Watauga Extension Hosts Workshop on Wild Simulated Ginseng Production

Published Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 4:08 pm
A fellow holds up a ginseng root. Photo courtesy Jim Hamilton

A fellow holds up a ginseng root. Photo courtesy Jim Hamilton

Are you interested in learning how to grow ginseng?

A boy picking the ginseng berries, saving them to plant later. Photo courtesy Jim Hamilton

A boy picking the ginseng berries, saving them to plant later. Photo courtesy Jim Hamilton

The market for wild and wild-simulated ginseng has averaged around $900 per dried pound over the last few years. If you own mature forestland with good soil and drainage, ginseng may be a viable way to produce income from your underutilized woods. Ginseng is a tricky plant to grow successfully and takes between 7-10 years to reach a size favored by the Asian markets to which it is exported.

Cooperative Extension will be hosting a workshop on wild-simulated ginseng production on Thursday, October 1, at 2 pm at the Watauga County Agricultural Conference Center, 252 Poplar Grove Road. Dr. Jim Hamilton from Cooperative Extension and Travis Cornett, a commercial ginseng grower, will provide an overview of ginseng production followed by a field demonstration on how to successfully plant wild-simulated ginseng.

Topics will include:

  • Background on ginseng
  • Site selection, soil fertility requirements, & companion plants
  • Site preparation
  • Planting methods
  • Production issues—(pest mitigation & poaching issues)
  • The market for ginseng

Cost of the workshop is $75.  Participants will receive a starter kit of ¼ to ½ pound of stratified ginseng seed, rootlets, and a copy of “Growing & Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal, and other woodland medicinals”— (a value of over $150). Seed, rootlet, and guidebook supplies are limited to the first 30 paid registrants.

Please call or come by the Watauga County Extension Office to register for this workshop. Checks may be made out to Watauga County CES. It is recommended that you send in a soil sample of the area you are thinking about planting and bring your soil report to the workshop. Total workshop registration will be capped at 50.

This workshop is made possible through a grant from the TVA Ag & Forestry Fund and PHARMN (Preserve Heritage Agriculture & Regional Markets Now…www.pharmn.org)

For more information, contact Dr. Jim Hamilton at the Watauga County Cooperative Extension at 264-3061 or at [email protected].

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