Here in the southwest part of Virginia my ginseng patch is starting to get green berries on them. Im excited for that, just hope I can beat all the other berry loving critters to harvest them.
My main concern and question that I hope some of y'all can answer is when can I dig ginseng? I know you cant sale it until September 1st here but when can you legally dig it? The reason I ask this is because some of my ginseng doesn't look like it will last much longer so I want to go ahead and harvest it.
The other concern is, if I dig it, will I be able to keep it in good condition until September 1st? Its on my property so Im sure I can dig it up, I just cant sell it. So how can I preserve it, or does it need to be preserved until that date?
Thanks for the replies.
Latt, I have looked at the laws they have listed on here. However, it is on my land so I can dig it. As it states, \"The harvest season for wild ginseng in Virginia is from August 15 to December 31, except that this does not apply to harvest on one’s own land. Ginseng harvested during this season must be sold to a dealer by March 31 or be certified by the state.\" I was just wondering if I dig it now will it last until I can legally sell it? This is my first time digging ginseng. I have an abundance of it and am going to plant a pound of seeds and rootlets this fall and attempt to build up to an 8 acre wild simulated farm. That's my plans anyways, I have a lot to learn. I have read several books but it seems that no matter how much you read you just cant prepare yourself for the critters and diseases.
Maya, we have had an increase in rain here in southwest Virginia and I believe it has been to moist for the ginseng so my hypothesis is that due to constant moisture and not enough time for it to dry, plus with it being wild ginseng and it growing close to each other, it has developed a fungal disease on the leaves. Its not that I think it is going to kill my ginseng but just cause the tops to die to where I wont be able to find it. I am hoping we will have a drought and increase in temperatures (cant believe Im saying that) so it will kill the fungus. I have pictures that I would love to share but I am having trouble reducing the resolution to the required to upload. I can share through email though if any one is interested enough in seeing the developing issue.
I am also worried about deer eating the tops before I get to them also. They are already eating some of the prongs off. Just don't want to be in the situation to where I cant find a percentage of the plants and lose profit to put into seeds for next year. I am trying to wait it out until the seeds ripen so that I can stratify them and replant them for future years.
Thanks again for the replies, keep em coming!
I read time and time about deer eating ginseng and have no doubt that they can cause a lot of damage. However, I have never had a problem with them. A group comes through my patch about every day and seem to ignore it. I assume they have better things to eat. Of course that could change tomorrow.
I would wait myself. The law is there for good reason. The plant! If they drop early than nature kept you from harvesting it and the plant makes seeds next year before you harvest it. The dollar should never be the primary goal of digging seng. It is one heck of a nice bonus but there is a heck of a lot more to digging wild seng than just the bottom line. If you think you need to harvest even the ones that drop earlier, than mark them in some way so as to know where the root is when it is the legal harvest season. VA needs to get in line with the fed suggestion to have it start Sept. 1 like most the other states now do. But, what could one expect from a state that fines out of state folks for an UNPLUGGED radar detector!