p30_Ginger.jpgGinger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale and is said to be native to tropical Asia, from India, Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar through to Malaysia. Ginger has long been used in Chinese herbal medicine for its medicinal properties. The raw tubers (ginger root) is effective for a healthy stomach, to remove toxins, reduce fever, clear the nose, suppress coughing, stop nausea and so on. Dried ginger (dried after steaming) stimulates the body's metabolism, has good warming properties and helps to relieve colds, stomach aches and diarrhea as well as being effective against feeling the cold and bedwetting. 

The heat in ginger comes from zingerone crystals and the oily shogaol and zingiberene, both of which are essential oils. These constituents help to keep the stomach healthy by promoting the secretion of stomach juices, promoting digestion and appetite. It is also used for sweating and fevers, to stop coughs, reduce immflammation and swelling, and for warming the body. In particular, Zingerone has powerful antibacterial properties against the typhoid and cholera bacteria. It also effectively kills the Anisakis larvae.

It is said to have arrived in Japan from China (the old country of Wu 222 - 280). And is mentioned in such old tomes as the Record of Japan in the History of Wei and the Kojiki, where it is called 'hajikami'. 

Ginger is classed as large, medium or small, and within each of the three groups there are different cultivars, but property-wise there is very little difference. 

The Large Ginger Group was introduced at the beginning of the Meiji era as Canton ginger and is grown in Kyushu, Shikoku and warm parts of Kansai and Kanto. These late harvested cultivars are tall, growing to 70 - 10℃m, the bases of leaf stems are pale and there are not many offshoots. The stalks above ground number around 20, and from 800g to 1kg of rhizomes can be harvested from a single plant, which is a good yield. The flesh is soft in texture and this ginger is a bit mild, but it gets hotter as it matures, however it does not store well. The ginger cultivated within Kagoshima Prefecture is large ginger. 

The Medium Ginger Group is used for with its leaves still attached and as blanched ginger. It developed around the Kansai area and has spread throughout the rest of the country. It is middle to late harvested cultivar, has fat rhizomes and grows robustly. Rhizome yield is 600g. It grows to about 50cm in height and has numerous offshoots, sending out about 50 shoots. 

The Small Ginger Group is largely used for blanching and is produced mainly in the Kanto area. It is ready for harvesting early to mid-season, with thin stems, numbering about 40. Rhizomes are thin and fibrous. They are not very juicy and are very hot. Yield is about 500g.

Where temperature conditions for growing are concerned, ginger is grown from the hot, wet tropics to temperate areas. In mainland Kagoshima Prefecture, it dies off during the winter cold. Rhizomes do not become dormant and when the temperature rises above 18 ℃, they begin to sprout and send out shoots. 

Temperatures between 25 and 30 ℃ are best for growing and growth will stop if the temperature falls below around 15 ℃. Ginger will rot at temperatures of 10 ℃ or less.

Where soil conditions are concerned, sandy and clay soils are all right, but deep, well-draining, moisture-retentive soils are best. The roots require a growing bed of at least 2℃m so the ground must be tilled deeply. 

Where water is concerned, ginger dislikes arid conditions, and likes humidity, so if there is insufficient moisture in the soil it will stop fattening. For this reason, irrigation is very effective on ginger crops. 

Where exposure to sunlight is concerned, during the initial stages of growth, it likes the shade. During the peak growth stage it requires a lot of sunshine. Repetitive use of the same fields can cause diseases from continuous cropping and yield will fall.

I.O.D. Farms are producing organically grown local ginger on farmland that matches these conditions in Thailand and Laos. Enough spare fields remain uncultivated, so if you would like to use the farmland, we will supply it. We will also sell and export the ginger grown on these farms. If you would like a sample, we will send it to you with actual expenses including the postage on a parcel.

Sub-contracting by I.O.D. and out-sourced production are also possible. Just give us a call. 


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