Saturday, July 22, 2023

GardenDC Podcast Episode 157: Ginger and Turmeric

In this episode of GardenDC: The Podcast about Mid-Atlantic Gardening, we chat with herbalist Susan Belsinger, all about growing Ginger and Turmeric. The plant profile is on Eggplant and we share what's going on in the garden as well as some upcoming local gardening events in the What's New segment. We close out with the Last Word on Mini Meadow Design by Graham Gardner, author of Tiny + Wild*.

If you liked this episode, you may also enjoy listening to:

~ GardenDC Podcast Episode 109: Lavender

~ GardenDC Podcast Episode 16: Garlic

~ GardenDC Podcast Episode 62: Edible Flowers

This episode is archived at: 

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BTW, YOU can become a listener supporter for as little as $0.99 per month! 

SHOW NOTES: 01:05 Meet Susan Belsinger: herbalist, culinary educator, food writer, photographer, and author. 02:36 Belsinger’s current growing environment in Howard County, Maryland. 03:30 Belsinger visited North Africa and Italy where she became interested in and learned how to grow her own herbs. 06:20 How Belsinger got her first article published in a cooking magazine with Carolyn Dillie. 09:18 The Smithsonian Folklife Festival: The Ozarks. 14:06 Public engagement with Belsinger’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival display, 14:53 Visitors showed a lot of interest in the weeds Belsinger brought, as well as ginger and turmeric. 18:37 Belsinger grows vegetables (Tomatoes, Peppers, etc.), herbs (Basil, Dill, Cilantro, etc.), a pollinator garden (Milkweed, Elderberry, etc.), and a Mediterranean herb bed (Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, etc.). 24:38 Growing ginger at home. 26:20 How and when to plant your ginger to promote sprouting. As a tropical plant, ginger sprouts when it is hot out, so Belsinger recommends planting in April in preparation for the hotter months. 27:35 What to do when your ginger sprouts. 28:30 Ginger will not grow as big in pots, but don’t feel discouraged if that is your only space. 29:10 What should you do after harvesting your ginger to get it to come back next year? 33:23 Belsinger’s 5-year-old ginger plant. 36:20 Do ginger/turmeric flower? How much of the plant is edible? 39:29 The medicinal usage of ginger: from stomach issues to blood flow. 44:36 Belsinger’s experience as the “village herbalist” at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. 45:40 Ginger is also a great culinary ingredient, both savory and sweet. From ginger snaps ( to ginger syrup (, there are tons of options. (Recipe for ginger syrup can also be found at 48:30 Making pickled ginger is always a great option and a great gift to friends and family. 50:19 Find Susan Belsinger through her website (, on Facebook, or on Instagram (@cookinwithherbs). 53:20 Eggplant: This week’s Plant Profile! 55:10 Garden Updates: First Zucchini and Zinnia blooms, as well as Coneflower and Goldenrod. 56:40 Upcoming Events: Arlington Central Library’s Vegetables for Fall and Winter Harvest ( Battling Bugs at the USBG ( Art in the Garden by Tudor Place ( Washington Gardener Magazine’s Tomato Tasting. 58:42 “Groundcover Revolution” by Kathy Jentz. 1:00:03 “The Urban Garden” by Kathy Jentz and Teri Speight. 1:01:03 The Last Word on Mini Meadow Design by Graham Gardner. 1:03:19 Gardner’s planting strategy to create a “spontaneous, yet considered” mini meadow.

We welcome your questions and comments! You can leave a voice mail message for us at: Note that we may use these messages on a future episode.

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Episode Credits:
Host and Producer: Kathy Jentz
Interview Editor and Show Notes: Marissa Yelenik


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