Where does everyone here think this plant is heading? It doesn't look to good to me. It was a threatened species before it was being Exploited on Nat Geo and the \"history\" channel. This is my first year hunting ginseng, and ill be the first to admit that Appalachian outlaws is what sparked my interest in it. They provide a perspective to the general public that is outlandish and offensive. I've spent the majority of my life in the Appalachian mountains. I was born amongst these hills and take pride in it. I look to replant ten times the amount of ginseng I have harvested this season. I fear that many like me only seek to rape the land for their wallets...done ranting, just wanted to hear the forum's opinion
It sounds like you have made a good investment in the future of ginseng by some of the things you have done, such as planting a lot of berries. Great, thank you!
I would just encourage you to buy a pound of stratified seed and go to all the places you have found ginseng growing or that looks like it would grow some and plant these areas real well. Encourage a friend to do the same thing. If you can do this, the future of ginseng will prosper. Thanks again.
I am seeing a lot of folks coming into the ginseng community this year for the first time. Some coming back after many years away. I'm personally still mixed about the effects of those shows. Some of the effects I believe are negative as you and others have noted. On the other hand, I think many of the effects are actually positive. You are one example.
I honestly suspect that the less desirable folks will not keep working to find ginseng...especially after a market year like this... and will disappear in a year or so. However, those like you will remain, learn, and become a valuable member of the ginseng community.
If we (diggers, dealers and growers all) don't get too greedy, I think the market will stabilize eventually (maybe this year maybe not...I just don't know) and remain strong at a consistently reasonable price.
Lets face it, ginseng really isn't endangered at all. We find it growing everywhere and we can certainly find literally hundreds of thousands of tons of it being harvested every year from commercial farms in a sustainable manner. The quality of the ginseng we find growing wild, however, seems to be correlated to the amount of pressure placed on the plants by predators (deer) and human harvesters and developers. If we would just let it be for a few years, we would again see the quality we did in years hence. I'm not at all saying we need a cessation of harvest, only that diggers need to respect the plant and nature all together and realize they can't dig the same patch every year and not expect the quality to suffer for a very long time.
I think raising the harvest age limit of ginseng in every state to 10 years should be in effect. The 3 prong digging law just isn't working when you have the 4 bud scar plus the growth bud making it 5 years old is legal.
A 2 prong can have 5 or more bud scars. I know there are exceptions on everything like the scars getting bit off and so on but lets face it 5 year old truly wild ginseng is to young to harvest.
I agree on 10 year old being the youngest allowed harvested, but they should lose the requirement of the plant requiring a certain # of prongs as I've seen 4 prongs that have come up as 1, 2 or 3 prongs some year. Why it does this I'm not sure as I've often checked them and found no damage to root or neck to cause this in many cases, some there is damage though. So I assume it has something to the next years bud having been damaged somehow or destroyed and it replaces it with a new one.
Seen plenty of monster 3's & 4's turn into little miniature sized 2 or 3 prongs also that are 1/4 the size or smaller.
While Im relatively new to this venture I would like to add to some of the comments here. First off Ginseng as we know is threatened not endangered. I would like to inform you this could be taken off the threatened list very very easily. One man can make a difference in this world. The power of this forum is much more than one man. Im going to use my home state as an example. In Iowa (as in many other states) our govenmental powers that be tax us through licenses and fees to harvest deer squirrels ginseng ect. Then use some of that money to purchase more land for public access to those whom wish to use it. Here we have many many public lands with thousands of acres of prime ginseng growing areas. Upon taking walks through several of these areas I have found ginseng growing in very few. If our powers that be simply got off their keesters and did a little wild seeding here and there it would establish a nice growth over the years. I know for a fact very very few public lands here that they actually did that and it is working. They used our license monies to buy land and sow seed. then after it came up they promptly banned all harvest from public land. I agree with the ban. However this could all change if more time was spent encouraging the ginseng to grow then allow limited harvest after 10 or so years. I called our DNR and they informed me I was not allowed to spread seed any where on any public land. This makes NO sense. However I have never seen any government take control of anything and get it right. Lets face it the DNR is responsible for bringing Multiflora rose, the carp, the starling, accidental stockings of wrong fish in wrong area, ect. Most of which has turned out to be a total disaster. Obviously the answer is multi faceted Starting with responsible harvest practices, Next replanting of seeds from mother plants. Then some of your profit from hunting should go back into seed purchases. I walk miles every year through the timbers of my state. most of it on private property. Since getting interested in this I have requested several areas to hunt and reseed ares that look good for growing. I dont know if it will all grow, Im not the expert. but I am giving it a chance. The farmers here are mostly lost on my request but usually grant me access when I say threatened plants. We all should do this and we can make a difference
You can raise the minimum age to 100 years or 12 prongs only but, unless buyers are checking every root in every batch it won't make a difference. As long as diggers know that buyers won't be checking every roots age they will continue to dig the small and young plants. This is a tough issue.
The 10 year old age limit would still help but the poaching and digging out of season is still the greatest threat to the survival of ginseng.
I've come down on my diggers about the underage roots and they have improved greatly, especially when you hand them back the small roots and subtract a couple of digits.
I'll even read them the law about dealers can be fined $1000 for under age roots.
I encourage all diggers to spread the word about illegal under age roots and diggers on this forum to talk to other diggers you might know.