East Branch Ginger
It's Time To Start Harvesting Baby Ginger!

The heat has been very hard on ginger crops this year. Many folks have had a decrease in production from the extreme temperatures. Higher soil or media temperatures during the beginning of the season (sustained temps over 90F for days on end) can cause ginger to send up many, many shoots from the seed piece. This causes a decrease in yields. Equate this to a tomato producing lots of small, poor quality fruit, instead of the choice few fruits with peak flavor, size, and disease resistance.

That being said, we are still seeing some nice harvests of ginger this season. The temps cooled down enough to let canopy get established to shade the root zone. Some folks used their watering regime to cool soil in the early afternoon heat. Lots of folks use shade cloth or the shade of tree canopy to keep soil temps lower. Ginger is very shade tolerant so it is an excellent tool to keeping soil temperature between 70-90F.

Take a look at the pictures below to glimpse some of the harvests. I suggest starting to harvest and market now because the baby ginger will only get bigger from here until about 4-6 weeks from now when it starts to form a delicate skin. Your customers will enjoy using the ginger as it grows bigger and changes in flavor and texture.

Selling and marketing baby ginger all depends upon your market outlet. Many folks ask how to price and market this time of year and here are my suggestions:
  • You know your market best! Should you sell by pound or per piece?
  • Pricing for farmers' markets last season ranged from $7-22 per pound.
  • The average price per pound was about $12 per pound.
  • If you sell per piece: pick a price per pound that you would like to achieve, break up and weigh the pieces and sell them at a set price per piece at market. Example: $16 per pound price goal... Sell approximately 2 ounce pieces for $2 per piece.
  • Wholesale markets may prefer hands left whole rather than breaking fingers apart.
  • Marketing ideas: leave small portions of lower stem on for a very attractive look at market and a built in handle!
  • More marketing ideas: Display a whole hand at market with full foliage left on top. Not many folks know what a whole ginger plant looks like! It will attract people to your stall, at the very least...
  • You know your market best and how to price your products.
Take a look at the website for harvesting infostorage suggestions, recipes from last season (there will be new ones in the coming newsletters), and watering and feeding late in the season.

Thank you all for your interest in growing ginger. And as usual, please send pictures or your ginger if you get a chance. Any and all questions or feedback that you have are welcome and will help us grow this unique crop more successfully in the seasons to come.

Take care,
East Branch Ginger
August 26, 2012 Harvest Field Grown, 3oz. Seed Grew One Pound Baby Ginger Yields are okay, in spite of the heat setback this season.

Yields could be higher, though, so it is important to keep the root zone between 70-90F during the growing season. It also helps to keep the ginger fed very well, apply beneficial fungi and bacteria as recommended, and don't overwater in the beginning and underwater in the later part of the season.
Early Harvest August 20, 2012

Seed Piece #1 Produced the beginnings of some nice hands of ginger only a few skinny, heat-stressed shoots. The nice hands could be a bit more stout and less stretched but they look okay for market and they taste great! Pieces #2 and #3 sent up many small shoots early in the season as a reaction to the heat in the soil/media. These plants were grown in 15 gallon bags, white on the outside, 2-3 pieces per bag, in coconut coir (click to learn more about growing with coir). They presprouted beautifully but became stressed after the media heated to above 90F for days at a time in the early season. The multiple skinny shoots can still be eaten.
Baby Ginger With Foliage Field Grown Aug. 26, 2012 Leave foliage on a plant or two and take to market or wholesale customers so they can see the full plant!

Foliage can dry the rhizomes and make them quite rubbery. Dig up your "display" plant the same day or store it for only a day or two at optimum temperatures.
Many thanks for your order this season. I will be sending out more newsletters over the coming weeks. They will cover these subjects:
  • Recipes to take to market
  • Update of production in Hawaii where your seed is grown
  • Turmeric and Galangal cultural updates
  • Turmeric and Galangal recipes
Let me know any other information that you would like to hear about in the newsletters.



Susan Anderson


East Branch Ginger