There are rewards to using ginger in your cooking and gardening. Ginger is an underrated spice. I think that might be because the prepared ginger powder available in most grocery stores is pretty flavorless.
The drying process robs ginger of most of its flavor, but there is a clever way around it. If you've ever come across or purchased ginger root, it can be preserved indefinitely. This is true of your home grown ginger, too. The root can stay viable and flavorful for many months in your refrigerator. Here's how:Preserving Ginger
Select and clean a piece of ginger root. I don't peel the outer skin off mine until I'm about to use it, so leave that intact. Place it in a glass jar and cover it completely with sherry. Any grade of sherry will do, but if you're a sherry purist, by all means use the good stuff. The sherry will saturate and preserve the ginger. Slice the amount you need, then peel and mince it.
The only problem I've ever had with this process is getting the lid off the jar. Be sure to use a non-reactive lid. Replace the sherry in the jar every month or so. Ginger-sherry makes a great addition to any soy based marinade.
If you are interested in trying some summer fun from days gone by, make a batch of ginger beer. Check out my post on making this old time favorite: Making Ginger Beer
Special Notes: If you've never used fresh ginger, mince it fine, it's made up of woody threads that aren't pleasant to bite into.
Another benefit of the process is that you can use the ginger infused sherry in your cooking. It will give your sauces and marinades a subtle ginger flavor without having to chop or mince the root. Just remember to always keep enough sherry with your ginger to completely cover it.