Well, it certainly cooled down a bit over the last two days! After complaining about the heat last week, last night I had a nightmare in which an early killing frost had hit the farm without warning. Fortunately, in reality, the temperature only dipped to 49, and it probably won’t get too much cooler for some time- after all, it’s still September in Maryland! We say we look forward to frost, but timing is everything. There’s still a whole lot to get done before the pace can slow down.
We’re still harvesting pawpaws every day, and we’re in peak dahlia season, which means we’re just swooning over their beauty constantly. A lot of our flowers are slowing down with the shorter days and impending seasonal transition, but there’s still a whole lot of beauty on the farm.
One thing we’re really loving right now is this year’s ginger crop! We pre-sprouted the ginger in our greenhouse in April, and planted it in the field under plastic cover in May. Once the temperatures were consistently warm in June, we removed the plastic cover, weeded the beds a couple of times, and waited. The ginger that we grow is baby ginger, unlike the second year rhizomes you typically see in the grocery store. It is a little bit sweeter than second year ginger, has a thin skin that doesn’t need to be peeled, and is tender juicy. It’s great to use just as you would any other ginger, and it makes fantastic candied ginger. We sell ours with the greens attached, which can be used to flavor stocks, simmered as a tea, or simmered in cream for a delicious ice cream base.
Ginger takes a long time to size up, and takes up a lot of space in the field, and so it’s really important that we have a healthy crop. We like to get as much use out of our small space as possible, which means quick bed turnaround and oftentimes squeezing as many crops into a bed as we can in a given season- sometimes a bed will see three different crops in a year, plus cover crop! Since we started growing more flowers, we do fewer speedy rotations than we did with veggies, as the turnaround for flowers is slower than crops like radishes and salad greens, but it’s still important to us to get the best yield we can from the space that we have. So, of course, we were thrilled to begin digging the ginger couple of weeks ago and find the most beautiful rhizomes we’ve ever grown!
While I was harvesting the first of this season’s ginger crop I had a flashback to my Two Boots job interview in September of 2017. One of the tasks was an all hands on deck, rapid harvest of all of the ginger left in the high tunnel, because someone wanted to come buy the whole crop that day. I must have done something right, because here I am, happy as a clam, digging ginger at Two Boots once again nearly two years later!