Happy Chinese New Year!
My Chinese inspired ginger jar
The Chinese have been using ginger for its culinary and medicinal benefits for many hundreds of years. I, however, have been thinking about trying to grow ginger for a couple of years now but haven't managed to do it so far! This is mainly because I've been a little bit baffled about where to begin and how to grow it. However, that has now changed as yesterday in town, I came across a ginger rhizome ready to plant and I'm now ready to give it a go.
It does seem to be quite fussy though - loves a sheltered spot, filtered sunlight, warm weather, humidity and rich moist soil which should never dry out (that last bit should be easy, living in England!). Should be planted February or March but need to avoid frost, so I may wait until next month.
I like the idea that above ground it produces pink and white flower buds which bloom into yellow flowers and then it stays as a perennial reed-like plant with annual leafy stems reaching about 3 feet tall, so it's no shrinking violet! Meanwhile, underground the roots are steadily growing to produce the useable part of the plant.
Fresh ginger tastes different to dry ginger and is a common ingredient in Eastern cooking. It can also be used in drinks - both alcoholic and non-alcoholic (I've found ginger and lemon tea to be very comforting as a "cold remedy" in the winter months). Ginger is often used to help nausea and aid digestion. It has the potential to do a whole lot more but, like all herbs, ginger should be taken and handled with care.
To learn more about ginger, I recommend this link from Discovery Health: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/ginger-herbal-remedies1.htm
It seems to be such a multi-tasking plant, I can't wait to start growing it
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"Pray for what you wish and work for what you need"
After I wrote the Chinese New Year / Ginger post above, I decided to have a bit of a tidy up and this included emptying out an old handbag. Right at the bottom, amongst the scrunched up till receipts, old peppermint, pen top and solitary coin, I found a tiny piece of paper with some writing on it. It was the message from a fortune cookie I was given last summer and I found it hidden in the bottom corner of a bag today of all days - synchronicity or what?