We grow and ship four different root crops. White Ginger, Yellow Ginger, Galangal (Thai Ginger), and Turmeric.
Characteristics-White ginger grows the fastest and provides the greatest yield out of our four roots. It is the most tender and mildest of the 3 gingers. It is commonly used in Asian style soups and stir fry, and as a pallet cleanser when eating sushi.
Growing Season-White ginger has a growing season of about 9 months. We plant it in March and it is fully mature by the end of November. In December the tops of the plant begin to die off and the crop goes dormant for all of January and February. If not harvested the dormant roots will begin growing again on their own in March.
Challenges-White ginger is the most susceptible to funguses such as Pythium that make the root rotten and unusable. Another challenge for white ginger is the burrowing nematode. These microscopic bugs literally burrow into the root itself and in severe cases makes the ginger inedible. These hardships are avoided by rotating fields every year and ensuring that the soil is nutrient rich so that the ginger can grow strong and healthy.
Characteristics-Yellow ginger is a step up from white ginger in heat and fiber but a step down in growing speed and yield. Due to its stronger flavor yellow ginger is most commonly used for juicing and cooking situations where the stronger flavor is desired.
Growing Season-The growing season for yellow ginger is also about 9 months and the time-frame is similar to white ginger. If there is any difference it seems that yellow ginger may be a little behind white ginger in maturing and going dormant. Because of this we tend to wait a little longer to begin harvesting.
Challenges-Yellow ginger is much more resilient than white ginger. Although the same pests do effect it there is typically less damage done to it than the white ginger.
Characteristics-Galangal is very different from white and yellow ginger. It has a more aromatic flavor and is much spicier. The root itself is very fibrous and typically not eaten.The most common use for it is in Thai soups. It is used for its flavor and when found in ones bowl it is removed and placed on the side leaving all of its delicious flavor behind.
Growing Season-Galangal is equally as unique in its growing habits as it is in flavor. The seasons do not seem to bother it at all as it does not have a dormant period, it can be planted at any time of the year and it will be happy. The individual roots themselves are very tough and bound together by strong and fibrous feeder roots. Harvesting usually turns into “Galangal Wrestling” where the large clumps are picked up by more than one of us and thrown down in the hope that the clump will break into smaller, more manageable pieces. By the end of a galangal harvest we are all exhausted and begging for mercy while the remaining galangal in the field stands tall and giggles to itself (not really but it definitely seems like it!).
Challenges-Nothing really challenges galangal…galangal challenges everything else. Truthfully there are not many things that effect the hearty plants. Sometimes there are minor discoloration issues on the skin but these do not affect the quality of the root.
Characteristics-Turmeric is the smallest and most fragile of the 4 root crops. Originating in India turmeric is used extensively in curries and other signature Indian dishes. It is easily recognizable for its vibrant orange color that stains everything it touches. Recently there have been many studies done on the health benefits of turmeric and lots of people use it on a daily basis for its nutritional values.
Growing Season-Turmeric has roughly a 9 month growing season like its ginger cousins, however it does not go dormant until late January.
Challenges-Turmeric is not remarkably affected by any pests. One challenge of turmeric is that it does not produce as much as the gingers do. Due to this in order to get a decent yield a large volume must be planted and cultivated.