Growing Ginger In Northern Ohio

Marjory I recently saw you make up a potion (the Four Thieves  Tonic, or Fire Cider video is here) using Ginger.  You said you bought it from the store because you could not grow it.

Well here in Ohio an organic farmer friend of mine experimented with growing ginger in his high tunnel and outside. Low and behold we now have fresh ginger at our farmers market.

Once other farmers saw what he was doing they jumped on the band wagon and started growing it as well. He starts it inside in his basement and then transfers it to the field and high tunnels. The ginger in the field he puts under row cover in early spring but the high tunnel stuff is fine.

We all think we have had fresh ginger but until you had fresh like his stuff all we have been eating until now is a dried up root.  The fresh stuff I have to keep in the freezer because it is so soft you cannot grate it. It will will not form that hard skin you see in stores for several months which is a good thing. I keep it in a zip lock bag for easy access.

How he started is he bought some organic ginger from the grocery store. Did a little research and found he could grow it. Now he orders it from Hawaii. He is experimenting with trying to keep some over the winter by putting it in buckets with potting soil. The verdict is still out on that one.

So yes you can grow ginger in Northern Ohio.


Marjory’s note;  Thanks for sending this in Greg.  I just finished re-reading Eliot Coleman’s book on “Four Season Harvest” which is a masterpiece on how to grow in cold climates.  Eliot uses that system of a high tunnel and then row cover which works amazingly well on his farm in Maine.  You can pick up Eliot’s book here at Amazon:  http://astore.amazon.com/wwwbackyardfo-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=5

Here is a photo of how it is done: row cover is used inside of a greenhouse for a double layer of protection. 

floating row cover inside greenhouse dscn0015

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This post was written by Marjory


  • I enjoy your no nosence approch to things.

  • Gene Cramer says:

    Hey Marjory,
    Have you ever set out tomatoe plants or any transplant, and sat a one gallon milk jug with the bottom cut out over them? If it frosts, simply put the lid on that night.
    This gallon milk jug method works for everything you set out. It provides the new plant with its own personal green house. and the white plastic carton disperses the light to help protect the new plant. When the tomatoe starts growing out the hole in the top, remove the jug.
    I once tried using a 2 liter clear plastic pop bottle and the clear plastic cooked the plant and killed it. Had the same effect as setting it on the dash panel under the clear windshield of your car on a sunny day…..too hot! But the white jug works. It gives the tender plants a head start. You can set out tomatoes 3 to four weeks sooner using the milk jug covers with lids to protect from frost.
    Do you suppose the white row covers in the article above have the same effect?
    Solexx green houses use this same effect to difuse the light.

    Good job lady!
    Gene Cramer, your friend in Shawnee Kansas.

    1. Hi Gene,

      Glad to hear from you again.

      When we get milk it comes in glass jars from a neighbor… so I don’t have any plastic jugs laying around (sigh, but they are useful materials). But I bet you are right on with using them as little mini greenhouses. And the idea of using The cap for a little vent hole as needed makes a ton of sense.

      I am about to post a video on my ‘resource pile’ a.k.a. ‘junk pile’ where I show that I found some plastic drawers from an old refrigerator and use them as mini greenhouses. They are awesome season extenders…

  • Harold says:

    I received this!!
    In order for this site to work properly, and in order to evaluate and improve the site we need to store small files (called cookies) on your computer.

    Over 90% of all websites do this, however, since the 25th of May 2011 we are required by regulations to obtain your consent first. What do you say?
    I don’t agree & Fine
    I clicked fine and the page turned plain white with black writing.
    Messed up I did not copy it so I could send that to you.

    Today first day that ask that question hope I never receive that question again!!!!!!!!! ONCE done when click on one of your categories ask that question again.

    1. Hi Harlod,

      thanks for posting this. I am not sure what is going on, but having my technical guy look into it. I think we use cookies for the membership levels… but I do want to be sure its not some other big trouble.

  • LEE TAVES says:

    MARJORY my advice to you is get the CD dead doctors
    don,t lie, a veterinarian who becomes a physician WE .
    all die of nutritional deficiency disease. get the

  • Fran Giroux says:

    On Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 8:32 PM, Francis Giroux wrote:

    If you are interested in Aquaponics you should consider the growing system I developed that eliminates the electric pumps and expensive fish food of Aquaponics. It is geared to survival situations and is called Quadraponics, a symbios between four organisms, fish, bacteria, earthworms, and plants. Watch videos #86 and #87 at http://www.crunchtimeprep.com/videos.htm

    If you are interested in greenhouses without artificial heating watch videos #56, #57 and #95 at http://www.crunchtimeprep.com/videos.htm

    Willing to cooperate,


    1. Hi Fran,

      So it looks like you are using sunlight to heat up the black tanks and create pressure to move the water through the system? It was a little challenging to hang in there for the full video. And, seems like you are needing to do a bit more research. I love the direction you are working towards, and your philosophy.

  • Robert Crawford says:

    Anyone interested in the most advanced food producing system in the
    world(my opinion!!)-go to bioponics.net-based in Atlanta,GA
    Patented system-but free info
    This is fantastic!!
    Bob Crawford

    1. Hi Bob,

      I went to http://www.bioponics.net and got a Go Daddy message about the domain name. Are you sure that is the correct link?

  • Mike Cobb says:

    I have and have read the Four Seasons book. I have greenhouse hoops, and the start of a medium sized (2,000 sq ft) aquaponic greenhouse.

    A couple of observations relating the Four Seasons book to where I live here in DFW. There are interesting data points about when plants stop growing (when they get less than 10 hours per day of sunlight). This is determined by lattitude. We’re at about 34 degrees north here in DFW. You a little less.

    The duration of the year when we do not get 10 hours of light per day begins around 10 December and ends around 5 January (this from memory….need to look this up again for the precise dates). So, you can assume that the plants he recommends for the late fall early winter season (leafy greens) would not grow but for only this very small period of time in NCTx.

    Second, there are two temperature related things to consider. He recommends using what I’ll call ‘row covers’ (low, unitized hoops with plastic sheeting covers that you can easily move around), and says this gives about 15 degrees of temperature resistance. From separate sources, know that if you put two layers of greenhouse sheeting on your hoop house, and run a very slow power squirrel cage fan (greenhouse supply outfits sell these) to inflate the layers between the plastic, that also gives you about 15 degrees of temperature protection.

    Add to the mix the thousands of gallons of water you will have in a decent sized aquaponic system (water is even better than stone as a temperature stabilizing element – the phase change from liquid to solid takes a lot of energy) and you should, based on the typical low temps we have here in the mid-twenties, very seldom to never need to use supplemental heat to keep your greenhouse from freezing. This does not mean you’ll be growing okra and tomatoes in winter without a heating bill. But cold weather crops should do well.

    OBTW, look in Craigslist for used (sometimes free) metal wall swimming pools. The smallest size is 14′. This is what I’m going to use for my fish tank. A 14′ diameter x 3.5′ tank holds close to 3,000 gallons. Cheapest gallonage you can possibly find short of an outdoor pond. Don’t bother with the inflatable ‘soft side’ types. A replacement liner is $80.

    And finally, there are three basic styles of grow beds with aquaponics. Floating raft, gravel bed, and in-ground. Well….there’s also vertical ‘hanging’ types. Each has advantages/disadvantages. If you chose floating raft, you can not only raise fish in the pond, you can raise giant river prawns under the floating rafts. There’s a supplier of young ones near here in Weatherford TX.


    Mike Cobb

    1. Mike,

      Thank you SO MUCH for your detailed response.

      Yes, we are pretty lucky here down south. For example, I can have kale cut and come again most of the winter – but they can’t get those growth rates up north.

      We are setting up a small to mid sized aquaponics system with 100 gallon tank and 200 plant grow bed. I have a lot of mixed emotions about aquaponics. but am excited to explore it.

      BTW, I’ll be in Ft. Worth speaking at the March Organic Gardening club meeting. I’ll be presenting about Leucaeana – my favorite tree. Hopefully you can attend and I’ll get to meet you in person?

  • Hi Marjory,

    I am currently building a medium sized aquaponics system in Rotterdam. There are two fish growing areas with around 8,000 gallons for the fish. There will be two raft beds around a thousand square feet each in a 5,000 square feet greenhouse. This system will have to cycle in the long winter months so there are trickle filters to help breakdown the ammonia during those times. All pipes are at least 2″ except in specific pressure areas to prevent clogging.
    The small system I built in Thailand a few years ago had media after the rafts and the water came out blue it was so clear. I like using multiple forms in aquaponics, however, the farm in Rotterdam will start with only rafts. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

    Best regards,


    1. Wow Jason, that is a big system,. I’ve got a neighbor building a commercial system of that size.

      Hey, I would love to come for a visit! LOL.

      why not put together an article with some photos of what you are doing?

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