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Methods of preserving fresh Turmeric - please share yours  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I am currently freezing my supply of fresh turmeric but as my harvest grows larger I would prefer not to depend on my freezer.

Does anyone else have experience with storing a years supply of fresh turmeric?  

Please share the methods that have been successful for you.
 
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Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
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Have only grown a small amount as a short term test, but researched long term storage as a consequence.

It's perhaps easier to dry and powder it, the dried spice could then be stored in airtight containers, certainly taking up less space per volume.

Another is to pickle it in jars.

I understand other root crops are commonly stored under sand. It may work for turmeric too. Never attempted it - on the list of things to try!
 
pollinator
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Location: South of Capricorn
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I generally just throw it in the bin where i store my potatoes/onions/garlic/ginger (in a dark cabinet). I produce maybe 1 kg per year, I tend to use it whole (grate it as i need it). I usually get the harvest at the end of tropical fall and use it most during the winter, and it will last through to the next harvest. A friend who grows bushels of it keeps it in old fashioned root cellar type conditions, same thing, year round. It gets kind of ugly looking but the taste is the same. Powdering, i think you'd lose potency. I do like the idea of pickling it but I suppose it depends on how you generally use it. I grate it into salty and sweet dishes so I like to have more flexibility.
 
pollinator
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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I grow a lot of turmeric. Being that I live where the ground doesn't freeze, I store most of it right in the ground. I think this means that one could successfully store it in damp sand or peat moss in a root cellar, but I haven't tried that.

I have also frozen some whole, bringing it out to grate as needed. I also sliced and dried it. Once dried and crispy, it was easy to crush into a granular powder. A blender or food processor could make it into a fine powder but I haven't done that. Once powdered, it could be frozen for long term storage without needing to use those deoxygenator packets or silicone packets, or nitrogen gas.
 
Tereza Okava
pollinator
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Location: South of Capricorn
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Su Ba wrote:I grow a lot of turmeric. Being that I live where the ground doesn't freeze, I store most of it right in the ground.


Su, how does your crop work in your weather? a single crop a year? constant harvesting? I notice that even in our (rare) frosts the greenery really doesn't die off and i'm never sure when to harvest. I started the garden journal this year to keep track of this, among other things, but so far, insufficient data! (we don't have defined dry/wet seasons, but I did harvest right after a long dry season this winter).
 
Su Ba
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I get one harvest of turmeric a year. January is the primary harvesting month. I wait for the tops to brown and die back because that results in the strongest orange colored "root". Harvested early the roots are yellowish. Still ok for home use but the public doesn't want to buy it. They want a deep, brilliant orange color.

I don't know how to determine when to harvest in your region. I'm fairly a novice when it comes to this crop. I've been growing it for six years now, but I'm still learning. Luckily for me, the signal to harvest is when the plant dies.
 
gardener
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I don't particularly like the taste of raw turmeric. It's not worth it to grow it here.  Since it is a way better deal to buy 5 lbs. rather than 1 lb., I buy it in the fall and slice it thin, then ferment it. I like the taste when it is fermented.
John S
PDX OR
 
Tereza Okava
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Thanks, Su, I`m still learning! Will keep observing. I also note that when I plant them they don`t come up til they want to (i`m in Brazil, so southern hem, I planted some in August, end of winter. it hasn`t come up yet. The roots I have here in the house from last year just started sprouting in storage in the last month or so, since spring officially sprung).

John, do you ferment it like a normal lacto ferment (littl salt, sauerkraut-type)? It sounds great.
 
John Saltveit
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Yes, Tereza,
Normal lacto fermentation.
John S
PDX OR
 
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Location: Kapoho, Hawaii, 500' elev.
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Leaving them in the ground works here. I think if you are in a climate where they cannot stay outside all winter, growing in pots so they can be brought inside and kept moist should be fine. Also, like Su said, the roots develop much better if the plant goes through its natural cycle of dormancy, so the nutrients and energy from the leaves can get stored in the root. You donʻt get that if the top is abruptly killed off by cold weather. Sometimes when left in the ground or pots, at least for me, it does take a long time for some roots to break dormancy,so that is normal. Sometimes individual plants will skip a growing season, but come back the next year. I think it helps to let them do that, especially if you are using it medicinally. I was told to let the plants go through 3 cycles of growth and dormancy before harvest for the most potent medicine.
Aloha
 
John Saltveit
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For more temperate areas, we have sometimes stored such plants in pots in the (heated or unheated) garage or storage shed, as your climate varies. It is not always too cold here, but many roots will get a disease and rot, particularly if the soil doesn't drain well in a wet area like here.  When I retire, I think I will grow more plants that can't handle temperatte climes and store them that way.  I will have more time and energy to take care of that kind of thing, and more need to take care of my health.
John S
PDX OR
 
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