Here at Goldthread Apothecary we have the perfect antidote to the early arrival of winter in New England — deliciously spicy locally grown ginger!
A few years ago the folks at Old Friends Farm decided to bring a bit of Hawaii to nearby Amherst, MA and pioneered the growing of ginger as a Northeast crop. Harvested at a young stage, this local ginger is more tender than the older roots typically found at stores and has less inner fibers and no tough skin. Since the harvest season runs only from late August until mid-November, NOW is definitely the time to stock up on this delicious root (without all those transportation miles) — especially with the holiday baking and cooking season right around the corner. Ginger-glazed turkey, anyone? Fresh Ginger Gingerbread? And let's not forget what fresh ginger adds to a cup of homemade Masala Chai.
According to the Old Friends Farm website, young ginger root can be stored in the refrigerator for 10 days in a waxed paper bag or sealed container. Any part of the root that will not be used within 10 days should be frozen in a zipper bag, and can be used from the freezer for many months.
PREPARING FOR FREEZING: Clean the ginger by running it under water and gently rubbing off any soil, then refrigerate or freeze it.
USING FROZEN GINGER: When using the frozen ginger, take it out and grate it frozen, do not allow to thaw and put any unused portions back into the freezer. Grating the ginger just before it is needed in your cooking, enables you to brush the frozen gratings off your cutting board and none is wasted!
Besides being delicious (if you need more inspiration Old Friends Farm shares a number of recipes on their site) the many uses of ginger as a botanical healer are well known. In Ayurvedic medicine ginger is considered the best and most sattvic of the spices, supporting a serene, harmonious, balanced mind or attitude. A warming carminative, ginger has traditionally been used to soothe occasional intestinal gas, bloating, and cramping and to relieve the symptoms of nausea.
You can find Old Friends Farm locally grown ginger in the refrigerator to the left of the counter at Goldthread Apothecary — while supplies last!