I think the strangeness of the season has got to us all somewhat I myself have had a tough time adjusting even thou I was expecting lower prices all along it still shocked me how badly the market clogged up that along with the large amount of new diggers in the woods that seemed to find there way into almost every patch of woods in the country I think a lot of us long time diggers have about run out of patience for the reality crowd I have tryed to be nice to people but after being asked over and over how much is ginseng how much you dug show me how to find it every time I go into the local store by people I hardly know I dont mind helping someone learn to do it the right way but ever dope head around now sees ginseng as a easy way to get drug money and I dont know how it can trive as long as the trend continues maybe things will return to normal next year if no I guess ill call it quits.
Of course, my phone has rang almost non-stop since the middle of August, and I can't seem to get anything else done. Most of them are \"how much is ginseng, I'm new at this\". Like you, I don't mind talking to folks and trying to help them, but there is a certain amount of information which is out there on (cough) certain websites, with information about growing which (cough) certain folks offer for a small fee or in some cases even free with pictures how to dig and handle their ginseng.
I honestly think the flush of small/damaged root we are seeing is partly to blame on the reality shows, and partly to blame on the high prices of the last few years. That low quality common stuff is just not moving at all. Buyers who are buying it are likely to get stuck holding it because they can't sell it. So, why would a buyer continue buying stuff that he can't sell unless he has unlimited capitol with which to buy? I think in the end, the new diggers who came to the craft through TV will largely go away after they can't sell their low or no quality roots for $1000/lb. The ones who ask the right questions and listen to the answers are the ones who will join our community and become valued members I believe.
That sounds about right to me. I was thinking that the stampede into the woods was going to wash itself out after folks had the reality test of how much work is in hunting/digging/selling. Dopeheads really have little patience and are more interested in a quick fix.
I also figure that what's out there growing wild is gonna take a real hit with the fresh stampede digging everything in sight without any inclination of good stewardship.
Guys that are planting quanity in the woods are going to be the ones that are going to do the best, in the long run. Sad to predict, however the wild stuff just won\"t tolerate much more abuse, was already endangered in many states, and the influx of the new \"diggers\" might push the wild stuff over the edge.