Archive for the ‘Turmeric’ Category

Turmeric

July 22, 2016

About 12 months ago I was given a small pot with a sickly-looking yellow leaf in it and asked if I could “make it well again”. The label said ‘turmeric’ and I’d always wanted to have a go at growing it, but had never been able to buy rhizomes locally. Green Harvest in Queensland does sell them but I hadn’t ordered any to try because I figured it probably wouldn’t be that easy to grow down south and didn’t want to waste the money.

But here was an opportunity to have a go and the donor had said she didn’t really want it back again.

So I potted it into a slightly larger pot and consulted Mr Google. As I thought, it seemed as though the plant wasn’t dying, but just entering winter dormancy. I left it in the polyhouse, just keeping it moist, and sure enough, in spring a little green shoot appeared. I fed it with Dynamic Lifter, watered it regularly and eventually potted it into a larger pot. This is how it looked at the end of summer :

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As the weather cooled, the leaves started to yellow. I cut back on watering :

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More and more :

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Finally, the moment of truth had come. Time to tip it out of the pot and see if there were any rhizomes.

Yay! :

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The clump split easily into two. I’ve replanted the group of larger rhizomes on the left and separated the smaller ones on the right. I was surprised to see the little tubers growing at the end of the thick roots, just like they do for potatoes. I had thought that the main rhizome multiplied by just elongating and branching, so I’ve stored these little tubers in moist cocopeat until I can get around to planting them individually into smaller pots. I hope they will form the basis of new plants, but will probably take some time to grow big enough to harvest.

The  tubers I took inside to use were only small….. a couple the size of my little finger. I didn’t even bother to take a photo. I decided to try drying them, so chopped them in the Thermomix and put them in the dryer. They were yellow when I put them in but they’ve gone brown :

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Maybe that’s an enzymatic reaction, same as when chopped apples and potatoes go brown. I hope it hasn’t altered the nutritional qualities. Looks like I can add another foodstuff to my self-sufficiency repertoire…..and a healthy one at that.

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