger because it's galangal. 

Oh of COURSE. Galangal. Phooey. Because I use a LOT of galangal in my cooking and LUCKY because I planted TWO pots of galangal. Dammit.


David and his actual ginger as opposed to my imposter galangal.



Am now ordering ginger from a reliable seed catalogue. And so hopefully next winter I'll be sipping chai with freshly grated ginger because I'm telling you the galangal really doesn't cut it. Maybe it'll behave itself in a good curry paste. 


6 Comments on “Harvesting ginger

July 11, 2013 at 9:32 am

How disappointing! We have some ginger I will have to check with hubby if it is ready yet- hope it’s not galangal!

July 11, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Never heard of galangal until today!

July 12, 2013 at 12:58 am

What a bummer! I’m gonna have to try growing my own ginger! I have my own crop of lemon grass.

I started my tomatoes from seeds this year . . . I thought I had 3 heirloom cherry plants, 4 San Marzanos and 3 Early Girls . . . I only wanted 1 cherry tomato, so I gave the other 2 to my neighbor. Turns out, he ended up with my early girls and I have what too many cherry tomatoes! Not very fond of BLTs with cherry tomatoes . . . They keep sliding out! šŸ˜€

July 19, 2013 at 11:35 am

Ummm, does this mean that I’m growing galangal too now? šŸ™‚

July 31, 2013 at 10:19 am

oh bummer! im sure it will be great in a curry!

August 2, 2013 at 9:43 pm

I’m waiting to read fabulous galangal recipes. Pretend it’s the end of civilisation, and you’ve only got that and wholemeal flour…

Hope all’s well, my dear. šŸ™‚


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