GINGER & GALANGAL (MAY-SEP) ***SOLD OUT***
BOTANICAL NAME: Alpinia galanga BOTANICAL NAME: Zingiber officinale
COMMON NAMES: Thai Ginger, Laos, Greater Galangal, Kha COMMON NAMES: Keong, Luya; Shooga
FAMILY: Zingiberaceae, the ginger family FAMILY: Zingiberaceae
ORIGIN: China ORIGIN: Asia
Galangal is a perennial herb, between one and two metres in height, depending on variety. The leaves are 25-35 cm long, rather narrow blades with flowers which are borne at the top of the plant and are small, white and streaked with deep-red veining. The rhizome resembles ginger in shape but it is much smaller. Some varieties have a dark reddish-brown skin and the interior is nearly white. The rhizomes are tough and difficult to break.
Ginger is a perennial herb native to Asia which grow to 1 metre tall with underground rhizomes. The leaves are light green, thin and strap-like. They are native to monsoon forests and require well-drained soil, frost-free climate and 1500 mm of rain annually or supplementary irrigation. It thrives best on loamy or alluvial fertile soils and likes the addition of well-rotted manure or compost. Plants are not tolerant to waterlogging. Light shade is required which in India is provided by growing under Pigeon Pea plants. In the permaculture system plants are a useful understorey plant.
Galangal root has been used in Europe as a spice for over a thousand years, it was probably been introduced by Arabian or Greek physicians. The rhizomes have a spicy aroma and a pungent taste somewhere between pepper and ginger, it is often cooked with lemon grass. The rhizomes are used fresh and dried to flavour curries, soup, meat and fish. It is also used in Russia for flavouring vinegar and the liqueur 'nastoika'. The leaves and young shoots are also edible. In India the oil of galangal is valued in perfumery.
Ginger rhizomes are widely used to flavour cakes, chutneys, curries, candies and beverages. They are sold dry, powdered, preserved in syrup or crystallised. Very young rhizomes, known as stem ginger or green ginger, are peeled and eaten raw in salads, pickled or cooked in syrup. Young, slightly spicy shoots can be used as a vegetable.
Allow the the roots of both ginger and galangal to sit in a well ventilated pantry before planting until small 'eyes' (buds) start to develop. Large rhizomes can be cut into multiple pieces, each weighing between 50 - 80 g; each piece should have at least 2 'eyes' developing. Allow the cuts to dry out before planting to reduce the possibility of fungus infecting the planting piece. Always avoid planting in cold, wet soils. Plant in spring, when the soil has warmed up, 5-10 cm deep. Ginger is often planted on ridges, usually about 30 cm apart and with 15-23 cm between plants. The crop is planted by setts (small rhizomes) with one or two buds. Rhizomes of both galangal and ginger can be harvested most of the year yet are more tender when young and actively growing with a white rather than brown skin. Rhizomes may be 'bandicooted' by digging carefully at the side of a clump and removing pieces of root as needed rather than harvesting the whole clump.
LIKES: Orchids, Lemongrass, Capsicum and Chilli, Coriander, Fruit Trees/Fruit Shrubs, Legumes, Pigeon Pea, Spinach, and Turmeric