Which format is best?

header image for forest companions book

Which format is best?

The book in question is about 100 pages long. It’s mostly photos, with a little bit of prose. Three of the chapters are at Amazon as individual e-books. The file size is too large to make it one big e-book, because of the photos. So I’m exploring the options for ways to put those three chapters plus a fourth one together into one product. Should it be a real physical book? Or do you like the idea of the USB or DVD better? I could also turn it into a magazine style publication, or even just put it at a site like Slide-Share. I’d like to make it available in all the various formats, but that will take time and money, and sales to inspire me to make it more widely available.

You can help me decide which formats to work on first.

I have a survey going on at SurveyMonkey right now. Newsletter subscribers got this in their email today. You can take it, too, and if you email to let me know you’ve done it, I’ll enter you into a drawing for one of my “Wild Ozark Herbs” DVD. I’ll chose five winners from all the emailed notices. The survey is anonymous so unless you let me know you’ve taken it, I won’t know to enter your name.

 

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

This project is already listed at our online shop. It’s marked “Out of Stock” for now because I’ll be updating it soon with the additional chapter (The Look-Alikes). When I’m done it’ll be a comprehensive collection of everything I know and love about the American ginseng habitat.

Current survey results say that USB is the preferred format, with the paperback book running a close second. That was my first thought, too, although I think I’d like to also see it in magazine or book format as well.

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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.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Bloodroot Bud

It’s early February and the plants in the ginseng habitat are still buried beneath leaf litter and possibly snow. We’ve had a very mild winter so far this year. I won’t be surprised if I find hungry ticks waiting in ambush today.

I’m going out to the mountain to find goldenseal so I can get some root divisions before the spring growth begins. I’ll take pictures and possibly make a short video and post it to this website later on. When it’s ready, there’ll be a link here for you. I’ll try to get pictures of all the plants as we propagate them throughout the year at the appropriate times and in the various methods. Right now and until spring for some of the plants, it is time for root divisions.

Before these plants went to bed for the long winter’s sleep, buds were already in place and waiting to rise come spring. Bloodroot, goldenseal, ginseng, cohosh all have a new bud waiting for the growing season to begin. All but ginseng will sometimes have more than one bud per root clump. Bloodroot and goldenseal in particular are easy to divide and propagate because the rhizome root can be divided everywhere there are roots coming off of it and each section will make a new plant even if there’s no bud at that spot.

Here’s a picture that shows what the bloodroot bud looks like. You can click on the image to make it bigger. Be sure to sign up for our nursery brochure if you’d like a plant list mailed to you in spring or just want an idea of what we’ll have at our booth at the farmer’s market in Huntsville.

bloodroot bud

 

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

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.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

It’s A Good Day to Plant Seeds in Winter

seeds being planted at Wild Ozark

Yesterday I took a break from figuring taxes (yes, I’m still working on taxes) and went outside to enjoy the warm-ish winter’s day and plant seeds. On the seed list today:

  • American ginseng
  • Echinacea purpurea
  • Echinacea tennesseensis
  • Comfrey (officinale)
  • Poppies

These plants all need to be seeded while it’s still cool outside so the seeds can be exposed to the cold, damp soil before sprouting. It could be done by putting the seeds in a bag of sand in the refrigerator (this is called stratification), but I’ll just plant them into pots and keep the pots outside where they’ll get cold exposure. Fresh ginseng seed would need two winters, but the seeds I buy have already been stratified, which means they’ve already spent one winter outside so they’ll sprout after this one.

Day before yesterday I planted some Cowslip (primula veris). This one is not a native plant, not to the Ozarks nor to the United States. However, it’s a good medicinal plant and I wanted to have some on hand for my sustainability/preparedness peace of mind. There are other plants that are native (lobelia inflata, mullein) that also have some of the same benefits (antispasmodic, cough, sedative) but I wanted to have this one, too.  While the lobelia is valuable in it’s antispasmodic capacity, and I wildcraft it here at Wild Ozark and use it in formulas with much success, it can be fairly easy to use too much. The consequence of that mistake is violent vomiting which squeezes the lungs. This action supposedly can also be beneficial to expel excessive mucus from the lungs but I’ve never tried it and am not sure I’d want to without someone on hand to give me a breath if it caused my lungs to collapse (seriously).  I use mullein quite often to make syrups for the kids and love the gentle way it works to loosen phlegm and quiet coughs at the same time. I’m curious to see how well the cowslip works in comparison to these other plants.

Why the poppies? Well, because they’re beautiful, of course. And they attract bees for pollination…lots of good reasons to plant poppies.

These plants, while not woodland plants or ginseng companion plants (except for the ginseng, of course), will also be part of the offerings brought to market in April. (Except the poppies. Those are being seeded directly into beds where they’ll stay.) We’ll have them at the farmer’s market in Huntsville, Arkansas on Tuesdays if you’d like to stop in. I can legally ship plants by mail now, but these will be too young yet and I’m not set up with boxes and packaging for that anyway. Maybe one day soon. For now we will just fill orders and sell from the market venue.

The links I gave to the plant information goes to the electronic version of “A Modern Herbal” by Maud Grieve, originally published in 1931. This is one of my favorite resources for medicinal herbal information.

I’ll be drawing up an availability list with prices soon. If you want to get on that mailing list, be sure to fill out the form at our nursery page and send it to me.

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

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.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Ginseng, strawberries, and Google+ listings

Handy wild strawberry/ginseng comparison graphic

Yesterday I posted a handy image for those of you trying to tell the difference between wild strawberry and first year ginseng. I keep forgetting that when I post a new page to this website, post subscribers don’t see it.

So here’s the link to it. Please pin this photo to your Pinterest boards and share it to your favorite social medias. Just since posting it last night there’s been nearly 30 +1’s and a few reshares through Google +.

Google Local Business Listing

Speaking of Google+, I’m waiting on the postcard with our verification code to arrive. Once it gets here, if all works the way it’s supposed to, we’ll have a Local Business Listing on Google that won’t divulge our home address. Since we don’t have a public place of business, this page will list the hours and days we’ll be at the farmer’s market in Huntsville this spring. As we begin to go to craft shows and other festivals, I’ll post those dates and locations there too.

Reviews/Ranking at Google+

Your reviews will help us get better ranking with Google. Since we haven’t set up shop anywhere in real-life yet, we haven’t had any personal interaction or sales encounters to give us the opportunity to ask for reviews. But many of you have shopped online with us! So if you’ve ordered anything from our website and was happy with your experience, please head over to our page and give us a few stars or a review! We don’t have any at all yet… and I’m not exactly sure how to leave a review myself, lol, so if you have any clues please comment below and let me know. Of course, if you were unhappy with your experience shopping with us, I’d sure like a chance to make it better. Please email me and I’ll get to work on that right away.

Ginseng Seeds

Also, Dennis Lindberg from Ozark Mountain Ginseng sent a newsletter out to say he still has seeds and some rootlets available if you didn’t get yours ordered earlier. Our seeds are still in the refrigerator (what’s left of them) and they haven’t started sprouting yet. I’m planning to pot some more up for the market on the next warm spell. Soon they will, and you can still plant them but you have to be careful not to break off the tiny little root sprouts when you do. If you break it, the seed will die.

ginseng seeds

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

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.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Cover and Sample Page

Here’s the cover and sample page for “Forest Companions”, the last book in the “Into the Ginseng Wood” series. Should be at Amazon by the weekend! If you want to catch up on the others, heres a link to the first one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OFAMAS6. They open into full page photos, no double-tapping required!

Click on the image below to go to the latest release.

forest companions cover image

 

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

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.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Ginseng Root Prices 2014

 

Here’s the link to our page on 2016 Ginseng Prices .

The 2014 ginseng prices is a discussion and information page for diggers, growers, and dealers/buyers. Prices discussed on this page are from diggers and dealer/buyers- wholesale- NOT retail prices.Wild Ozark's Logo in color

Click here for more information on buying retail wild American ginseng. Retail prices on ginseng are higher than digger/dealer levels.

The rest of this page is for 2014 prices. We’ll be posting new information and updating each year so look for the current year’s prices page if the link above isn’t current any longer.

For other posts about ginseng, go here: Ginseng Headlines and Articles.

What are ginseng root prices 2014 ?

Today  (10-04-14) I was informed by a local digger that area buyers have stopped buying altogether or only offering very low ginseng root prices in Kingston, AR. If you have news from your area, please leave a comment. The word from one of our local buyers is that there’s been a flood of roots to the market, likely due to the Appalachian Outlaws show prompting more digging than ever before. The protests in Hong Kong have also played a part.

New UpdateSomeone told me they sold roots to a buyer in Harrison, AR for around $400-500/lb on 10/25.

2.7

 

  • prices range from 600.00 to 750.00 Lb dry wild Seng in Ohio (10/11/14)
  • Iowa – fresh ginseng root $220/lb
  • Kentucky – dried ginseng root $700/lb (roots legally procured in Arkansas, at least, should not already be dry…)
  • Arkansas, Harrison – $550/lb on 9/25 – no longer buying at all 10/1 (market bottomed out) 10/25 – buying again $400-500/lb

If you’re a buyer and want to list your contact info in the comments, feel free to do that as well. If you happen to be a merchant in China who wants to post information from your end of the world, please do. Translate to English before posting if possible.

ginseng look alikes
Get this laminated guide to help you identify ginseng.

 

I’ve moved the comments from my old blog over to this one and appended them here because I didn’t think they’d carry over when I moved the blog:

22 thoughts on “2014 Ginseng Root Prices”

  1. Ray Carter
    I’m new at hunting ginseng ,Being my first year . I live in eastern Iowa .So my question is 220 a lb. for Iowa ginseng and Kentucky is getting 700 lbs???????
  1. Madison WoodsPost author
    Ray, I think I’d ask around with some other buyers within the state. Here in Arkansas prices started around $500 and they generally go up before end of buying season. Prices vary, too, based on the quality of the root and whether the price is for dry or fresh. Fresh brings about 2/3 lower, I believe.
  1. Ray Carter
    Thanks Madison for your help,Seems all buyers have different prices.
  • TNA Wild Ginseng Co
    Hello ALL,We are still buying ginseng from Bethlehem PA.Here is our current prices:
    –Wild Ginseng (dried)…$700 to $900 Per LB…10-40 Years Old …Neck: 1–3 Inches
    (Each pound of ginseng contains about 20-30% of bulby roots. The average length of neck is 2 inches )–Wild Ginseng (dried)…$900 to $1100 Per LB…10-40 Years Old …Neck: 2 inches or longer.
    (the average weight of each ginseng is about 2 grams and each pound of ginseng should contain about 200 roots)–Wild Ginseng (green)…$200 to $350 Per LB…10-40 Years Old…Neck: 1–4 Inches
    (Note: DO NOT wash the green root, once washed they will go bad)Thank you
    TNA Wild Ginseng

 

  1. Madison WoodsPost author
    Thank you for that update. I’m sure you’ll get some replies!
  • Melissa
    wish you were in Ohio cause your prices look good. 600-750.00 here… Maybe I should hold off , but then again prices could drop. It’s a chance we take cause ya never know about these markets. Hope ya have a Great Season

 

  1. gerri
    Who buys in western PA? Looking for a legal buyer.
  • Peter
    Hi,Im in the market to buy some ginseng roots. Please email me what you have. Thanks

 

  1. Ray Carter
    I have seven lbs. not dry yet,Very large and old roots has never been hunted around these parts. Will be selling local unless find better deal. Must be a legal sell.
  1. Peter
    Hi Ray,Can you please email at peter030@gmail.com. I would like to get a price for these roots and shipping cost to Los Angeles, CA. Can you also send me some pictures. Thanks
  • matt
    3lbs wild call

 

  1. Peter
    Hello Matt,Thank you for your reply. Can you please email at peter030@gmail.com. I would also like to know pricing and see pictures of the ginseng.
  • bobby key
    looking for dealer that is buying wild ginseng and much you are paying for A pound I live at rockfield it is outside of bowlinggreen ky if are interest on any email me back at bobby42274(at)yahoo(dot)com hope to hear from you i am looking for the best dealthank you

 

  1. Madison WoodsPost author
    Hey Bobby, there’s a lot of people viewing this site so someone might contact you. But I’m going to edit your email address so it’s not a link – you’ll get a lot of spam if I leave it like it is from automated things that search the web for email addresses.
Reply ↓
  • Melissa
    prices range from 600.00 to 750.00 Lb dry wild Seng in Ohio
  1. Madison WoodsPost author
    Thanks – I’ll add this to the post body.
  • Dave Woodard
    Who is paying $1,100 with 2″ neck? My friends are finding some up to 11 1/2 and 2″ round all the way down!! We have sold 37 lbs in VA. Where can I take it to get more! Your help would be much appreciated!I would love to find better prices for next year. We still have 2 areas to go in this year.Dave

 

  1. Madison WoodsPost author
    Hi Dave, no one is buying at all in our area of northwest Arkansas. In the comments there were a couple of posters who listed contact information you could check with.
  • Jen
    Hi, I’m buying for personal and friend use. Can I buy from someone here? Thanks.

 

  1. Madison WoodsPost author
    We don’t have any here at Wild Ozark, but you can try contacting some of the ones who left email addresses. To buy/sell across state lines you’ll need a dealer’s license to stay legal.
  • Connie
    I would like some infort, On becoming a Wild Ginseng Grower. If you or anyone you know can help please e-mail me at touchofclassbyconnie@gmail.com. I would like who to by seeds from, the best sellers in Ga and how long does it take to and is the price going up or down in the next year. If you can help a lady out it would really help out.

 

  1. Madison WoodsPost author
    Hi Connie,I don’t have information specific to GA, but if you live near any rural towns at the stores there’s usually someone who knows who buys for that area and there might be signs up on the windows. That’s how they do it out here. As for seeds, if no one in your area grows and sells seed, then you might have to go to the region nearest you to buy them. I live in AR but have to buy seeds in MO. It takes 5 years before the plants are legal to dig, but they’re still small then. 7-10 years is better. If you’re wanting to grow wild-simulated, and wanting to do it sustainably, you’ll want to grow your colonies out to at least 100 plants per colony and harvest less than half of the ones producing seeds. Some studies suggest in colonies this size even if all of the seed-producing plants are harvested, as long as all of the seeds from those plants are replanted, your ginseng will continue to thrive year after year. I prefer to take half or less and allow a colony of mixed ages to carry on. There’s a lot of different opinions on the best way to do this and as time goes by you’ll probably find a comfortable solution.As for prices, there’s no telling. China buys most of the wild and wild-simulated and how much they’re willing to pay is what determines the prices growers are given by buyers. This year several factors played into really low prices. Too many roots in the market, instability in Hong Kong, and some buyers even quit buying altogether.I have books at Amazon with lots of photos of ginseng and companion plants if you’re unsure of where to plant your seeds, and Sustainable Ginseng gives references to studies about the ideal colony sizes for sustainability.Good luck on your venture!
I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

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.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Monster Ginseng Roots from Arkansas 2014

Click HERE for 2015 ginseng root pictures

2014 Monster Ginseng Roots

These monster ginseng roots from Arkansas were submitted by a digger in the Ozarks. He assured me he’d planted all the berries in the same location and only took a portion of mature plants. They broke the tops from the rest to keep them from being harvested in another sweep by other diggers.

2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 arkansas 1 arkansas 2 arkansas 3 arkansas 4 arkansas 5 neck

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

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.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Can’t Find Ginseng?

Ginseng with red berries. Still can’t find ginseng? This post is for you.

“I can’t find ginseng!”

If you’ve been getting frustrated because you can’t find ginseng, this post is for you.

First of all, remember, it’s only legal to dig ginseng in Arkansas from September 1 – December 1. You’ll have to check the rules for your state if you live elsewhere.

There are a few good reasons why you can’t find ginseng when you hunt it. These are the most likely reasons:

  • It doesn’t grow where you are looking
  • It’s already been dug
  • The older roots have already been dug and the tops of younger ones broken off
  • Your eyes are just not seeing it

It doesn’t grow where you are looking

Ginseng only grows in certain areas of the United States. Here’s a map that shows the natural distribution for American Ginseng: http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PAQU&mapType=nativity. Within the states highlighted on the map, it only grows in the areas that provide the proper habitat. Some of the listed states have a very limited amount of suitable habitat.

For example, although Louisiana is one of the listed states, the area in that state that supports the habitat ginseng requires is extremely small. If your state isn’t listed in that map, then it’s not likely that it grows there at all. You can’t find ginseng if it doesn’t grow there in the first place.

Although there are many suitable places in Arkansas, not all of the state, nor even whole counties, has the right habitat. Even on our own property, located in a county with plentiful habitat, of all the acres we own only a small portion of it is suitable. If you can’t find ginseng, the first thing to check is if you’re looking in the right places.

It’s already been dug

Areas that were once perfect have no ginseng left because too many diggers took too many plants without replacing seeds. And they’ve often taken plants out of season when seeds weren’t even ripe. So even in a spot that shows all the signs of having good habitat, it’s likely you can’t find ginseng because there’s no ginseng left there to find.

The older roots have already been dug and the tops of younger ones broken off

Many seasoned diggers, the ones who come back to a spot year after year, break off the tops of remaining plants when they’re done taking what they want. They do this so anyone who comes after them to that spot won’t see any ginseng to take. While this isn’t ideal for the plant’s health, it sure beats being dug. Usually the diggers who do this want to ensure the patch continues to survive to provide roots for the future. If you can’t find ginseng and all other conditions are right, it might be because someone doesn’t want you to find it.

Your eyes are just not seeing it

I have covered this issue in an earlier post when I mentioned how hard the plant is to see. Usually it’s only the first plant that’s hard to find. Once you’ve found one, it seems to train your eyes to see them so finding the next ones are easier. That’s how it works each time I go into the woods to look for them. Find companion plants first. It at least narrows down the search for suitable habitat. If you don’t see any companions, odds are you can’t find ginseng there either.

Companion plants (plants that grow where ginseng grows) will usually be in the right habitat even if the ginseng is not. I have a book with lots of photos of these plants. It’s available here at our store and also through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. The paperback version is only available through our store and Amazon.

In summary, if you know the habitat is right for ginseng and have spotted the companion plants that indicate proper habitat, if you still can’t find ginseng the chances are good that it’s just not there or your eyes aren’t seeing it (because either the stems are gone or it’s hiding right beside you and you just can’t see it).

Other Posts You Might Like

Do you have a question about ginseng?

If I can’t find the answer, I might be able to find someone else who knows.

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

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.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Questions About Ginseng

Caring For, Finding, Growing, Digging and Selling Ginseng – These are Wild Ozark’s most often asked questions about ginseng.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ginseng

1. Why can’t I find ginseng?

  • you’re looking in the wrong places
  • it isn’t there
  • someone hid it
  • For a more in depth response to this question, click here.

2. Can I dig in one state and sell in another?

At least in Arkansas, not without a dealer’s license. Here’s a quote from the Arkansas State Plant Board ginseng regulations:

1. Any person, business, or corporation who buys wild or artificially propagated American Ginseng for sale across state lines shall be termed a dealer by intent of Act 774 of 1985, and shall obtain a Ginseng Dealer License and a Certificate of Legal Taking from the Arkansas State Plant Board.

3. When should you plant ginseng?

In late fall, before the ground begins to freeze. Out here (northwest Arkansas) the ground never freezes solid long, so I’d also plant during winter on days that aren’t too cold.

4. Where do I sell my ginseng?

Check around September on the windows of stores in the small towns of your area. Buyers will often post notices to say when they’ll be coming to town. You can also check the classifieds of your electric coop magazine (if you get those out there). Fur buyers will often buy ginseng or know of ginseng buyers in the area. I’ve seen notices posted in the classified section of our local newspaper before, too.

5. Finding ginseng

You can find ginseng in deep forests on north, west, or east facing slopes. It helps a lot to know the companion plants that grow in the same areas ginseng grows: black cohosh, bloodroot, doll’s eyes, maidenhair fern, Christmas fern, pawpaw, wild ginger. These plants are easier to spot than the ginseng itself. If you’re trying to find a suitable site for growing your own, it’s good to plant in places these plants grow if the site has sufficient shade.

6. Ginseng seed

To buy seed, I suggest you get it from as local a source as possible. We get ours from Ozark Mountain Ginseng in Thayer, MO. We’re not in the same state, but we are both located in the Ozarks, at least. Seeds and plants produced locally are adapted to your local conditions and will more easily thrive. I’ve heard that Wisconsin seeds do thrive just fine here in the Ozarks, but I am concerned about genetic pollution and try to minimize the difference between the cultivars with my introduced seeds. That’s why I try to get a genotype of ginseng that is at least similar to the wild type we have here in the Ozarks. Since it’s illegal to buy/sell/collect/trade wild ginseng seeds, this is the best I can do.

Ginseng produces a berry in summer. In the berry there are two seeds. When the berry falls to the ground it takes a full year of sitting there before it sprouts the second spring after falling. When you buy seeds they’ll be stratified (usually). This means the seed has already waited the first year (usually outside buried in a bed or bucket of sand) and will be ready to sprout the spring after you plant it.

7. Ginseng companion trees

The trees that ginseng grows best under around here is a mix of the following: oak, hickory, maple, pawpaw, dogwood, redbud, beech and poplar.

8. What happens when ginseng gets too much sunlight?

Too much sun will bleach out the leaves making them turn whitish. Eventually the plant will die in these conditions but if the problem is confined to a small area, you can put up some shade cloth until the tree canopy closes in. If this is a problem in a large area, then the site is probably not suitable for ginseng to begin with.

9. How to tell the difference between poison oak/ivy/Virginia creeper and ginseng?

To the uninitiated, ginseng looks a lot like a few other plants. It’s most often confused with poison oak/ivy during first year growth because at that time ginseng only has 3 leaves. To tell the difference between ginseng and Virginia creeper, look at the leaves. Ginseng always has 2 tiny leaves and 3 larger ones (after the first year). All of Virginia creeper’s leaves are the same size.

In my book Sustainable Ginseng I have an id key for these two in a side-by-side comparison. I also have an article about the most common look alikes with an id key to this and other plants often confused with ginseng.

10. When does ginseng come up in spring?

It comes up here in northwest Arkansas in mid-April. Sometimes a plant skips a year and will remain dormant until the following spring.

11. Does drought kill ginseng?

If the summers are too dry, even if it’s growing in deep shade, sometimes ginseng will die back and go dormant until the following year when conditions improve.

12. Does ginseng still grow wild?

Yes, although many diggers have carried seeds in their pockets and planted while digging, so it’s impossible to know which is true wild and which is virtually wild. This is most likely the case everywhere ginseng is native.

13. Does breaking the tops off of ginseng hurt it? Will it come back next year?

Short answer: Not too much, and Maybe.

Although I’m sure having the tops broken off every year may not be good for the ginseng, if it is done late in the season after the berries have matured, it has some benefits. The main reason people do this is to “hide” the root from diggers. It would be better that the plant had the extra time with leaves to help restore energy to the root, but if poachers are an issue, it’s better for the plant than being harvested.

Sometimes deer eat the tops off of ginseng , and sometimes I harvest only the leaves. But I’ve noticed that when a plant is browsed or harvested of its leaves, it has a tendency to go dormant the following year. Then it comes back the next one. I try to not harvest leaves from the same plant two years in a row just so the plant has time to fully recuperate. But if there are many poachers in the woods any given year, I would rather top them all than lose them all.

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/

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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.


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Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods