Ginger rhizomes should be washed and air dried after harvest. After completely dry, ginger can be stored many different ways depending upon what's to be done with it. Baby Ginger has tender bud scales on the rhizomes that are bright pink in color. These scales will turn purple and harden over time. Refrigeration (34-45F) will make make this color change occur faster. Refrigeration is still an okay way to store ginger but there are some details to understand about different temps and what the ginger will be used for.
If taking to market keep it as fresh and crisp as possible:
Harvest as soon as possible before market to ensure freshness. Store at about 60-65F before taking to market or to an end-use customer (chef, CSA box). to keep fresh looking, store like this for no more than a few days.
If storing to use for cooking, pickling, or candying another day, then rubbery is okay:
Ginger will get rubbery in the refrigerator. It is a great way to store it for the end user: chefs, consumers, grower who will be doing value-added options like candying and pickling. It is not a good way for growers to store if they are taking it to market.
Rhizomes can be stored in the freezer for use later, but not pickling or candying. If a recipe calls for fresh grated ginger, take the rhizome out of the freezer, grate what you need, return the ginger to the freezer. Freeze precut, preweighed pieces into individual packets and sell to retail outlets for "fresh" frozen Baby Ginger all year-long... until you harvest more!
Some Things to Remember:
When using ginger that has been stored long enough for bud scales to turn purple, be sure to pick off any scales that have hardened before using them for pickling, candying, or in a fresh recipe.
Try to keep the field heat out of your ginger post harvest. If cutting tops off prior to harvest, use the foliage to cover the harvested rhizomes in the field container. Or, if leaving tops on post harvest, cover with damp cloth in field until the ginger can be taken to a shaded wash station. This will prolong the life of your ginger in post harvest.