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Post your experiences, questions and answers about growing wild-simulated ginseng

TOPIC: A tree limb dug up one of my roots.

Re:A tree limb dug up one of my roots. 2 years 5 months ago #35845

WhitJr may partially be right, but the only way you will get longer growth stems is with age... The problem may also be that the soil and growing conditions are TOO good. The dried root looks for all the world that it has been fertilized. Age will make it look better, but in todays market I really don't think that you can expect to harvest in under 10 years. That is unless you have some older \"wild\" roots to mix in, and even then 10 years may be the minimum...
Here is a pick of a root of a plant that showrd fairly quick growth, but still has very good wild character. It was left to grpw about 15 years though
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Re:A tree limb dug up one of my roots. 2 years 5 months ago #35846

pretty root there, 5...

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Re:A tree limb dug up one of my roots. 2 years 5 months ago #35855

It dried on my dresser for a couple weeks.

If I had to guess,the time of year it came out of the ground probably made a difference. Late May/early June. I dug some early roots on my place to transplant once and forgot never got around to it soon enough. After drying they shriveled up to nothing. Two or three were really chunky and shrunk with vertical identions all in them...ehh, who knows what caused it

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Re:A tree limb dug up one of my roots. 2 years 5 months ago #35856

You are correct Hillhopper that roots dug in the spring will not dry as nicely as in the fall...
I do believe what I posted above is pretty accurate if you are wanting prices that are close to the range of good wild ginseng. Just wanted to share my honest opinion with you... for whatever it is worth...

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Re:A tree limb dug up one of my roots. 2 years 5 months ago #35857

fiveprong,
You may very well be right. Ten years will definitely be a better root but that's a long time and many things will happen to those roots in the next 5 years. Its looking like the cost/benefit ratio may not turn out to be worth enough to pursue growing ginseng for much more than a hobby. We all know its not a get rich quick scheme but it may actually only be a break even slowly plan. Maybe not, though

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Re:A tree limb dug up one of my roots. 2 years 5 months ago #35860

Just thinking here, I bet time of year did have an effect. Think of this, I know you've heard me say the best thing to do is condition roots in the fridge for a couple weeks or so before drying them if you have the time. Well, keep in mind, that like most of the woodland plants, they tend to lose much of their moisture after they drop seeds. Bloodroot normally senesces after seeding. In the fall, ginseng is getting ready to senesce for the winter, and therefore, much of the moisture that is in the plant dries up. By putting the roots in the fridge for a few weeks, we cause them to go into full dormancy -the starches change to sugars and the moisture moves from the inside to the outside and evaporates slowly. This normally results in light, corky root which is more desirable.

It would be interesting to see a study on this.

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Re:A tree limb dug up one of my roots. 2 years 5 months ago #35867

BCastle...

I have always dried my wild seng on a window screen at room temp. Never did the conditioning in the fridge thing.

I have had some to dry out and be light and corky like you said.. but then others seem dense and hard as a rock (hard to cut or chip). They all dried in the same conditions but the results varied quite a bit.

Of course I don't notice this on the ones that I sell, but on the few keepers that I keep back to eat myself I have noticed that varies quite a bit.

This fall I will have to try selecting my eaters and condition them in the fridge like you said. Will be interesting if they all turn out the same... light and corky.

TNhunter

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Re:A tree limb dug up one of my roots. 2 years 5 months ago #35874

Give it a try and let us know TN.

The commercial guys dig and store their root in a cooler at about 34 degrees or so until they run out of room. Then, they wash, sort and put them in the dryers where they advance heat depending on humidity, about a degree every so many hours up to 100 degrees.

What they tell me, is that the root that is in the back of the cooler (the root that stays in the cooler the longest) comes out more corky than the stuff that's only been in there a day or so before they start bringing it back out to process.

Also, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture recommends conditioning, saying that fresh root will lose about 25% of its moisture by being in the cooler for 30 days.

It will be a good experiment. I've seen some big old gnarly looking stuff that I don't think any amount of conditioning could help though. I sometimes wonder if that is the result of guys fertilizing or adding too many additives to the ground before planting.

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Re:A tree limb dug up one of my roots. 2 years 5 months ago #35875

Hillhopper wrote:

fiveprong,
You may very well be right. Ten years will definitely be a better root but that's a long time and many things will happen to those roots in the next 5 years. Its looking like the cost/benefit ratio may not turn out to be worth enough to pursue growing ginseng for much more than a hobby. We all know its not a get rich quick scheme but it may actually only be a break even slowly plan. Maybe not, though

Hill, My thoughts exactly. I gave up on making any substantial amount of money. There's just too many factors than can go wrong on growing ginseng. Disease, insects and animals and always theft. Now that seeds are $150 a pound a person just starting out could lose quite a bit.
Every year I lose plants for reasons unknown. It is more of a hobby now and I still love to see it grow.
Good luck.

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Re:A tree limb dug up one of my roots. 2 years 5 months ago #35876

BCastle wrote:

Give it a try and let us know TN.

The commercial guys dig and store their root in a cooler at about 34 degrees or so until they run out of room. Then, they wash, sort and put them in the dryers where they advance heat depending on humidity, about a degree every so many hours up to 100 degrees.

What they tell me, is that the root that is in the back of the cooler (the root that stays in the cooler the longest) comes out more corky than the stuff that's only been in there a day or so before they start bringing it back out to process.

Also, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture recommends conditioning, saying that fresh root will lose about 25% of its moisture by being in the cooler for 30 days.

It will be a good experiment. I've seen some big old gnarly looking stuff that I don't think any amount of conditioning could help though. I sometimes wonder if that is the result of guys fertilizing or adding too many additives to the ground before planting.

Will the ones kept in a cooler weigh less when dried then if they were dried immediately? If so then you would be getting higher quality but less weight per root which in my market would mean less money.

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