Organic Kitchen Gardening and my personal musings

This blog is about my experiments with Organic Kitchen Gardening and sometimes about other personal experiences of my life… Please leave a comment about anything that touched you. Comments help to keep the blogger motivated to keep blogging :)

This grew in spite of me January 20, 2011

Filed under: Organic Farming and Kitchen Garden — rajapanda @ 2:24 pm
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That’s true and am talking about Turmeric. Don’t quite remember when my wife had got these 3-4 plants, it was a Sankranti day i guess. That’s the day when it’s common to see vendors selling turmeric plants in the market. I think kanadiggas use it in their puja. The earliest photo (one below) i have is from Aug last year. I think i had bought it roughly 3-4 months before that. Any one remembers the exact date ??

They were lying there for 2-3 days almost on the verge of drying out when my wife coaxed me to planted them. I planted them in 2 different corners of the garden, hoping, at least they will act as some sort of deterrent to pests. Being an organic gardener, i am often willing to try out these undocumented and intuitive methods and see how it goes. It doesn’t always have to be well documented or scientifically proved way of pest deterrence. But what followed after that was not very intentional. Being in two corner of the garden they received less attention from me. Some time i was even downright negligent and missed watering them regularly.

Of course i have been little negligent of my garden in the past few months owing to some personal reasons. But that’s a different story, which i’ll share some other time.

So, now you know why i say this plant has grown in spite of me. But now that i’m in mood to clean up the garden and start another active growing season i decided to take out these turmeric plants which had almost dried up (my negligence or is it end of life for the plant??). Well i was in for some pleasant surprise. First shoots….

Turmeric

After just rooting out the plants i realized there is something down there and i have to dig it out and be careful while doing it. So, after a patient 15 minutes of digging i got this 1.6 kgs of turmeric!!!! Can you believe it ?? 1.6 kg from just 2 plants in one corner. That surely surprised me big time.

Washed and cleaned of all small tubers it’s still 1.5 kg of raw turmeric!! That makes me about my earliest memory of raw turmeric. Well it goes back to childhood days when we were made eat them raw to cure worms.. yuk!! But, still better, if you come to think of it, because now we probably use some kind of tablets (some chemical !!). isn’t it ??

Also, my maternal grandpa (who passed away when i was just a kid) used to grow and trade turmeric big time. Up there he must be very happy at these results, i guess.

So, now i have to find a sure shot way to make this raw turmeric into powder. I think this produce coupled with the other bunch which is waiting to be harvested will go a long way in making me self sufficient in turmeric powder for a year. Right ??

You know of any sure way to make turmeric powder from this ?

Lot of topics are waiting to be written about.. like strawnberry, Broccoli, Corn πŸ™‚ Stay tuned.

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27 Responses to “This grew in spite of me”

  1. Ewa Says:

    I like your blog a lot! Just added you to my blogroll if you don’t mind. I would be grateful if you add mine to yours πŸ™‚
    Greetings from far away Poland,

    • rajapanda Says:

      Wow Ewa,

      Checked your blog. It’s great one! Will surely add your blog when i add the blogroll section.

      Regards
      Raja

  2. sriram Says:

    super one raj.
    many people use raw turmeric instead of powder in dishes (marathis).
    keep a few nice and dried and plant in june or so for the next harvest πŸ™‚

  3. asha Says:

    Hi Raja,

    By the time this is processed, it will reduce to a small bottle full of turmeric powder, but it will be so strong and good that you will only need to add a tiny bit in your cooking πŸ™‚
    I had some turmeric harvest the past two years. This year, though I did harvest some, didn’t get through the drying etc that, they caught mould and I had to throw them off 😦

    This is how I processed it previously:
    1) Wash the turmeric well. Use a brush or scrubber and rub off all the mud and as much string/roots as possible.

    2) Pressure cook the turmeric in some water for about one or two whistles. The turmeric should become soft and there will be such a nice aroma in the air πŸ™‚

    3) The next process is drying the turmeric. Usually about 3 days of good sun is good. By then the turmeric shrinks so much in size and becomes nearly rock hard.

    (I like to chop up the turmeric before the drying part because I do not have enough yield to give to a mill to powder. and small pieces makes it easier for me to grind in the mixer at home. But I do not get as fine a powder this way)

    4) Powder it (give it to your nearest mill)

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hey Asha,

      Thanks a lot for the tip. So sorry to hear that you had to throw your hard earned harvest., happens sometime.

      Actually I too thinking of grinding this at home. Do you the think this much quantity will be enough for a grind at mill ? I am fearful a lot will be lost in the process. Somehow am feeling very greedy for this harvest.

      Regards
      Raja

      • asha Says:

        Raja, if you dont mind the powder not being too fine, I would recommend powdering at home. But please remember to chop it into small bits before drying. Otherwise, the dried pieces are so hard that it can even spoil your mixie blades!
        Good luck!

        • rajapanda Says:

          Thanks Asha for the caution.
          I think i just made up my mind. I’ll grind it at the nearest mill. Can’t risk home ministers wrath by possibly spoiling the mixie blades he he he πŸ™‚

          Regards
          Raja

  4. Swaroopa Says:

    Enjoyed your blog! Great going with the turmeric… can’t wait to grow them. Good luck with getting it dried and powdered.

  5. Vasudha K. S. Says:

    Hi,

    I constantly follow your blog. Our garden is still in budding stage, off late we are too much bothered about the caterpillars in the garden. It’s eating up lot of plants and slowly destroying all we have grown so far. It has become a daily routine for me to kill as many as possible in hand. Any idea how can we kill them using any organic solution spay?

    Thanks,
    Vasudha

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Vasudha,

      Thanks for reading my blog. Typically the period between Oct (around diwali) to dec is when the butterflies lay eggs and we see caterpillars. Over next 1-2 month they should go away on there own. In the past, i too have spent a lot of time in getting rid of them (mostly by hand) but gave up in the end as the problem solved itself.

      Regards
      Raja

  6. Geetha Says:

    Hi Raja and Asha,

    Raja, Congrats on this great yield of turmeric.I too have harvested turmeric recently but with just one plant. It is indeed great experience even though my turmeric quantity is less. I have chopped them into fine pieces and plan to powder after drying for couple of more days.

    Asha, Please clarify why cooking is required before drying.

    Thanks for the post and the discussion.

    Geetha

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Geetha,

      Glad you liked the post. I thinking boiling makes the process of draining the liquid/water out of the turmeric faster.

      Right Asha ?

      Regards
      Raja

      • asha Says:

        I really don’t know the reason for the boiling. But my regular turmeric supply is from Kerala where it is grown in my husbands village home. This is the process done by the caretaker there with the turmeric he grows. I just got his method from my mother-in-law and followed it as such!

        But just now I checked the net and got a couple of sites which does confirm boiling. http://en.howtopedia.org/wiki/How_to_Process_Turmeric says,
        “The rhizomes need to be boiled or steamed to remove the raw odour, reduce the drying time, gelatinise the starch and produce a more uniformly coloured product”

        • rajapanda Says:

          Hmm.. That’s interesting. In fact yesterday evening i boiled it in pressure cooker cut it into pieces. Can see a uniform color appearing already.

  7. Pipi Says:

    Wash the turmeric otherwise boil it. While boiling all the dust will be clean out. Then keep it in front of sun for 2/3 days. After that keep it for 2/3 in home. When u will plan to powder it, just keep it in sun rays for few hours. Then continue ur process. If u keep it for one week after boiling then you can make it pieces and in home also you will able to prepare powder through grinder.

    • rajapanda Says:

      Thanks Pipi,

      I have already boiled and cut them. So now onto the stage of drying. Hopefully by Sunday evening they would have dried up enough for grinding. Lets hope all goes well πŸ™‚

      Regards
      Raja

  8. rajapanda Says:

    Got 350 gm of turmeric powder.

    • Patricia Says:

      Congratulations on your first batch of homegrown turmeric…. I remember my grandmother using the turmeric leaves in the preparation of some Goan sweets while steaming.

  9. hemal Says:

    Its difficult for me to give instructions in english, I hope you will understand my hinglish.
    Instead of making a powder make a quick-short-term pickle. Haldi ko cheeldo then cut it in round pieces like a 1 ruppee or 50 paise coin. Put it in Glass jar. Add some salt and red mirchi powder. Add cut lemons and a little lemon juice not to drown the haldi but make it wet so that salt and mirch sticks to it .Let it marinate in sunlight for a couple of days.
    Enjoy the raw taste of haldi in a pickle form .

  10. hiraman Says:

    I happen to visit your blog and came across the turmeric. Plan to replicate your experiment soon. Enjoyed reading the other posts.

  11. sweta Says:

    Hi raj,
    nice to see ur blog,u r just multitalented person yaar…

    Thanks
    Sweta

  12. great going bro .keep up the good work

  13. great blog. Coming to this article since turmeric increases the acidic content of the soil, you might not want to cultivate turmeric in your kitchen garden again and again.

  14. Thanks for the detailed post. You can find more information about organic food products, organic food stores, suppliers,
    importers/exporters in Chennai and India at OrganicRooster.com.


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