9/14 (Ohio) Holy Cow- Looks like a man!
The rich Ohio soil sure turns out some nice roots.
From Marcia: “Second day out digging roots and I had a new person with me. So I was showing him what other roots look like, etc. And then off in a distant I saw what appeared to be a nice ginseng plant but was not sure. Told him to come on lets check this out and yup, come up to the plant and it stood knee high. It was a four prong. The root looks like a man. Even has a face like a man. How do I post you a picture of it? Looks like it is going to be a good year for digging. We had let the woods go for several years since the last harvest. It may pay off. Feeling excited.”
Here’s a root photo sent to me by a local Ozarks ginseng root digger. I can’t see all of the neck scars in the picture, but he says it is 44 years old. The lighter is a full-sized one put there beside the root for size reference.
Personally, I cringe to know such an old root is going to die, but I know he is thrilled to have been the one to take it and the end-buyer who uses it will love it, too. This was taken by a conscientious digger who always replants the berries and never digs out his spots. He and his grandfathers before him had used the same locations for generations.
More root photos from 2015
Send your photos to me if you want me to put them on the blog (madison(at)wildozark(dot)com).
This one is another old one from the Ozarks. The digger said it actually looks like more than one plant that has grown into each other. Altogether it is more than 50 years old. The roots had two smallish plants attached to them. Because they were small, he didn’t think it would yield a big root and was totally surprised to find this:
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, not published yet, 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.