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#312907 - 11/24/12 12:19 PM Ginseng.
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Has anyone here ever tried their hand at growing ginseng? I am just beginning on what will undoubtedly be a long, probably frustrating, very likely aggravating endeavour, ( kind of similar to pond management) and would be grateful for any pointers, or shared experiences from someone who does, or has done it before.

I realize that a lot of the country is not suitable for this plant, so perhaps a lot of members aren't as familiar with it as those of us accustomed to 'digging sang', but here are a few figures from earlier this past week....

Tuesday, Nov 20th... Price listed is per ounce.

Zinc**** $.05 ( 80 cents a pound)
Copper***$.22 ( 3.52 per pound)
Nickel*** $.46 ( 7.36 per pound)
Silver.***$33.13 ( 530.08 per pound)
Wild Ginseng***$37.50 ($600.00 per lb.)

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has wooded property surrounding their ponds that is full of hills and hollers, unsuitable for cultivation in the traditional sense, but ideal for ginseng. Seems like a waste not to have that land providing SOMETHING........
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#312915 - 11/24/12 01:16 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
It's too sandy up here for that I'm think.

There was an article in F-F-G magazine a while back about doing just what you are proposing. Doesn't it take 3-5 years for the first crop? Like other herbs, those prices are for dried roots, aren't they and not "fresh" ones? What's a normal sized root weigh from your area?

If I saw some in the woods I doubt I'd recognize it.
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#312922 - 11/24/12 02:04 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
John Wann Offline
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Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1674
Loc: Phelps county, Missouri
I used to dig goldenseal roots. It took a lot of work to make 1 dried pound. We would put the roots in a pillow case and tie it. Throw it in the washer to get off dirt, then drier to dry them out.
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RES,HBG,YP,HSB,SMB,CC,and FHM. .seasonal trout.

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#312926 - 11/24/12 02:50 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
catmandoo Offline
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I don't know much about it, but it is an important crop here in VA and WV. Here is a link Virginia Ginseng.

I need somebody to actually point some out to me. It is very possible I may have some growing on my property.
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#312930 - 11/24/12 03:26 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: catmandoo]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
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Loc: Michigan
I was on a Gensing dietary supplement.

Didn't work well.


Edited by JKB (11/24/12 11:35 PM)

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#312933 - 11/24/12 04:07 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Here in Indiana, the Ginseng harvest season runs from Sept 1st through Dec 31st. The selling season, runs from Sept 1st through Mar 31st of the folowing year. Only mature plants may be harvested, and it is required that the plant have at least 3 "branches", or prongs as they are commonly called. Harvested roots should have 4 bud scars, (internodes) on the neck. In addition, there must be a flowering stalk on the plant, and if berries are present then the digger is required to harvest and replant those berries in a suitable, nearby location.

My family has dug Ginseng for years, but this will be my first attempt to grow it. Much of the wild 'sang' has disappeared due to over-harvest, so I'm going to give this a shot.

Scott, you are correct...it will take at least 6 years before my first harvest, possibly even 8-9. I intend to plant seed every year, in hopes of having an annual crop, circumstances (and luck) permitting.

Ginseng is a unique and curious plant. All of the plant that is visible above ground dies off every fall, and resprouts every spring...as the plant ages, a new branch, or prong will be added, and a new scar or internode, will be added to the root itself...the Asian market likes to see a root with a neck full of internodes, as they can tell how old the root is...the older it is, the more money it might bring, especially if the root has split and assumed a manlike shape.

Mature plants produce berries, most of which contain 2 seeds. The seeds themselves take 18 months to sprout, meaning that a seed that fell from a plant in the fall of 2012 will not sprout until the spring of 2014. During this time, they are a target of mice, squirrels, and other scavengers. Not very many make it.

Ginseng is usually raised under one of four methods, each one produces a root that varies considerably in value. In order from least valuable to downright expensive:

Field cultivated....grown in prepared beds, under artificial shade.

Woods grown... raised beds are tilled and prepared in the woods itself, allowing for the natural canopy to provide the shade.

Wild simulated... grown in the woods, but no disturbance of the ground is performed...the leaves on the forest floor are raked back, the seed is sown on the surface and the leaves replaced to act as mulch. Doing it this way allows for the root to encounter all of the rocks, the roots from other plants, and the undisturbed ground itself, resulting in a root nearly indistinguishable from wild. This is the method I will use.

Wild... Self-explanatory.

Jwann...I have dug Goldenseal, (yellowroot) myself.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#312940 - 11/24/12 09:00 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Can you start them as field cultivated, then transplant into the wild?
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#312951 - 11/24/12 10:19 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Yes, you can purchase both one and two year old roots for use as planting stock.

And, you are correct about dry vs. wet weight. We always figured 3.5 lbs wet to equal 1 lb dry.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#312965 - 11/25/12 12:42 AM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
With the long germination time, I'd be concerned that not enough seeds would germinate in a wild environment. How expensive are the roots vs. seeds?
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#312974 - 11/25/12 09:07 AM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Most seed that you buy is already stratified, meaning that it has spent 12 months buried in sand. If you buy stratified seed in the fall, it will sprout the following spring.

If a grower collects his own seed, it can easily be stratified at home, for planting in 18 months.

Stratified seed runs around $100-$120 a pound, which is approx 7200 seeds.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#312975 - 11/25/12 09:17 AM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
fish n chips Offline


Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2315
Loc: Northeast Ohio
Last night I scouted ebay for ginseng. There was one seller getting $900.00/lb. He had multiple auctions that were all at this price range.

This has my curiousty sprkplug. Next year I will definately be looking around my woods for it. I swear that I have seen plants with red seeds and always wondered what they are. I am always working in the woods, and I probably have been trampling them all down....Ouch!!!! They say they like the same areas as walnuts and ferns.

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#312983 - 11/25/12 11:51 AM Re: Ginseng. [Re: fish n chips]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
If you look at "completed auctions", 3 pounds sold for 2,300.00.

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#312990 - 11/25/12 12:37 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
It's a cash crop....with no jail time worries, unlike some that come to mind.... whistle wink

I don't expect to get rich, but I think it would be pretty cool to get the property taxes paid, the electric bills for the aeration taken care of for a year, and my fish food paid for. That much is very doable for a reasonable harvest, one that is manageable by one or two people. Might even be some left over for a rainy day..... cool
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#312995 - 11/25/12 02:02 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Having the land pay the overhead is a great idea.
_________________________
www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#312997 - 11/25/12 02:18 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
fish n chips Offline


Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2315
Loc: Northeast Ohio
Hey sprkplug, you said that you have hunted for this before. How labor intense is it to harvest/dig? How much time digging per pound would you guess? I am sure that there is a reason it is expensive, it can't be without a lot of work somewhere along the process. Or is it due to the years of waiting and the work is nothing.

If seeds are propagated, can they be transplanted into the wild after they get going? Are they able to tell the difference. I sure wish I knew about this two months ago when they could have been spotted more easily. Thanks for the insight so far...........Jim

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#313003 - 11/25/12 05:05 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
The digging itself is not hard, but you need to be careful with the root....broken roots mean less money. A lot of the time and effort involved in gathering wild ginseng is spent in walking, looking for the plant. Obviously, if you're digging what you planted, then that won't be an issue.

If the roots are one or two years old, then yes, they can be transplanted into the wild. And, depending on the growing method utilized, they may take on the desireable characteristics of a wild plant, provided they are left to grow for some years.

Ginseng buyers are quite aware of the differences between wild, and fully cultivated roots, and will price them accordingly. That's why I am going with the wild-simulated method.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#313006 - 11/25/12 05:46 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
Bing Offline
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Registered: 05/03/02
Posts: 1608
Loc: Fayette County Illinois
Great thread, I do not hunt it but some of my relatives do. One of my brothers in law hunted with his wife this year and sold what they collected for around two thousand dollars. It is a great way to pick up some spare cash. I had always heard that it was not feasable to domesticate it, but this thread and the following link has proved that wrong.


http://ohioline.osu.edu/for-fact/0057.html

Now if they could only domesticate morel mushrooms.
_________________________
"I love living. I have some problems with my life, but living is the best thing they've come up with so far." — Neil Simon,

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#313011 - 11/25/12 06:45 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: Bing]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
Good info Bing.

This plant looks like a common weed we have in our overgrown forest:



Probably is just a weed up here tho.

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#313012 - 11/25/12 07:13 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: JKB]
JKB Offline
Hall of Fame 2015
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Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
Against the law in Michigan to harvest wild Ginseng.

Ya need a license to grow and harvest. Harvesting wild is VERBOTEN!!! Dang Gestapo anyway (gesture of your choice goes here) laugh

Apparently five other states are as messed up on this subject as MI, so I don't feel totally alone laugh


Edited by JKB (11/25/12 07:16 PM)

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#313015 - 11/25/12 07:26 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Ginseng, and ginseng harvesting, is highly regulated in most states...it reminds me a little of tobacco in that regard.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#313016 - 11/25/12 07:31 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
JKB Offline
Hall of Fame 2015
Lunker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: sprkplug
Ginseng, and ginseng harvesting, is highly regulated in most states...it reminds me a little of tobacco in that regard.


We can grow all the tobacco up here we want, as long as we don't sell it as a processed product. After that, ya need to document and pay taxes. It grows quite well up here.

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#313212 - 11/27/12 10:04 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10457
Loc: northern VA
We have some growing wild on our land in PA. My dad's friend has large amounts of it growing on his land in VA. He is always running trespassers off who are trying to dig it up. There are a number of other plants that have similar commercial value that grow wild.
_________________________
Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

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#313214 - 11/27/12 10:47 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: Bing]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7892
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Originally Posted By: Bing
Great thread, I do not hunt it but some of my relatives do. One of my brothers in law hunted with his wife this year and sold what they collected for around two thousand dollars. It is a great way to pick up some spare cash. I had always heard that it was not feasable to domesticate it, but this thread and the following link has proved that wrong.


http://ohioline.osu.edu/for-fact/0057.html

Now if they could only domesticate morel mushrooms.


Bing...I've been trying to convince someone to partner with me on such an endeavor for a long time...I know it must be possible. Could we keep our hands off the product long enough to sell any? smile
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#313624 - 12/01/12 06:52 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
sprkplug Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Planted another pound of seed today. That's it for this season, just a pound and a half total. We'll see how (if) it comes up in the spring.

Stratified American Ginseng seed... you can see where some of the seeds are beginning to split, revealing the embryo inside.. In seed vernacular, this is referred to as "grinning"


View looking down the hillside where I will plant...about 4.5 hours in clearing the undergrowth, preparing the seed "runs", planting, and finally mulching with leaves...


Another shot looking down the hill, showing some of the runs. There are two more off to the left, already planted and mulched... no ground prep, aside from raking back the leaves and scratching up the soil surface..
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#313629 - 12/01/12 07:53 PM Re: Ginseng. [Re: sprkplug]
fish n chips Offline


Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2315
Loc: Northeast Ohio
Did you buy the seeds, or was it from plants that you have collected over the years. From what I have read, you are suppose to plant (the law?) the seeds when you harvest the root. If thats the case, how does one have seeds to sell? I also read that you should plant 5 seeds to a spot, because germination is low. Your results will be interesting for sure.

Thanks for sharing, Jim.

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