Agroforestry has become my greatest passion on our permaculture homestead. It is such an amazing and dynamic system, and in my opinion, is one of the technologies that can help save the planet. Perennial (AKA - Permanent) tree and plant systems offer so much stability to our natural landscapes. In permaculture, one of our biggest goals is to mimic nature. Agroforestry, sometimes called food-forests, is designed to mimic nature while simultaneously provide an amazing abundance for humans and animals. Unlike traditional orchards, agroforestry systems incorporate a large variety of tree and plant species to create a dynamic symbiotic relationship. In this video we will be exploring the idea of inter-planting the open spaces of these systems that exist in the early succession period. There are endless possibilities for plants that you can use and your choices will be determined by your climate and needs. Today we will look at one of the most healing medicinal plants on the planet...Ginger!
Ginger is the underground rhizome of the ginger plant with a firm, striated texture. The flesh of the ginger rhizome can be yellow, white or red in color, depending upon the variety. It is covered with a brownish skin that may either be thick or thin, depending upon whether the plant was harvested when it was mature or young. Growing ginger is very easy if you are in the right climate. It is a very robust plant and will continue to reproduce once it is started. Native to southeastern Asia, a region whose cuisines still feature this wonderfully spicy herb, ginger has been renowned for millennia in many areas throughout the world. Ginger is mentioned in ancient Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern writings, and has long been prized for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties. After the ancient Romans imported ginger from China almost two thousand years ago, its popularity in Europe remained centered in the Mediterranean region until the Middle Ages when its use spread throughout other countries. Although it was a very expensive spice, owing to the fact that it had to be imported from Asia, it was still in great demand. In an attempt to make it more available, Spanish explorers introduced ginger to the West Indies, Mexico and South America, and in the 16th century, these areas began exporting the precious herb back to Europe.
If you want to try this at home, you can start your ginger plant from any fresh ginger root you buy at the store. It loves deep loose soils and will continue to spread and reproduce once you get it started.