Tropical Veggies Come to Maine - for a short time only!

Ginger and lemongrass are here! Actually, they have been here at the farm for the entire summer. Being native to more tropical climes than Maine, they require some extra work to produce up here. Both of these plants begin to struggle when the nighttime temperatures dip below 50 and are killed by freezing temperatures. So what do we do?

We planted both the ginger and lemongrass in hoophouses - we can plant them earlier in hoophouses, so we extend the growing season a couple weeks, and they get extra heat every day. Ginger requires regular fertilization and hilling (like you would with potatoes or leeks). Lemongrass is less fussy, but it is a sedge grass, so it has razor-edged leaves. 

Ginger and lemongrass often appear in Asian, South Asian, and Indian cuisines - we recommend trying either of the recipes from last week with some of our ginger. Find them here.

I caught Ben in the act of making off with some freshly-cleaned ginger! No one can resist it. We are even leaving leaves on some of it for those of you who expressed interest last year in using the leaves. We will probably have lemongrass and ginger for the next couple of weeks.

Fall is, of course, also time for the usual suspects: beets, carrots, potatoes, squash, radishes, rutabagas, kohlrabi, etc. Since we are growing more land this year, we decided to invest in something known as a barrel washer. Here is a picture of it (as a work-in-progress):

IMAG4020.jpg

We will try to get a video up when it's finished and running. The motor on top of the barrel drives a chain that rotates the barrel, and there will be a hose attachment so that water sprays into the barrel from above. When you elevate one end of the washer and gently pour root vegetables in, they get sprayed and gently tumbled, which removes soil more quickly and using less water than spraying them off only with a hose. 

See you at market!

-Ailish