Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tumeric - now in a more accessible place

During the last wet season I simply forgot about the turmeric, and then when I did venture down the scary forest path I saw that it was leaning drunkenly over and I thought maybe it was planted too shallowly.  I added a bit more compost around the base, but realized that might make the rhizomes too wet. This weekend I began to dig around the area and discovered that in fact some of the rhizomes were a little soft and pulpy.  I dug out a large bit and am moving that into the "perennial" bed in the vegetable garden. Besides being more convenient  to harvest I can also see the wonderful flowers easier.  Here you can see what I dug up.  Look at all those cool mycellium strands - that means I have good soil :)
I washed off the rhizomes and put some into the fridge.  Most people say to dry it and grind into a powder, but because the humidity is so high here I mostly shy away from drying things.  In the past I have just kept a piece of the rhizome in the freezer to grate as needed - the same as I do with ginger.
The perennial bed started out with 4 asparagus, but the crown alongside the paw paw died, so I just have a row of three asparagus crowns.  Behind it I popped in some galangal which has done well, and next to that, my clump of lemon grass.  So now I have added turmeric to my little spice corner.  I hope the asparagus doesn't feel as though it is being crowded out.   I also have one purple asparagus that grew from seed (out of a pkg of 8 seeds!)  I will plant that out and maybe if any other asparagus pop up I could have two rows of asparagus, with the exotic spice section behind it.
I think this weekend I will try and cook a tasty meal using galangal, lemon grass, ginger and turmeric. Maybe Thai chicken soup, although that doesn't use any turmeric.  Turmeric has lots of health benefits, and I might try making some turmeric and ginger tea as well.  It is good for diabetes, preventing Alzheimer, reducing inflammation - in fact it is the new wonder drug!  Growing right in my backyard!

5 comments:

  1. Your soil looks very fertile. I bet there are many earthworms there. I grow turmeric but have yet to use it. I often use ginger and lemon grass but have no clue when to add in turmeric.

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  2. Oh, I'm getting hungry just reading this post! I would love to grow some Tumeric, but it just woldn't be practical here.

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  3. You can marinate chicken with mesh ginger, lemon grass and turmeric for a few hours. Then fried them. Nyum...Lovely harvest.

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  4. I don't think anyone has ever used turmeric in our kitchen.

    Now that I've learned from your blog that its got health benefits too I'll look deeper into propagating this in our garden.

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  5. One,
    I normally cook with tumeric powder - I make a lovely yellow rice with raisins (see the recipe blog in my side bar) It is in most curry powders, but there are not a lot of recipes using fresh tumeric.
    Gippsland gardener,
    It really only takes off right during the wet humid season.
    Malay-Kadazan,
    It sounds as though you might have used it fresh, mmm sounds good I will try that this weekend.
    Solitude Rising,
    besides harvesting it for the rhizomes it also has a lovely flower, but dies right back in the dry season.

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