I've been reading a lot of the great info compiled on this site (Thank You!) and I have some general questions & a dilemma. I have land in another state that I know has wild ginseng growing throughout, problem is I don't live in that state and my property there is way off grid. Last year I did some scouting & planted some stratified seed from the same growing zone as my property in NY. This coming year I have hopes to harvest a little bit of what I scouted last year. Here's the dilemma, I can't stay at this property long enough to dry the roots properly. I've been reading here that there is a benefit to cool the roots in the fridge for 2 weeks up to a month, and then finish the drying in a temp controlled space, with good airflow. Could possibly have hubby stay to do that, but I worry about battling with the mice.
Newbie question #1: If I get the wet ginseng certified in NY by an inspector, can I take it across state lines to dry it, bring it back later to sell? Or is that strictly illegal-I don't want to break any rules.
Newbie question # 2 :Do you absolutely need refrigeration to get the best quality of drying, or is a temp controlled space with airflow adequate? Either one is tough to come by at my cabin. We have a fridge that's propane, but I don't trust it, I've had a lot of things freeze in the fridge portion.
Lastly in my situation, do you think I'd do best just to take a possible loss in true dried weight, and sell fresh roots? All in all, I don't ever expect to see much green from this, but if it helps offset the cost of our land in any way it would be nice. Thanks for any help!
I'm not up on New York state law, however, generally once ginseng is certified, it can be then taken across state lines. So, if you can certify yourself in NY (some states only dealers can certify), and you can certify green there, you might be able to dig and certify and then transport to another state to condition and dry your ginseng.
While conditioning is recommended by commercial growers and some buyers, not many diggers do this. So, it isn't necessary to do. The advantage is that it starts the drying process and normally results in lighter, more corkey (less dense) roots with better character and color.
As to which is better, selling green or dry is a gamble. This past year, I think most guys did better selling green than dry. That isn't always the case though.
Thanks for the response, I'm pretty certain an inspector has to certify the roots in NY, and I checked the state sites and found one reasonably near my camp. But as to the conditioning, it's good to hear that refrigeration isn't absolutely necessary. Even at home, I would question my fridge being able to accurately keep a good temp!
It's also good to hear that selling green isn't as bad as I thought it might be. That would take the burden off of us to make sure it's done properly. I'd hate to waste older roots due to my lack of knowledge, its why we didn't dig last year.
I'm itching to see what the local deer are going to do to the seeds I planted last year. I'm sure I'll have many more questions, and I'm glad there is a forum with knowledgeable people willing to share their advice. The first couple years at the cabin, we noticed a couple plants right in the walkway to the porch that had red berries (I think we might have run over said plants with the truck). We kept telling the kids not to touch it, red berries are normally bad, lol! Wasn't till I read an article on Mother Earth News that I knew what the plant was.
We are a long ways from you down in Ga. but I can tell the guys that
sold fresh last season did really well. We went as high as$275 for fresh
Last year, which equals $800 to $1000 per lb dry. You must understand
That this past year the fresh and dry market were independent of one
another. Most fresh was resold fresh into the Korean market, the dry
was sold into the Chinees market . At least that was the case down hear.
Most crewmembers refer to themselves that way (internal joke I guess). The majority of what we do is \"hooking\" up sling loads, those triple hooks get a lot of work. I was a crewchief, so in-flight mechanic, hook operator, ramp operator, internal load organizer, etc. In war zones you also have the extra duty of manning the guns to protect the aircraft/crew. Definitely nothing to do with a street lol! But yes, they are a very reliable workhorse.
I have never conditioned mine... not saying that's a bad idea, but I have been hunting seng since around 1976 and always just washed it, towel dried it gently and then put it on a window screen (in a thin layer) to dry. I don't use any heat, just a low humidity room with good air flow and no sunlight. It always drys with good color inside and out. It takes 5 weeks or so for it to dry out completely but I don't usually sell until Mid November so there is no need to rush it up.
I keep some of my harvest and eat it over the next year and I can tell you for sure it keeps well and eats well for a year (until I get my next years harvest).
I have never sold any green, just never did that... but it sounds like considering your situation you may have to consider that.