Exotic cultivars are becoming increasingly popular for cultivation in Germany and Europe. Consumers are becoming more and more interested in international cuisine and this is reflected in the needs of food retailers. At the same time, climate change favors the cultivation of varieties that seek the milder climate. Höfler Gemüse -from the Knoblauchsland- is currently harvesting ginger for the first time. We talked to partner Peter Höfler about how he came about this.
"The master school for vegetable gardening has been doing practical trials with ginger for some time now and we maintain contact with the institution. My nephew was a master student there in the last semester and completed his practical semester with us, in the family business. That's when we realized that ginger would also be for us," says Höfler.
"We already had the right set-up for it. We have 3,000m² older greenhouses from the 60s and 80s. We cultivate rocket in the winter months - from March onwards the area is ideal for growing ginger."
No sooner said than done: "We then bought organic ginger from Peru, grew it ourselves and finally planted it. After that, the plant doesn't do much work either. Now our ginger is growing wonderfully and we have been able to harvest it for three weeks."
While dried ginger already has a certain position in the market, fresh ginger is still a niche in the market, Höfler knows: "Now it is all about finding a good sales channel for our ginger and that is not so easy. We are seeing a certain increase in sales at the weekly markets, but in general there is still a need to educate consumers. Ginger is a top product, fresh, aromatic and healthy - that's what we want to communicate. As a natural antibiotic and exotic product from regional cultivation, the Franconian ginger is fully in line with the trends."
The first harvest should be sold by December: "It is important to us to market the ginger unprocessed and fresh. Up to now there has been no attention for this, and we won't be able to do this in the next three months. But we still want to include the ginger in our assortment. With 3,000 high-yield square meters, we offer the ideal product for the food retail trade". In addition to this, the pumpkin season is now coming up: "Ginger is particularly often processed in combination with pumpkin, so we are expecting a further increase in demand."
Producing this exotic has Höflers looking for more: "If the ginger production goes well, we would also like to grow turmeric in the future," says Peter Höfler.