Amid all the signs of autumn in New England at the Portland Farmers’ Market this week was a root that blew in from the islands, Hawaii specifically, yet made itself right at home next to the acorn squashes, the Brussels sprouts, the apples with blooms on their cheeks and the crates of russet pears.

Farmer Jan Goranson of Goranson Farm in Dresden was selling fresh, organic, Maine-grown (!) ginger root for $10 per half-pound. Unlike the fibrous sort that the supermarket stocks, this ginger root was young, with delicate, pink-tinged skin. Goranson said it’s the first time she’s tried growing it (her seed came from Hawaii) though you wouldn’t know it from the basket of plump, lustrous roots (technically, they’re rhizomes) she had for sale.

A small number of other Maine farmers have also been experimenting with ginger root. Growing so far from its tropical home, it doesn’t come cheap. And given the price (another farmer at the Portland market was offering it for $24 per pound), save it for a dish where it’ll really shine.

In Japan, young ginger is pickled for sushi. Try shaving paper-thin slices to bake with honey-soy marinated chicken or fish. Julienne it and add the strips to a bowl of pho.

Or bake with it: More than two decades ago, I cut out a recipe for ginger custard pie. I never made it, and the recipe is long gone. But as I recollect, it called for grating an alarming amount of fresh young ginger (the stuff is milder than ordinary ginger root) into cream; adding eggs and sugar (try spicy Mexican piloncillo or maple syrup); and pouring the custard into a par-baked pie shell. Then, as old cookbooks say, bake until done.