Fresh, organic ginger (with the stalk and leaves still attached) was my favorite purchase at the Copley Farmers' Market today.
Since 2006, Old Friends Farm has been experimenting with growing this tropical treasure right here in Massachusetts. Naturally, they plant it inside very early in the Spring.
"We have chosen not to use any fossil fuels to grow it, so for us that means growing it in a cold frame or an unheated greenhouse," said Farmer, Casey Steinberg.
They work hard to keep the greenhouse closed to build up as much heat as possible to give the ginger the tropical conditions it needs to thrive.
Casey says this in Hawaiian ginger and has the flavor you would expect from ginger. "The main difference is that it doesn't have that sort of biting aftertaste. It has a really strong ginger flavor. It has all the heat that ginger has."
I find that, like farm fresh garlic, it has a lively undertone and a more vibrant personality. I can use a bit less and get a better result.
Besides Copley Square, Old Friends Farm can be found at the Amherst and Newton Farmers' Markets.
Words and photos ©2008 Penny Cherubino
Old Friends Farm, Amherst MA 01004
One of our local food writers, Nina Simonds, has a great ginger cookbook. Here's a link to that and a microplane, my favorite way to grate ginger.