Below you’ll find the December issue of Wild Ozark Musings, a newsletter about nature, ginseng, and our wild Ozark life.
Ordinarily I send this out as an email near the beginning of the month to subscribers. This month I didn’t get it sent until mid-month. Sometimes I post the newsletter to my blog later during the month if there’s a slot on the calendar. Lately I haven’t had packed editorial calendars but it involves a bit of reformatting to make a blog post of it and so this one is hitting the blog even later than usual.
The January issue might also be mid-month arriving in mailboxes. It’s been a busy end and beginning of the year here at Wild Ozark.
Wild Ozark Musings – December Newsletter
I didn’t think I’d get a chance to do the December newsletter this month, but as it turns out I had a little extra time to work on it. I’m a little more late posting it here to the blog than I was sending it to the Ozark Musing subscribers (a.k.a. Wild Ozarkians). There’s a bit more formatting work to turn it into a blog post from the MailChimp campaign, not a simple cut and paste.
My husband and I took a “stay-cation” in December. We didn’t go anywhere far – a couple of day trips and a few nights at nearby Eureka Springs.
It was good to disconnect from the internet a bit and take a break from my writing projects. But now it’s time to get back to work!
Let me know if there’s a topic you’d like me to cover in future newsletters. In the meantime, you’ll hear about the things that catch my attention throughout the month 🙂
Is Nature a cruel mother?
I guess that depends on the perspective of the beholder…
But doesn’t the snake deserve to eat?
Nature does seem cruel sometimes, I admit. But the more I’ve experienced life in close quarters with nature, the more I’m able to see both sides of the picture.
Mother Nature is Cruel – or is she?
This was a good article critiquing another article about man interfering with some of the crueler aspects of nature. Nature just “is”. I used to cry over the “cruel” Wild Kingdom episodes when I was a child. Now I see the relationship between predator and prey in a more balanced light, and can appreciate the catch that quiets a growling lion stomach.
The earth is more than a commodity.
Are people becoming more disconnected in the attempt to reconnect? This article discusses the problem with compartmentalization and valuation of our living planet.
When is ginseng digging season, when does it end, how long can I sell roots? In Arkansas,digging season ended Dec. 1. Diggers have until April 1 to sell the roots (if you can find a buyer. I don’t know of anyone buying in AR at this time, but if you do, please let me know so I can update my 2015 Prices page.)
It’s illegal to possess roots between April 1 and Sept. 1. The wording of this rule is confusing to some people and so I wrote to Paul Shell of the Arkansas State Plant Board to ask for clarification. Some diggers wondered if it meant all roots or just green roots.
Here’s the rule in question:
- 10. Green, wild or artificially propagated American Ginseng roots shall not be possessed between April 1 and September 1 of each calendar year. Wild or artificially propagated American Ginseng roots shall not be purchased by a licensed dealer during the period April 1 to September 15 each calendar year. –http://plantboard.arkansas.gov/PlantIndustry/Documents/ginsengReg.pdf
And here is Paul’s reply to my questions:
- The regulation deals with any roots between those months. This does not apply to ginseng plants for sale for planting. Any roots not sold by March 31 need to be accompanied by a document which we issue showing that ____ amount of harvested ginseng is being held until it can be sold in the next season (9/16). This is a way of making sure that nobody is digging out of season, and that unsold roots are accounted for and used to determine if the population of wild and wild simulated ginseng is sustainable, going up or going down.
We had a pretty poor season here. Other states saw much better prices than we did. You can always follow along each year with the prices on the current year’s prices page. Next year I’ll start the 2016 page when I start getting emails from curious folks. That usually happens sometime near late July. Here’s the prices page for 2015: https://www.wildozark.com/2015-ginseng-prices/.
Wild Ozark projects 2016
There’s already a fair amount of work stacked up for the coming year. The one project that many of you will be interested in is the ginseng seedling sales. That ought to begin in late April. I’ll have the yearling ginseng and possibly some 2 or 3 year old seedlings at the farmer’s market in Huntsville. I may only do the Tuesday market, but I’ll know more about that when time gets closer.
- Bounty Hunter ETA is Mar 2016. That’s 80K words in 3 months, which breaks down to 26K per month > 866 words per day. I’m a slow writer, but I know I can do this. I must do this. I will do this. I am doing it! (Managed over 1000 words today, so that’s promising 🙂
- Two ginseng articles due – on for United Plant Savers about the ginseng sanctuary at Compton gardens, and the other for the North American Native Plant Society’s newsletter, Blazing Star.
- A ten-minute speech for the Kimberling City Library Author Event in Feb, and books to order and have on hand to autograph and sell at the event.
- Move Wild Ozark’s online nature journal and the online shop to a folder on the root directory, rather than a subdomain or a separate domain. This will eliminate the need for separate security certificates and dedicated IP addresses, since it’ll all be protected by the wildozark.com certificate after the move.
Guard your feet from cold winter floors
Make your own slippers!
Here’s a DIY article I found to make a pair of slippers from an old wool sweater. You can probably use any thick and warm fabric:
Index of November’s Blog Posts:
- Funny Dream
- Looking back on 10 years of roughing it in the Ozarks – Happy Thanksgiving 2015
- Nature Workshop with Madison Woods
- Wild Ozark Nature Journal on Kindle
- mermaid in a sea of swirling air
- Nature Writing at Hobbs State Park
- First Freeze 2015 in the Ozarks
- How to Find Ginseng
- Ginseng in November and a Witch Hazel, too
- Symbols of Warmth and Sustenance
Predator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.
Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.
About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
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, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.