Recipe Correction! Remember those delicious chewy ginger cookies that I shared a couple of newsletters ago? There is a correction to be made! It should read 2 teaspoons of baking soda (2t), not 2 tablespoons (2T). My apologies for any cookies that came out totally disgusting. They really are delicious... when you use 2t of baking soda. Also, apologies for any inconvenience it caused to your customers. Many a thank you to a wonderful ginger grower for sending an email to point this correction out to me. "I just made the fresh ginger cookies and they are way too soda-ish. It says 2 Tbs in the recipe but other recipes I found (after tasting them) have only 2 tsp. You may want to change this on the email send out because they are close to being inedible. We will just eat them with lots of ice cream!" Thanks for letting me know!
Turmeric should be ready to harvest. For those of you who have grown it this year, you may want to dig up a sample. If it looks like the picture below then it is not ready and will not grow much for the remainder of the fall season. If the leaves have started to die back (senesce) then there will be no more rhizome growth for the season. Curcumins (the medicinal compound in turmeric) will increase as the turmeric matures. Bottom line, if your turmeric is still immatrue, dig it up anyways. Sell it as immature and just let folks know that the curcumins in it are lower than mature turmeric.
If the turmeric looks more like the picture above (fat fingers of rhizome, well defined rhizome growth from the initial rhizome) then it is ready to harvest and market. Feeding and watering adequately through the season will help the turmeric mature on time, yield well and have ample levels of curcumin.
Turmeric has a long storage life. It should last many weeks at around 60F. Wash and thoroughly dry before storage. Air drying for 24 hours, after harvest and washing, will help the fingers cure. These are best options for storage to hold before selling. Inform your customers that they can store turmeric in the refrigerator wrapped in a cloth (but be sure to tell them that this may dry out the turmeric fingers quickly, or, if too wet, may rot them). The other option for end users is to leave it on the kitchen counter if they're going to use it within a week or two.
Drying turmeric is also a great option for long-term storage and use. Turmeric can also be frozen for juicing or making purees at a later date.
Turmeric can be marketed to restaurants and chefs, folks who juice, farmers' markets, etc. If you are selling to a grocery type outlet, have them display/sell the turmeric in a location that is not refrigerated.