Posted on

How to Find Ginseng? First look for the right habitat.

Want to know how to find ginseng? Look for the right habitat. The easiest way to do that is to look for companion plants.


Dec 7 – It’s pretty much winter now. The ginseng is slumbering here at Wild Ozark. It’s illegal to dig now and there’s nothing to see to photograph, either. In the meantime you can read up on this elusive woodland plant. Here’s a post with photos to answer the question “How does ginseng look in fall?”. Here’s a post where you can see how ginseng looks from spring through late fall on my page Ginseng Through the Seasons. If you like art, you might enjoy my sketch of “Ginseng in May”.

For a general post on what a ginseng plant looks like, go here. If you have questions about ginseng that aren’t answered in this post, try my page on Questions About Ginseng. And if you were confounded by look-alikes all season last year and want a little help, check out my latest book “Ginseng Look-Alikes“.


Please Note

Legal season for digging for ginseng is Sept. 1 through Dec. 1. Here’s a PDF from the Arkansas State Plant Board about the rules regarding ginseng harvest and sales. If you have the proper habitat, I encourage you to plant wild-simulated ginseng using seeds from as local as possible a source. We usually plant our seeds in fall before it gets too cold.

How to Find Ginseng?

First look for the right habitat. Look for the kinds of places it likes to grow.

Where does ginseng grow?

Ginseng grows in moist deciduous forests of eastern North America, but only in locations that provide the perfect combination of deep shade, moist loamy soil, and the right mix of trees. It loves the north-facing slopes, but also grows on east, west, and rarely on south-facing slopes. Most often it likes the lower third of a slope, generally not the mountain tops. Here’s a map from the USDA that shows where it grows in the United States.

If you want to know if your state allows the harvest of ginseng, you can check to see if it’s on the map here. If not, then there are no regulations, which often means there is no legal way to do it. You’d have to contact the Plant Board or your local USDA office to ask more questions.

Where EXACTLY can I find ginseng?

You probably won’t like the answer. No one is going to tell you where you can go to find a specific patch of ginseng. The reason why is because if someone knows the plant well enough to tell you where it is, they’ll also know it’s endangered and easily exterminated from a single site. That person usually is either digging and maintaining the patch for themselves, or is protecting/stewarding the site so it can continue to thrive.

If you don’t have property of your own with suitable habitat, or know someone  else with the proper conditions, you probably won’t have anywhere to dig or grow. Some states might allow digging on public lands, but many don’t. Arkansas does not.

So if you are someone who just became interested in digging some ‘sang to make some money from the roots, you’re most likely out of luck.

However, if:

  • you have land (your own or a friend’s) & you want to know if ginseng is present or could be
  • you’re looking to buy property and want to know if it contains good habitat
  • you’re working with others to build a sanctuary

Then the rest of this post might be very helpful to you.

Keep an eye on my 2016 Ginseng Prices page if you want to stay abreast of current prices this year.

Start Broad – If you want to know how to find ginseng, first learn to find Habitat

Increase your odds

Check the USDA map to see if ginseng grows, or has ever grown, in the area of interest. For example, if you live in Arizona, it is highly unlikely that you will ever successfully grow this plant. If you want to try, then you’ll have to recreate the kind of habitat that supports it.

Shade and moisture

First look for mature trees. The following are present in the areas I’ve found ginseng:

  • maple
  • redbud
  • pawpaw
  • oak
  • hickory
  • poplar
  • dogwood
  • cedar

It needs to NOT be all oak/hickory/cedar/pine. Ginseng will grow on any slope. North-facing is best, but it’ll grow facing any direction if the shade and moisture are right. It is most often right on north-facing slopes. There are sometimes “folds” on south-facing slopes that create mini-habitats on the north-facing inside of the fold.

Found the right forest?

Once you have the right kind of trees and good moisture that comes from the right shade, then look for companion plants.

Where EXACTLY can I find ginseng? (You might not like the answer). Click To Tweet

 

Companion plants

It’s good to know the companions because ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) can be a difficult plant to spot. If you’re out looking for ginseng, you’ll know to look harder if you’ve already spotted the companions. The plant seems to show itself to some but not to others. I’ve spoken to many people who have never found it on their own even though they stood side-by-side with someone else who could point it out to them. I’m that way when it comes to hunting morel mushrooms. I cannot find them, even if I look exactly in the right kinds of spots. According to people who find them, morels have their own kinds of companion plants (and trees). During spring morel hunts, my friends come back with bags of gathered morels and I stand there empty-handed. Not so with ginseng. I can find that one!

Finding the clues: Ginseng Companion or Indicator Plants

In one of my other posts about ginseng, I talked about choosing the best site to plant. Those tips can also help you find ginseng if you’re hunting it. And here’s a post that might help explain why you’re not finding it. There’s another page on this site that shows the ginseng plant as a seedling, two-prong, three- and four-prong, if you’d like to see how it looks as it gets more mature.

♥ Ginseng indicator plants, also called companion plants, are those plants, shrubs and trees that like to grow in the same sort of environment as ginseng. They keep the same company because they require the same habitat.

Finding the first ginseng plant

When I first go out to the woods, even in a place I know has ginseng, I have a difficult time spotting the first ginseng plant. They have a way of growing that makes them hard to see, but once you’ve found the first one it’s easier to find more. I think the first one somehow trains the eyes to see that form. It’s like this every time I go out. I have to find one first, then the rest become easier to see.

image of how to find ginseng
See how the ginseng plant has a horizontal form?

 

If you’re scouting woods for likely places to either plant or find it, here are a few of the companion plants you’ll want to keep an eye out for. They’re much easier to find than ginseng itself. Look for goldenseal, black cohosh, pawpaw trees, American spikenard, virginia snakeroot, bloodroot, blue cohosh and wild ginger.

Poster available from Shop Wild Ozark. https://shop.wildozark.com/shop/posters-of-ozark-plants/
Poster available from Shop Wild Ozark. https://shop.wildozark.com/shop/posters-of-ozark-plants/

Photos of the companions

Here’s some of the ones I see most often around here in the Ozarks:


 Want More Ginseng or Companion Plant Pictures?

link to ginseng category

There’s lots of photos on this blog if you’d like to just browse around a bit. Click on the “Ginseng Blog Posts” icon to get all of the posts that mention ginseng.


 

A Note about Poison Ivy

Poison ivy is NOT an indicator plant. In fact, if you see too much of it, it’s an indicator that there is probably too much sunlight in that location.

Poison ivy recently moved in and choked out a good ginseng habitat on our property. Before the ice storm of 2009, there was dense shade in that little holler. During the ice storm many of the trees fell and tops were snapped off, which then let in much more sunlight than had been there prior. And that’s what allowed the poison ivy to grow so densely there. It has taken nearly five years for the forest to recover to a point where the shade has returned to proper density.

Natural Setbacks

The ginseng suffered and much of it died or went dormant because lost trees opened a gap to direct sunlight for too many hours per day. Most of the ginseng companion plants can tolerate more sunlight than ginseng.

Maidenhair and Christmas ferns can tolerate more shade than can ginseng. But the ivy can also tolerate shade and thus it is still there even as the tree’s limbs have stretched to fill in the canopy.

If we avoid more ice storms, it’ll eventually fade back toward the brighter areas and leave the deep shade alone. With a little help from the companions, you’ll be able to find suitable habitat for one of our greatest natural treasures, wild American Ginseng. The knowledge you gain will help you become a better conservationist if you choose to grow your own “virtually wild” ginseng rather than dig the wild.

Practice Ethical Hunting and Harvesting, and Consider Growing Your Own

♥ Ginseng has a legal harvest season. Ethical practices will help the plant to continue in the wild. Click To Tweet

 

Please follow the laws of your state regarding how and when to harvest. For the state of Arkansas, those rules are here (it’s a PDF file). I also go over specific practices to help the plant survive in my book Sustainable Ginseng. You might wonder why someone who conserves the wild ginseng wants to hunt it.

Except when our personal stash is low, when I find wild ginseng (in season), I don’t dig it. I record where I found it and observe the habitat, photograph the plants and environment.

Why I study

I use the information I gather to become more successful at growing it and I share what I’ve learned with my blog and book readers. From the plants I’ve seeded on our property, I also plant the ripe berries and redistribute them to places I want to establish new colonies. (Never gather all of the seeds of a plant, and never dig without planting the seeds.)

To know where to plant, it helps to know the preferred habitat of ginseng. My hope is that you’ll become interested in growing wild-simulated ginseng, and for that you’ll need to know the kinds of places ginseng likes to grow.

♥ Wild-simulated, or virtually wild ginseng, is simply the practice of planting seeds and allowing them to grow naturally.

No tilling, no fertilizing, no weeding (except perhaps in the beginning to clear out underbrush). Then in 7-10 years, begin a sustainable plan for harvesting. That plan would include taking no more than 50% of the seed-bearing plants from each colony, and always replanting the seeds from those plants in the original area.


Beautiful, exceptional wild American ginseng roots are available at our online shop. Join the roots inventory list to get updates each month:


This is not the same as our monthly newsletter “Ozarks Musings”.


 

Other Ginseng Posts You Might Like

ginseng with red berries

If you have questions, please leave a comment or use the Contact link in the menu to get in touch. I’m always happy to help if I can.

If you found this post useful, please share by posting the link to Facebook, Twitter or your favorite social center. If you want to stay posted on what’s going on with Wild Ozark, sign up for my monthly newsletter. Next year I’ll start doing slide show presentations around the area and those will be announced through the list as well. You will not receive my regular blog posts through this announcement list.

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.


Ginseng Pictures!
Lots of Ginseng Pictures!

A book full of ginseng and companion plant photos -American Ginseng & Companions70+ photos of American ginseng and ginseng companions plants. This book will help you recognize both ginseng and the companion plants.

If you know the other plants that grow in the same habitat, your odds of success in growing and finding ginseng will skyrocket.

Get the PDF at the Nature Boutique or click the cover image to find a retailer of your choice for paperback or Kindle versions.


Ginseng Look-Alikes
Trouble with Look-Alikes?

A 24-page paperback Ginseng Look-Alike Guide to help you tell the difference between what is, and what isn't, ginseng. The cover itself is a valuable ID guide.Get the low-down on plants that look like ginseng.


Posted on

Keeping up the Juggling Act

It’s the holiday season, so it stands to reason that lots of folks are juggling lots of things in their lives these days.

Juggling and Not Too Successfully

I’ve been dropping a few balls lately. Right now the ones on the ground relate to baking bread. Ha. And I had such good intentions!

My own juggling really has nothing to do with the added tasks of the holidays. I haven’t even started dealing with those issues, yet. So you can see the mess I’m about to make with the balls still in the air …

Anyway, back to baking bread.

Why am I baking bread?

Because we’re out of it since yesterday morning, that’s why.

Why not just get some from the store?

Because I have to go out to town when a package I’m waiting on arrives in Springdale. Doesn’t make sense? Well, to go to town for groceries alone is a half-a-day excursion here if I’m just going to the nearest town with a grocery store. Springdale is a good hour-and-a-half away and if I’m going to go out for that I might as well get everything else on my list while I’m at it.

So I decided I’d just bake some bread and wait until tomorrow to go out.

Part of my juggling act today. Need to grind some wheat.
Had to clean all the dust off the grinder first.

Of course the pictures loaded and turned sideways. Do they look sideways to you too? Throw that ball on the floor too, dammit.

To bake bread means I have to grind some wheat. What?! I hear you asking already, why don’t I just use the flour in the pantry?

*Sigh*

Yeah, I’m laughing too.

There isn’t enough flour in the pantry. Guess what? They sell that stuff at the grocery store I’m not going to today, too.

But I do have wheat that I can grind. And enough regular flour to cut it so the ball of dough actually rises into a loaf.

Stuff all over the counter. Balls dropped when the phone rang.

So I have all the ingredients for this project out and in progress when the phone rings.

Guess what?

The package is arriving at the DHL facility in Springdale in a couple of hours.

So I look at the mess I’ve got scattered all over the counters, consider my options … and decide I might just throw all this back into the cabinet and go out and buy that loaf of bread today.

Balls all over the floor.

I did manage to get one thing on my writerly to-do list done today, though. I created a virtual flipbook of my latest release. This morning I finally figured out how to get it loaded onto this website so I can share it with you.

It’s posted on the product pages for “Ginseng Look-Alikes” so browsers can flip through the whole book just like they could if it were in a real-life bookstore. Then if they decide they like it, they can click through and buy it.

Balls Still Airborne

At least there’s that ball still in the air. Now I’m going to clean up the kitchen and get ready to go out to town. If you get a chance to take a look at my flipbook, would you leave me a review at Amazon? I put the book out too early a few weeks ago.

And More Balls on the Floor

The one review on that dismal first go of it is a very honest, terribly unhappy buyer who left me two stars.

If you think it’s a decent product now, let me know. If you think it’s still as bad as the first reviewer thinks, let me know. I need to take it down if it’s that bad!

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.


Ginseng Pictures!
Lots of Ginseng Pictures!

A book full of ginseng and companion plant photos -American Ginseng & Companions70+ photos of American ginseng and ginseng companions plants. This book will help you recognize both ginseng and the companion plants.

If you know the other plants that grow in the same habitat, your odds of success in growing and finding ginseng will skyrocket.

Get the PDF at the Nature Boutique or click the cover image to find a retailer of your choice for paperback or Kindle versions.


Ginseng Look-Alikes
Trouble with Look-Alikes?

A 24-page paperback Ginseng Look-Alike Guide to help you tell the difference between what is, and what isn't, ginseng. The cover itself is a valuable ID guide.Get the low-down on plants that look like ginseng.


Posted on

End of Autumn and Letting Go of Clutter

Red Oak Leaves. Nature Photography by Madison Woods for Wild Ozark.

The end of autumn brings me to a state of feeling introspective. Depression, melancholy maybe, or just a need to be alone with my thoughts for a little while … It’s not “sadness”, and it’s not a negative thing. It’s normal for me at this time of year.

The Liminal Space

It’s not technically the end of autumn until the first day of winter. But just as it feels like summer before the solstice, it feels to me like winter arrives before Dec. 21. When the leaves are mostly on the ground and the temperatures near freezing, to me, it’s winter.

The time between seasons – it doesn’t feel like fall anymore and it’s not yet winter – is a liminal space. It’s precisely this kind of space that makes my mood like it is.

Letting Go

Let go of what kinds of things?

Clutter.

Clutter makes me feel anxious for no good reason. When I feel anxious, vague fear is usually the underlying emotion. We all have fears that we deal with on a daily basis. Some of us are just better at ignoring them or hiding it.

One of mine is the fear is that I’ll never succeed in reaching my goals. I can further refine that to pinpoint exactly what it is I’m afraid of.

It’s not the fear of never reaching them. It’s the fear that it’ll take too long. The anxiety is just a companion to that fear.

Disorganization in my workspace contributes by magnifying the disorganized feeling of anxiety. When my surroundings get cluttered and my project list piles up I feel the crunch of time. I feel like I’m running out of it and it’s that urgency drives the underlying fear of possibly never finishing.

Getting organized

The problem is my workspace. My desk and office is so cluttered I can hardly find anything anymore. I am going to do a bit of fall organization in there this evening.

It’s more of a job than I can finish in one evening, though, so that project will extend for quite a while. Maybe even a whole week or even longer. Ha. I am not exaggerating. It’s pretty bad.

Letting Go

I know from experience the vague feeling of anxiety and fear will dissipate as the clutter is eliminated. So each thing I find a dedicated place for, or put in the recycle or the burn pile or the garbage will be like one more leaf falling from the tree.

Worrying without doing anything constructive accomplishes nothing. Just like the trees letting go of old leaves at the end of autumn, I too feel the need to let go of stuff I’m clinging to which no longer serve a purpose … starting with my office clutter.

What leaves do you need to drop?

For me this year, it’s the clutter in my office. In years past I’ve had more extreme cleansing to do. The principle of letting go of that which no longer serves is worth looking at. For me, the end of autumn is a great time of year to do it because it matches my mood already.

 

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.


Ginseng Pictures!
Lots of Ginseng Pictures!

A book full of ginseng and companion plant photos -American Ginseng & Companions70+ photos of American ginseng and ginseng companions plants. This book will help you recognize both ginseng and the companion plants.

If you know the other plants that grow in the same habitat, your odds of success in growing and finding ginseng will skyrocket.

Get the PDF at the Nature Boutique or click the cover image to find a retailer of your choice for paperback or Kindle versions.


Ginseng Look-Alikes
Trouble with Look-Alikes?

A 24-page paperback Ginseng Look-Alike Guide to help you tell the difference between what is, and what isn't, ginseng. The cover itself is a valuable ID guide.Get the low-down on plants that look like ginseng.


Posted on

Perseverance

If there’s one thing to know about me, it’s that I’m stubborn and don’t give up easily. And I draw a lot of inspiration from nature.

This snail is steadfastly going over obstacles that could proportionately be called boulders. I watched it for a little while as it went over, under, or around whatever stood in the path blocking him from his destination.

Perseverance Inspirational Poster
This will be available as a poster at the Wild Ozark Nature Boutique soon 🙂

per·se·ver·ance

  • noun: perseverance
  • steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
    “his perseverance with the technique illustrates his single-mindedness”
  • synonyms: persistence, tenacity, determination, staying power, indefatigability, steadfastness, purposefulness; patience, endurance, application, diligence, dedication, commitment, doggedness, assiduity, tirelessness, stamina; intransigence, obstinacy; informalstick-to-it-iveness; formalpertinacity
  • “in a competitive environment, perseverance is an invaluable asset”

Definition from Google search


I created this Perseverance poster for myself. It seems as if everything I’m doing is moving along at a snail’s pace. It’s hard to stay optimistic that I will ever realize my goals.

I’m not sure snails have “destinations” in mind when they’re crawling around, but even in a moment-to-moment life there is at least the objective to get to the other side of whatever is in the way.

So that’s the inspiration intended for this image.

Perseverance

I’m going to keep plugging away at the projects on my desk. Sooner or later, I’ll get there … wherever “there” happens to be. Right now, the goal is to finish the final edits on my first book of the Bounty Hunter series. But there’s also:

  • garlic to plant and garden to prep
  • a pile of things to file
  • ledgers to catch up on before tax season
  • websites to update
  • blog posts to make
  • SEO to review for those sites
  • the next book to begin
  • products to create
  • photography to edit

If the image speaks to you, too, I’ll have posters available soon at the boutique, lol.


***

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.


Ginseng Pictures!
Lots of Ginseng Pictures!

A book full of ginseng and companion plant photos -American Ginseng & Companions70+ photos of American ginseng and ginseng companions plants. This book will help you recognize both ginseng and the companion plants.

If you know the other plants that grow in the same habitat, your odds of success in growing and finding ginseng will skyrocket.

Get the PDF at the Nature Boutique or click the cover image to find a retailer of your choice for paperback or Kindle versions.


Ginseng Look-Alikes
Trouble with Look-Alikes?

A 24-page paperback Ginseng Look-Alike Guide to help you tell the difference between what is, and what isn't, ginseng. The cover itself is a valuable ID guide.Get the low-down on plants that look like ginseng.


Posted on

Cultivated American Ginseng from Wisconsin

I’m posting this for Terra over at Soul Sisters Skincare. They have a large crop of fresh white American ginseng and an unexpected lack of buyer:

  • White American Ginseng
  • not organic
  • cultivated in Wisconsin
  •  total available is 100,000
  • lot sizes are in 50 lbs lots
  • $65/lb firm price
  • Hmong farmers

Ideally we’d like to sell large volumes, but partial orders are okay.

Anyone interested in discussing further can reach me at this email moc.l1481234235iamg@1481234235eracn1481234235iksre1481234235tsisl1481234235uos1481234235

~ Terra

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.


Ginseng Pictures!
Lots of Ginseng Pictures!

A book full of ginseng and companion plant photos -American Ginseng & Companions70+ photos of American ginseng and ginseng companions plants. This book will help you recognize both ginseng and the companion plants.

If you know the other plants that grow in the same habitat, your odds of success in growing and finding ginseng will skyrocket.

Get the PDF at the Nature Boutique or click the cover image to find a retailer of your choice for paperback or Kindle versions.


Ginseng Look-Alikes
Trouble with Look-Alikes?

A 24-page paperback Ginseng Look-Alike Guide to help you tell the difference between what is, and what isn't, ginseng. The cover itself is a valuable ID guide.Get the low-down on plants that look like ginseng.


Posted on

Comanche’s Eye

My horse's eye

There is just something special about the eyes of a horse. I can’t tell you what it is because I don’t know the words to explain it.


I haven’t had a lot of time for blogging lately, so I think I’m just going to post a photo with a line or two, or nothing at all. Just something pretty or evocative.

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.


Ginseng Pictures!
Lots of Ginseng Pictures!

A book full of ginseng and companion plant photos -American Ginseng & Companions70+ photos of American ginseng and ginseng companions plants. This book will help you recognize both ginseng and the companion plants.

If you know the other plants that grow in the same habitat, your odds of success in growing and finding ginseng will skyrocket.

Get the PDF at the Nature Boutique or click the cover image to find a retailer of your choice for paperback or Kindle versions.


Ginseng Look-Alikes
Trouble with Look-Alikes?

A 24-page paperback Ginseng Look-Alike Guide to help you tell the difference between what is, and what isn't, ginseng. The cover itself is a valuable ID guide.Get the low-down on plants that look like ginseng.


Posted on

Hornet’s Nest & The last of the fall color at Wild Ozark

A hornet’s nest to decorate with has long been on my wish-list. Around here, they don’t survive very long in the wild because cliff or chimney swifts tear up their nests to make the plaster for their own nests.

There was a big one in the plum tree on the other end of the horse’s field I had my eye on. When I went to check on it the other day, it was completely devastated.

Gloria looking glorious

Then one day while I was on the balcony upstairs I noticed a cluster of what looked like dried leaves right there in Gloria’s branches. You probably can’t see it in this pic, but this is Gloria. And it’s a beautiful picture, so that’s why I’m posting it.

Beautiful foggy morning. I call the tree "Gloria".
Beautiful foggy morning. I call the tree “Gloria”.

Another Hornet’s Nest

The bundle of dried leaves was hiding another hornet’s nest. I had never noticed until the leaves began to fall. We watched it several days and never saw any hornets going in and out. It must be abandoned?

Rob with the hornet's nest
It was abandoned, thank goodness. Rob tried shooting the limb to make it fall but that didn’t work. So he had to use the pole saw to cut the branch. It was way up in the tree, just barely low enough to reach with the pole.

What now?

We put it in a contractor bag, tied it shut tight, and will leave it out there until we’re sure all the larvae (if any are there) have hatched. All this time I thought the hardest part of getting a nest was not getting stung. But it seems the hardest part is getting the nest before other critters get it.

The last of the fall color

This year hasn’t been a spectacular one for color, but it’s still very pretty.

Fall color on the eastern hill.
Fall color on the eastern hill.

What else has been happening on the Wild Ozark front?

I’ve been really really busy revising and polishing the first book of my Bounty Hunter rural fantasy series. And working on a new fiction website. I claimed the domain name ruralfantasy.com, which I was super-excited about. Also took up a different pen name for my fiction, and it’s a silly one but catchy, and I like it. Anyway, the new site is a long ways from being finished and the revisions of the story are higher on the priority list.

That’s why you haven’t seen a post lately, or this month’s newsletters yet.


 

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.


Ginseng Pictures!
Lots of Ginseng Pictures!

A book full of ginseng and companion plant photos -American Ginseng & Companions70+ photos of American ginseng and ginseng companions plants. This book will help you recognize both ginseng and the companion plants.

If you know the other plants that grow in the same habitat, your odds of success in growing and finding ginseng will skyrocket.

Get the PDF at the Nature Boutique or click the cover image to find a retailer of your choice for paperback or Kindle versions.


Ginseng Look-Alikes
Trouble with Look-Alikes?

A 24-page paperback Ginseng Look-Alike Guide to help you tell the difference between what is, and what isn't, ginseng. The cover itself is a valuable ID guide.Get the low-down on plants that look like ginseng.


Posted on

A Black Friday offer from Wild Ozark for the Ginseng Look-Alikes Booklet

Revised, Expanded & Improved

I’ve redone the whole publication. More photos, and in paperback format so you can take the cover and use it for a quick identification guide, or take the whole book to the woods with you. But if you take the cover off and laminate it, it’ll last a long time.

Black Friday Offer

  • take advantage of a $2 discount for the Ginseng Look-Alikes booklet by purchasing directly through the Createspace store. The link is below.
  • buy directly from me through our Nature Boutique and subscribe to my Wild Ozark Musings newsletter &  email moc.k1481234235razod1481234235liw@n1481234235osida1481234235m1481234235 to let me know that you ordered and subscribed, and I’ll rebate an additional $2 off for a total of $4 off. You’ll get a different $2 coupon than the one below with your subscription confirmation. The coupon below won’t work at the Nature Boutique.

The Old version of the Downloadable PDF

The old listing at the old Wild Ozark online shop is going to be taken down, because I’ve redone the whole publication. More photos, and in paperback format so you can take the cover and use it for a quick identification guide, or take the whole book to the woods with you. But if you take the cover off and laminate it, it’ll last a long time.

Eventually I may put the new edition back online for a downloadable product, but it might be a while.

Please share my FB post

The link to get this offer is https://www.createspace.com/6701061 and the $2 coupon code is:

GQXDVJ5C

This offer to the general public ends on Nov. 26, 2017. A discount coupon code will always be given to my Wild Ozark Musings newsletter subscribers, though.

If you have FB, please head over to the Wild Ozark page and share that offer with your friends – I’d appreciate it tremendously!

Here’s a “pinnable” pic to use for Pinterest:

 

 

 

Ginseng Look-Alikes
The new edition of my popular Ginseng Look-Alikes guide is now available in paperback format! Use this coupon code (GQXDVJ5C) and get $2 off until Nov. 26, 2016: Ginseng Look-Alikes

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.


Ginseng Pictures!
Lots of Ginseng Pictures!

A book full of ginseng and companion plant photos -American Ginseng & Companions70+ photos of American ginseng and ginseng companions plants. This book will help you recognize both ginseng and the companion plants.

If you know the other plants that grow in the same habitat, your odds of success in growing and finding ginseng will skyrocket.

Get the PDF at the Nature Boutique or click the cover image to find a retailer of your choice for paperback or Kindle versions.


Ginseng Look-Alikes
Trouble with Look-Alikes?

A 24-page paperback Ginseng Look-Alike Guide to help you tell the difference between what is, and what isn't, ginseng. The cover itself is a valuable ID guide.Get the low-down on plants that look like ginseng.


Posted on

The future Wild Ozark Nature Boutique & Ginseng Nursery

In a shady wooded glen today I cleared a path flanked by oaks, hickory, maple, beech, and witch hazel. It marked the beginning of the Wild Ozark Nature Boutique & Ginseng Nursery retail and demonstration gardens. I pruned out the excess hickory, oak, and cherry saplings and placed their branches in stacks horizontal to the hillside. That’ll create a sort of dam to collect debris and flotsam when it rains hard. Over the course of years, it will build up little areas of rich, loamy humus.

The Wild Ozark Nature Boutique & Ginseng Nursery Plans

My project is a long-term one, hopefully something that will still be here to serve and be served by our great-great grandchildren and others who want to learn the ways of this special habitat. This is the site of the next  ginseng habitat restoration project. It lies across the creek from the future Wild Ozark Boutique & Ginseng Nursery. My forearms are aching, but this is a pleasant sort of pain. It means work has been accomplished.

Not just ginseng

It’s not just ginseng gardens in the works, and not just Arkansas native plants, though those will be the main focus. I use other herbs that have naturalized, like mullein and wineberries, for example. Other herbs like anise hyssop, which isn’t native here but is very useful, will also have a place in the garden.

History

Our acreage was logged many years ago, first extensively in the late 1800’s, then successively less so over the intervening years. The last selective logging took place most likely in the 1990’s. Pioneer trees like cedar and elm dominate many areas still, but in some locations the maples and beech are beginning to become well established in the oak and hickory forests.

Even where it’s adequately shaded and moist, ginseng won’t grow in a forest made strictly of oak and hickory or a mix of only the two. They need deciduous trees with leaves that break down easily, like maple, beech, and ash. The best areas also have pawpaw and witch hazels.

Retail sales & Educational gardens

The nursery will serve as part of the American Ginseng & Ozark Useful Plant educational gardens I’m constructing. This spring I hope to open our physical retail location at the connex with the gardens. Here’s my plans – that connex will be the “store”.

Plans for the Wild Ozark Nature Boutique & American Ginseng Nursery in Kingston, AR.
Plans for the Wild Ozark Nature Boutique & American Ginseng Nursery in Kingston, AR. – click to enlarge

Rob will rig it with solar so I’ll have lights and maybe a little power. I’ll plant an educational herb garden before it with labels on all of the plants.

The nursery area for the woodland plants will be across the creek in the woods, with the sun-loving herbs for sale in front of the connex.

Meanwhile

 

Here’s a link to the online shop. It’s still under construction but I’m adding products daily: https://www.wildozark.com/shop/

Interested in Establishing a Ginseng Habitat?

In spring I’ll have a ginseng companion plant collection, which is sort of a “starter kit”. It includes many of the plants that commonly grow in the ginseng habitat: (5) first year ginseng seedlings, and one each of the following: black cohosh, doll’s eyes,  blue cohosh, Christmas fern,  rattlesnake fern, bloodroot, goldenseal, wild ginger, spicebush, and pawpaw.

If one of those are not available for whatever reason, I’ll fill in with one of the more abundant plants to make the total plant package 15 plants. The black and blue cohosh and doll’s eyes are in very limited availability, so I’ll run out of those first. The collection is $100.

These need to be reserved in advance by email. Payment isn’t due until you pick them up. No mail orders. Email moc.k1481234235razod1481234235liw@n1481234235osida1481234235m1481234235 if interested.


If you want a postcard announcement of the Grand Opening, email me with your postal address: moc.k1481234235razod1481234235liw@n1481234235osida1481234235m1481234235.

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.


Ginseng Pictures!
Lots of Ginseng Pictures!

A book full of ginseng and companion plant photos -American Ginseng & Companions70+ photos of American ginseng and ginseng companions plants. This book will help you recognize both ginseng and the companion plants.

If you know the other plants that grow in the same habitat, your odds of success in growing and finding ginseng will skyrocket.

Get the PDF at the Nature Boutique or click the cover image to find a retailer of your choice for paperback or Kindle versions.


Ginseng Look-Alikes
Trouble with Look-Alikes?

A 24-page paperback Ginseng Look-Alike Guide to help you tell the difference between what is, and what isn't, ginseng. The cover itself is a valuable ID guide.Get the low-down on plants that look like ginseng.


Posted on

Between Autumn & Winter: A Liminal Space

We’re in a holding pattern at Wild Ozark right now, which is in its own way a sort of liminal space. Rob has two hernias and we’re waiting for the surgeon’s office to call with his appointment day/time.

So while he limits his movements to the barest possible, I’m staying nearby to fetch things so he doesn’t have to get up any more often than necessary. In the meantime, I’m working on moving the shop items to the new Nature Boutique online and cleaning up my blog.

The post below was an article originally published in 2014. I’m in the process of cleaning up some old articles and formatting them to fit the standards required for Instant Articles and AMP. So I hope you enjoy this <Rewind> episode.

A Liminal Space

It’s not a special time of year right now, but kind of in between seasons. A “twilight” of the seasons. I didn’t think there’d be much to take pictures of when Rob and I took a hike on the mountain the other day. All of my favorite plants are already dormant for the remainder of the year. But being a “between” time, makes it a liminal sort of space and that’s my favorite kind of place to be.

I was not disappointed in the photo opportunities.

Trees and Leaves

There were still leaves in various shades of color.

speckled smilax
speckled smilax
red oak sapling
red oak sapling
red oak leaves
red oak leaves
paper thin plum leaves
paper thin plum leaves

We saw some of the largest oak leaves I’ve ever seen.

giant oak leaf
gigantic oak leaf as compared to Rob’s sz 9 shoe.

There was an old tree that had split and a long polished splinter jutted out from the trunk. The grain of that wood was beautiful! It looked like a black walnut tree and I wished we had with us a way to cut that splinter loose so I could bring it home.

split black walnut
split black walnut
black walnut grain
black walnut grain

 

Tree Bones

There were a lot of downed trees, probably from several years ago when the ice storm came. We lost a lot of trees on the mountains during that storm and I vividly remember the sound of trunks snapping as the stress of holding the weight of too much ice crossed the line of tolerance. Just then I passed a partially rotted limb that reminded me of a bone. A tree bone.

tree bones
tree bones

 

downed trees
downed trees

Adam and Eve Orchid

And then I saw an Adam and Eve orchid, which surprised me. I didn’t think they’d still be out at this time of year. I knew they were early risers in spring and have a page or two in my photo essay book that talks about them. But I don’t recall ever seeing them in early winter before. I’ll have to play closer attention each year from now on to see if it’s a normal occurrence.

At the time I composed the book, I didn’t have photos of the roots to show the “Adam” and “Eve”. Now I do. If you read the book and wondered how the roots look, here are some photos!

Adam and Eve orchid showing leaf and connected bulbs.
Adam and Eve orchid showing leaf and connected bulbs.
adam and eve leaf
The leaf of an Adam and Eve orchid.

Fungi

tree fungi maybe ganoderma
Not sure what this is, looks like a ganoderma of some sort. It was huge.

fungi 2

shelf fungi of some sort
unknown tree fungi on horizontal overhead log.

Ferns and Green Plants

There were a few other green plants still, besides the cedars.

dogwood nut on mossy rock

ferns
ferns
green fern frond
green fern frond

There was an old moss covered stump on the ground with only a small opening. It looked like it could have been a fairy or sprite hideout.

sprite hideout
sprite hideout

Here are some grape/rattlesnake ferns. One is bronzed and the other is not. It’s always hard for me to tell which kind they are, rattlesnake or grape fern, so I just lump them both together.

frost bronzed rattlesnake fern
frost bronzed rattlesnake fern
rattlesnake fern
rattlesnake fern

Ozark Mountain Springs

Then we saw what we call “spring grass”. When you see this kind of grass in the middle of the woods, it usually means there’s a spring seeping up keeping the ground moist right there. I brushed the leaves away to see if the ground really was wet, and it was. The picture I took of the wet ground didn’t come out very good so I won’t post it, but there was a lot of moisture. You can see the spring grass, still greenish for now.

spring grass
spring grass

After a bit more climbing we found a much better spring, and then another. Hidden springs are one of the most magical places I know.

a dripping spring
a dripping spring
lots of water
lots of water

springs dripping

dripping spring on leaf
dripping spring on leaf

We finally made it to the logging road. I took it back to the house and Rob returned the way we’d come because he’d left the four-wheeler parked on the other end of the valley where we’d entered the woods.

On the way back I saw some of my favorite grass catching sunlight in a bit of seed fluff.

broomsedge bluestem
broomsedge bluestem

I hope you enjoyed this virtual nature walk from Wild Ozark! If you did, please share it with your friends. This post will eventually become a Wild Ozark Nature Journal e-book. Thank you for joining me 🙂

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.


Ginseng Pictures!
Lots of Ginseng Pictures!

A book full of ginseng and companion plant photos -American Ginseng & Companions70+ photos of American ginseng and ginseng companions plants. This book will help you recognize both ginseng and the companion plants.

If you know the other plants that grow in the same habitat, your odds of success in growing and finding ginseng will skyrocket.

Get the PDF at the Nature Boutique or click the cover image to find a retailer of your choice for paperback or Kindle versions.


Ginseng Look-Alikes
Trouble with Look-Alikes?

A 24-page paperback Ginseng Look-Alike Guide to help you tell the difference between what is, and what isn't, ginseng. The cover itself is a valuable ID guide.Get the low-down on plants that look like ginseng.