Hello all. I am Tom and am new to the forum. New to ginseng digging. Have never even given ginseng a though other than in hot tea. A buddy of mine brought up the subject a few days ago and I began some research and quickly gained an interest. I enjoy the outdoors, and think heading out for a few weekends or so during the season to get away from the rat race would be great. Seems like a great hobby to get us out and maybe make a little cash during our ginseng hunting adventures.
Well, being a noobie, we have no idea where to begin. We live in Stafford, Virginia and are looking for somewhere to dig. Several google searches later and we still do not have any idea where to begin. So, any and all advice will be welcome.
Any good resources out there to show us where we can dig? My only thought is to contact a dealer and hope they can direct us to locations where we can dig.
I look forward to learning from everyone and hearing some good stories.
I am new to the forum myself but Ive been digging for quit a while. I'd be shocked if anyone will just flat out tell you where a big patch of 'Seng is. I'd say your best bet is to look thru the forum and study companion plants and the type of area that 'Seng favors then get out there and put some miles in those VA woods! You might be able to find someone that would be willing to take you along with them on a hunt but with all the poaching going on and with all the people thinking they can strike it rich digging roots after watching a TV show! I hope you have all the luck in the world and dig lots of Big Roots. If you do get into the 'Seng PLEASE plant all the berries and leave plenty for future generations. Don't get greedy and take it all. It is VERY important that we do our part to make sure that the plant we all love so much is around for years to come. Good Luck!
Welcome! I'm also a fairly new forum member, and I'm in about the same situation as you are. I'm located in the central VA area, and I've just now started getting into ginseng. I, too, love the outdoors and am always hiking and trying to get out west to the Shenandoah/Blue Ridge area to do some hiking. For the past couple weeks I've been doing my own research on ginseng and have typed of some notes on all the different aspects of the plant (from plant information to digging and growing) for myself. So, here's the advice and what I plan to do from what I've learned so far:
Now that VA is warming up a bit and we're finally hitting Spring, I'd recommend you go out on a weekend or whenever sometime to a random LEGAL area in the woods to start scouting for some seng. Scouting right now is good first step that will allow you to locate some plants for future digging. This can really help you out for when the season starts.
When the season comes, I plan to find some mountain sides that, of course, are not in state park areas or anyone's property, and hike through the area. I'll contact a local dealer once I've gathered enough.
Anyway, definitely watch some videos and read up more on ginseng as a plant and how to hunt it. There are some good videos out there with this one guy partnered with a Cornell organization. I can't remember his name, but you'll find him if you haven't already.
Good point, Josh and thank you for the response. My thoughts did not come out in text very well. You are right, I would be crazy to think someone would tell me where they dig. What I was trying to say was, are there resources available that I can use to find out where it is legal in Virginia to hunt and dig? How do you distinguish between private and non-private land? Seems fairly easy to stay away from state and federal parks or forests, but I don't want to wander onto someones property and get into any legal issues. We will definitely replant the seeds. We have no delusions about striking it rich. Simply think it would be nice to get out into the woods with a purpose.
VAhunter, thank you for your response. Good advice on getting started. Would you mind providing any advice on how to find random legal areas to scout?
Welcome to the site and good luck this season. As previously stated, one has to put on the hiking boots and log some miles to find patches of gensing. You seem to have the right attitude about doing this as a hobby and not trying to get rich quick. Try to secure private land for hunting and starting your own patch that you can farm and profit from for many years to come.
Yeah, that's definitely some good advice there. But, it's still very possible for you to hunt your ginseng on land that's unclaimed or abandoned. Just make sure you're well away from any areas that seem fairly private. Also there is no hunting on national park land whatsoever in VA, but other than that, go for it!