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If you decide that you really like figging, or if you just really like sipping ginger tea, making ginger bath scrubs, eating stir fry, and baking gingerbread cookies, then you may want to consider growing your own ginger. By growing your own, you can impart your own magical intent into the roots, and you can be certain that your ginger is organic. Ginger is really easy to grow in buckets on the porch or balcony or inside in pots. Because ginger is a root crop, it should be planted in the dark of the moon in the early spring. So, plan this project for that odd day or two just before the new moon.
According to Deb Brown, professor emeritus of the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota, ginger can be grown from ginger root bought in the super market. This is the perfect thing to do with your left over ginger from figging. Because really, unless you're in the early stages of pregnancy or undergoing chemo, how much ginger tea are you really going to drink? (If you didn't know, ginger tea soothes a nauseated stomach. Try it next time you drink too much.) Since it is a tropical plant that needs a long, warm growing season to produce mature roots, ginger should be grown in pots in doors in temperate climates.
What you need: a container 14-16 inches across and at least that deep with drainage holes in the bottom, potting soil and slow release fertilizer. Make sure that the potting soil drains but still retains some moisture. You don't want your rhizomes (ginger hands) to dry out or rot.
Put the soil and fertilizer in the pot. Plant the rhizome horizontally 1 inch deep. Water the pot well and place your plant inside in a sunny spot until nighttime temperatures rise above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Your ginger plant needs heat, humidity, and dappled sunlight (think about the light coming through trees in the woods). It should only receive direct sunlight early or late in the day. Always keep the soil moist but not soggy (or you'll have rotten ginger). Like most plants, ginger will die back once the weather turns cold. When this happens, it's time to harvest your ginger and have a little fun with figging. Scrub your harvested rhizomes with a potato brush and store them in a plastic bag with holes in it. In addition to being refrigerated, ginger can also be frozen for later use.
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