Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ginseng Expert, Scott Persons, Explains Why and How to Grow Ginseng

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Photo from Accem Scott's video (link provided in text below)
Scott Persons is my coauthor for the book Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals. He is the undisputed expert on growing wild-simulated ginseng and his books on the topic are treasured by ginseng growers around the world. For those of you who are new to growing ginseng, I thought you might be interested in reading the beginning of the American Ginseng section of our latest book where Scott introduces you to the section and provides a little advice for future growers to heed (from pages 3 and 5 of the 2014 edition):
     "For 33 years now, I have grown American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) in the woods not 30 yards from my front door. It allows me a healthy, comfortable, low-stress life that is a treasure to find in our hectic culture. An individual can cultivate a forest garden of this revered herb just to have the fascinating plant around or for his (or her) own consumption, but ginseng also has great potential as a small-scale cash crop with a ready market. With little capital investment, the small farmer can net a greater profit growing ginseng on a rugged, otherwise idle, woodlot than he can net raising just about any other legal crop on an equal area of cleared land. Of course, you have to be willing to bend your back and get your hands dirty, and to take a risk and persevere when the payoff is years in the future [Author's note: A non-commercial home gardening approach to growing ginseng is discussed in chapter 32, but the home gardener will certainly learn from the material covered in the first half of this book].
     "To guide the reader in growing ginseng, I have drawn from my own hands-on experience, from discussions with other experienced growers and agriculture professionals, and from my own observations of ginseng operations throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia."
     "As this revised edition of Growing & Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal & Other Woodland Medicinals is about to go to press, the prices being paid for wild ginseng are higher than ever before. While this certainly makes woodland ginseng growing even more attractive, should roots continue to bring such high value in the future, wild populations could be threatened by overharvesting, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service might well feel compelled to prohibit the export of wild ginseng in order to protect the plant. Growers are therefore advised to proactively document their purchases of planting stock and their growing operation in order to be able to prove that their roots were not foraged from wild populations. Increased production of high-grade roots by woodland growers is the best way to keep supply in balance with demand, thereby keeping prices down and protecting the still widespread populations of wild ginseng." 

The picture at the top of this post was taken from a video of an interview of Scott Persons by Accem Scott. I think you might find it interesting: Link to Video

You can purchase a lead author signed copy of the book on my Our Tiny Farm website or through any of the major online booksellers or at many bookstores with good gardening sections.


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