It was slow to start, but eventually grew into a pretty potted plant (above). When frost was imminent I brought it indoors, and pretty much left it alone until all the leaves died back. Just a few days ago, I pulled the dead leaves and dug it up. It was lovely because I could smell the ginger even before I got it out of the pot.
I didn't know what to expect, but there were several good size clumps of rhizomes. I should have weighed them, but didn't think about it at the time; it's all in the bowl in the photo on the left. It's not a year's worth for us, but it's a start. Considering how easy it was to grow, growing more will be no problem, though at the moment I'm not set up for many house plants due to our remodeling projects. I ended up replanting two of the budding rhizomes, and washed the rest to make candied ginger.
I looked at a lot of candied ginger recipes. The two I liked the best were from Alternative Medicine About.com because it was the simplest, and this one, Candied Ginger Simplified, because it was so thorough. I used 2 cups of chopped ginger, 3 cups water, and 1 cup sugar. I looked for a recipe using honey instead of sugar, but didn't find anything satisfactory. Also, I did not peel the ginger, I'm just not into peeling things if it can be helped. If that effects it unpleasantly, I'll peel it next year.
We use candied ginger medicinally, because it is excellent for nausea, upset stomach, car sickness, flatulence, or any other digestive problems. It really settles a queasy tummy in a jiffy. I also use a lot of powdered ginger, both in baking and in any herbal formula that might be strong on the stomach, like a fresh garlic drink. I haven't yet mastered fine powdering herbs, so I'll save that project for another year. We use some fresh in various tinctures. It's also an ingredient in several tea blends I buy.
All I'll need to grow a year's worth is a number of large pots. And a place to put them during the winter. I'll have to keep track of this batch, to get an idea of how long it lasts, and how many rhizomes I'll need to plant. So nice this is so easy to grow.
UPDATE: The many visitors to this post have inspired me to add Volume 9 to my The Little Series of Homestead How-Tos eBook series.
I wanted to offer a more comprehensive and detailed guide to growing ginger. Includes chapters on selecting rhizomes, planting, caring for, harvesting, and maintaining a self-sustaining supply. Storage and preservation techniques are discussed, plus how to candy ginger, how to dehydrate and powder it, how to lacto-ferment it, and how to make a ginger bug. Only $1.99. Click here for more information and where to buy.