Yes, all ginseng is treated as ginseng. I can get our legal to come up or contact any of you directly if you wish to contact me and discuss it further.
Now, we do talk about production types and growing method while not stating what's acceptable or not acceptable in growing methods (we don't tell you how to raise your ginseng). You can read them all right here:
There is very specific reason for how we handled this.
There were maybe 1 or 2 individuals in a six year process that spoke to us about seed collection, rootlet markets, and as a ginseng grower when we worked with the KY ginseng industry to updated our laws and regulations. And that contact happened AS were going forward with 6 years worth of work.
We didn't do this in a government bubble; we worked with YOU, the industry. We also read ALL states laws and regulations, even states without wild export status and CITES and the US Federal Code.
We did do was build a frame work that when growers did approach us or should there ever come a time that wild exports are no longer allowed, we have something we can work with, unlike before.
VERY LITTLE ginseng comes to me as non-wild to be certified. We cannot build a program for non-wild ginseng if there is NO documentation (or next to none) of non-wild ginseng. End of story.
But, I have said, if this isn't acceptable, then the growers in Kentucky need to come together and build some type of system to verify your growing/production and that it is NOT impacting wild populations.
Without some type of showing non-determent to the wild populations, we have to group ginseng as one since there is no way at this time to show document this otherwise.
I understand where KYJabber is coming from completely. And she is right. At any time the Division of Management Authority and/or the Division of Scientific Authority both of the US Fish & Wildlife Service could shut down gineng harvest and export from any or all of the states.
I see someone always talking about how seasons should go back to early August, and they typically blame their state people for this. I know that seeds are starting to ripen right now and some are dropping from the plants. But, it is not the state folks fault. It pressure put on them by the US F&WS who threatens to withold harvest and export authority if the states do not comply with what they demand. A September 1 start date for harvest is one of those demands from the feds.
Personally, I like the way the Kentucy definitions are. I think they make more sense and they actually are in line with my position on the subject which we have all debated here. Here in Ohio, you have wild or cultivated and no degrees in between from a legal perspective.
From an administration perspective, Kentucky legislators and ginseng management folks like KYJabber have done a very forward thinking thing to protect the grower's future should th feds ever pull the plug on wild harvest. I can completely understand where she is coming from when she discusses the difficulty in crafting legislation on a state level for only one or two folks who have been identified.
What she is telling you is that there needs to be an organized body with enough membership to show the need for legislative or regulatory changes. Further, any changes must be defended to the relevant federal government agencies in a clear and compelling manner. Government bureaucrats seldom speak the same language as the rest of us. So in addition to having a language barrier of sorts, there are other aspects of communication which need to be observed and normally are only well known to those in the administrative game.
KYJabber is one of the best friends the KY growers have. You folks need to head the clues she is giving you.
I have some idea that might help, but I can't discuss them here. Anyone is free to contact me personally if you like.
\"For the record, in Kentucky, when talking ginseng, we're talking \"ALL\" ginseng regardless of production method.\"
That is what Kyjabber said above.
I took that to mean there was absolutely no distinction between wild and wild simulated or woods grown or even shade grown... it does say \"ALL\" ginseng.
Then she listed the harvest laws that apply.
Sounds like anyone that plants ginseng in KY must use only their finger as a planting tool - now just how many acres of wild simulated or woods grown are you going to get in that way ?
You would have a worn out mangled up nub of a finger left
Heck I don't plant berries from wild by finger only. Could but why would you, it would be slow and you would have a hard time getting the seed deep enough. Your seng digger makes a much better planting furrow than your finger can... and we all know that seeds planted up to 1\" deep will sprout and grow just fine. I remember reading on (I think it was Ozark Mountain site) that they recommend planting 2\" deep. They must have some loose sandy type soil there.
Anyway... I agree that KY needs to revamp some of their wording. The planting with finger only thing seems a little silly to me.
Also every state should make a distinction between (true wild) and (wild simulated or woods grown or shade grown) in the regulations with appropriate laws for each.
I know it's hard for them to cover all their bases and be correct in every aspect of every nook and cranny,\"BUT\" if it's mine, I'll do what I want with it at any given time. That especially goes for what I buy and plant. If I decide to spray roundup on all of mine tomorrow, then that is what will happen.
I dont know what the correct answer to this all is. Could it be educating these idiots that strip the woods of everything or just more strict laws. Education sounds good but Im sure these type people have no regard anyways. A year ago a man showed me a good size sack of wild berries he bought from a digger. He had them for something like two years and they had been dried and froze the whole time. Probably ruined Im sure. Crap like that is what is detrimental to Ginseng, Im sure that digger stripped the area of every root he could find, big and small.
On the flip side, just the other day my son came here from his moms with a bad ear ache he had for 3 days prior from swimming too much. I went to the woods and dug up a bit of goldenseal, came home and boiled it down to a concentrate. I placed it in a dropper and put it in his ear. The next morning it had almost completely went away. If it was Ginseng that was needed that day, that's what would have been dug up. I wouldn't first go check my local Ginseng laws to make sure I was in the \"right\".
Who knows, we could go round and round with this one. If it gets bad enough, possibly if diggers were required to be \"licensed\" to sell their root. I don't mean charging someone a $100 to obtain a license \"although Im sure the state would try and take advantage of that\", just requiring diggers to go through a class educating them on the circumstances the plant is in and the best method to keep it's population in good standing. If that were the case, every lot identified with a diggers I.D. and subject to be inspected would do a great deal to help I think. Everyone would then be more accountable. If folks were to see diggers being fined for digging immature, small roots through their identified lots, it would help a great deal.
I agree with you on that seng hunter education part.
A reasonably priced annual license, with education required (at least to get the initial license), then you can't sell without the license. Now I am thinking like 25.00 for a reasonable price.
Then for those that get caught digging/selling without a license, there would need to be some HEFTY fines and jail time to really discourage that. Like 5000.00 and 6 monts in jail.
Right now in TN, anybody can go out and dig seng all summer long, and sell it in the fall when buying season opens. They dig 2 prongs and all and have had no education at all. If they get caught the max fine is 250.00.
The ones of us that are planting seeds and trying to manage a good sustainability of mature ginseng are doing more to help the population of wild ginseng than we actually realize.
Can you imagine how much of your seed is carried away by birds and animals and dropped a mile away.
I try to follow all the rules and regulations the best I can but sometimes common sense has to be used.
Iam a Kentucky ginsenger,have been for over 40yrs when it gets to where I have to buy a license to dig seng,thats when I will quit,pretty soon you will have to have a license to walk out on to your porch.