28 Oct A touch of Hawaii in this week’s harvest
Frosty mornings have us waiting for the crops to thaw before harvest can start. We are looking forward to daylight savings time giving us a jump on the cold mornings. This week was spent planting garlic and beginning the process of covering it with straw mulch. The straw will protect the garlic on its journey through the cold winter and help suppress weeds for the 9 months the garlic is in the ground. We are increasing our acreage planted, as we can’t ever seem to have enough of this crop. A certain amount of our harvest is saved for seed each year- this season is the first we will be buying in seed to help increase our yields.
Fresh from the farm this week: butternut squash, frost sweetened greens, leeks, red celery and a delicious array of roots. Baby Hawaiian ginger grown here at the farm makes its debut in the CSA share.
We get our certified organic ginger seed direct from Kauai, presprout it in early March and grow it all season long until harvest starts in late September. We prefer to grow the ginger in large bags of our own soil mix- allowing us to really control the nutrients and soil aeration, and to start and end the growing process in our heated tunnels.
Ginger is a warming herb- often used for the circulatory and digestive systems. It is a well-known antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. You will find the young ginger has a more nuanced floral flavor with less of the searing heat we are used to in store bought ginger. You can use the whole thing- no need to peel off a tough exterior layer. There isn’t one!
Use your fresh ginger in tea, in soup (ginger carrot or ginger squash soup is delicious!), in stir-fries or in a marinade for topping salmon. If you don’t use it fresh in about 10 days, I would recommend preserving it by drying, pickling or freezing. When freezing, you would just grate it frozen into whatever dish you are preparing. If you want to use frozen chunks in your smoothie- cut it to the size you like before freezing and blend it while frozen. Pickled ginger is a wonderful accompaniment to winter dishes, or make a ginger simple syrup to spice up your winter cocktails. Last season I dehydrated some ginger and made my own ginger powder for use in baking. Another wonderful option. Have fun with it!
Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is entering its 10th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.