How to Grow an Endless Supply of Alkalizing, Anti-Inflammatory Ginger, Turmeric and Garlic at Home







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4. Cumin

Native to the Mediterranean, cumin is one of the most popular spices worldwide. One of the advantages of cumin is that it can easily be grown outdoors.


How to grow cumin

You can sow the cumin seeds indoors in large pots or in the garden in a sunny location. Good drainage is as important as keeping the soil moist. It normally takes 4 -5 months from sprouting to harvest, although heat and drought can reduce the growth phase. The clusters of tiny elongated fruits that grow from the small flowers should be harvested before they fall off the plant. Next, you dry the flower heads in large paper bags until the fruits fall off. Dry them in the sun and clean them by winnowing.

You can use the dried cumin whole or ground into powder. To enhance the flavor, roast the cumin before grinding.


5. Garlic

Garlic or Allium sativum is a low maintenance vegetable that can be easily grown indoors or outdoors. The only thing you need to do is separate the cloves and stick them into moist, well-draining soil.


How to grow garlic

If you opt for planting the bulbs outdoors, the best time is in the fall, while indoor planting can be done any time of the year. The thing is the longer they grow, the more time the plant has to develop good-sized bulbs. Make sure you keep the soil evenly moist. Good drainage is also important as water logging can make the bulb rot. You can use garlic leaves as a herb.

The best time to harvest the mature bulb is in the summer when the leaves start to wither. You should dig up all the bulbs and dry them until the outer layer feels papery. You can braid the leaves together and hang in the pantry to save storage space or you can pickle skinned garlic cloves in vinegar. Last, but not least, you can dry nicely sliced cloves in the sun then make them into garlic powder.




6. Onion

Belonging to the same family as garlic and leeks, onions can be eaten fresh or made into dried onion powder, an excellent spice that perfectly goes with a number of dishes.


How to grow onions

The best method to grow onions is from seeds or sets. You plant these in shallow tubs of rich potting soil. The important thing is to keep them moist at all times, but not too wet. As the bulbs grow, they start to become through the soil surface showing that they are ready for harvesting. They achieve the maximum size when the leaves start to wither.

Harvest the onions and hang them to dry. The outer coating should crinkle like paper. Next, slice the onions thinly and dry them in a food dehydrator. Finally, make it into a powder and store in airtight bottles.


7. Saffron

This is probably one of the most expensive spices on earth, especially the saffron produced from drying the stigmas of the mountain crocus (Crocus sativus). Homemade saffron is definitely the best you can get. But, as crocus bulbs easily rot in wet weather, the best way to grow them is indoors.


How to grow saffron

Start by obtaining crocus corms from well-known nurseries. These are the planting material. Fill sand or gravel into the bottom of the pots; this is important for good drainage. Then add rich, well-draining potting mix on top of the sand layer. Press, 2-3 crocus corms into the soil, then add more sand and soil mixture on top of them.

Store the pots in an unheated room, but make sure there are enough bright grow lights or a few hours of direct sunlight. After a while the crocus plants that grow from the bulbs will soon begin to wither. If you move the pots to a warmer room, you can easily trigger flowering. What you do next is pick the three red stigmas from each flower and dry them on a piece of parchment paper. Finally, store them in dry containers; use a few strands at a time to add flavor and color to your rice recipes.




8. Paprika

Capsicum annum is the mild chili peppers that paprika is made of. These thin-skinned peppers are ideal for this hot spice as opposed to the bell peppers which are too fleshy.


How to grow paprika

These peppers thrive in bright, sunny areas inside. Start by sowing the seeds in seed starting trays or directly into rich, well-draining soil. For best results, grow a single plant in each pot. You will need several plants to get a handful of the powdered spice.

The best time to harvest the chilies is when they are ripe and bright red in color. First, you hang them up in bunches to dry and then spread them in a single layer in semi shade until they are brittle. The drying process doesn’t end here as you also dry the powder on a paper mat after grinding the chilies into a smooth or coarse powder. You should protect your paprika and dry chilies from dampness and mold by storing them in airtight jars.


9. Fennel

This sweet-tasting spice can easily be grown at home. It only takes a few plants of Foeniculum vulgare dulce, or fennel, to provide enough seeds for use. However, be wary that the plants usually grow very tall and large, so you’ll need to have quite some space in order to grow this plant.


How to grow fennel


As fennel shouldn’t be transplanted, sow the seeds directly in the pots. Press, 2-3 seeds in rich, well-draining potting mix in each pot. You can eat both the fennel leaves, as well as the swollen, bulb-like bases, but in order to make the spice, you need to let the plants flower and collect the seeds. The flowers only take about 6 weeks to appear and soon afterwards you get ripening fruits. You need to cover the plant with a paper bag and cut off the stem to collect them. Avoid direct sunlight when drying the spice. Store it in airtight containers.

There are several ways to use fennel – chew it as a mouth freshener or use it to make tea to soothe stomach upsets. It also makes a great addition to curries and confectionery.


10. Mustard

If you grow this spice at home, you also have the advantage of making your own mustard sauces with it. Mustard plants include various species like Brassica nigra, B. juncea, and B. alba, all of which belong to the cabbage family and are easily grown from seeds.


How to grow mustard

First, start the seeds in a shallow tray. Once the plants develop two sets of true leaves, transplant them into pots. You can use both the seedlings and the young leaves as greens, so thin out the plant according to your needs. The pots need sun and regular watering. The flowers are followed by thin, long seed pods that contain several seeds. These are best harvested before they burst open. What you do is cut off the stalks while they are still green, and then dry them in the shade inside a sack. You’ll need to winnow the seeds in order to clean them.

You can either use whole seeds for tempering or you can grind them and mix with vinegar to make your own mustard sauce.


While it’s true that most of these spices can easily be obtained at supermarkets, homegrown varieties are far more beneficial in terms of nutrition as well as medicinal properties.
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