Harvesting turmerics and gingers

After a garden tour with some of the members of the Manatee Rare Fruit Council in February 2020 we were gifted special varieties of gingers and turmerics by Josh Starry who obtained his first generation of turmerics and gingers from Biker Dude at Puna organics.

With much excitement and dedication we planted the seed of Bkk turmeric, Hawaiian red turmeric, White Mango turmeric, Indira yellow turmeric, Bubba Baba Blue ginger, Khing Yai ginger and Hawaiian yellow ginger in 25 gallon pots in a soil mix that contained one third compost, one third sand, one sixth peat moss and one sixth perlite.

The gingers and turmerics sprouted after a month or so of planting and flourished especially with the arrival of the rainy season. We kept them moist, and fertilized them with fish hydrolysate and a dilution of urine regularly during the wet season. We also top dressed the pots with oak leaf litter. The gingers were kept in partial shade, while the turmerics were placed in full sun.

The gingers flowered and reached a height of approximately 3-4ft by the peak of the rainy season. The turmerics reached a height of 4-5ft by the same time.

On January 9th, 2021 most of the foliage of both the gingers and the turmerics had died back. We harvested all of them that day and cleaned them on January 10th, 2021.

The clean ginger and turmeric rhizomes were then dried and some were set aside for propagation at our nursery, others were dehydrated to use as spices and some were used fresh in ferments, soups and teas.

Those gingers and turmerics set aside for propagation were left to cure and were planted soon after in 1 gallon pots with the same soil mix and kept in a shady area. The soil conditions were kept humid but not overly moist to avoid rotting of the rhizome. Around April 2021 the first gingers of the new generation started to sprout.

Thank you Josh for your precious gift we are eager to spread these plants further in the hopes that we can keep enjoying and preserving them.