Wow, it's great to finally join you guys. Due to my lack of computer skills, It's taken me a year to join the forum. Thanks Mike for the help.
I've been reading everyone's posts and enjoy not only the ginseng topics but the fishing and peach tree discussions as well as others.
As an introduction, I'll share with you all how I came to be here, I'll try to keep it brief but no promises.
In December 2017, my wife and I moved from Oregon to WV looking to escape the city(s) and enjoy rural America. We've succeeded in that and the move has allowed me to retire and my wife plans to retire at the end of this year.
Sometime late winter or early spring 2018, I sat down in the living room to eat lunch and began channel surfing. We didn't have TV the three previous years in OR. I stumbled upon "Appalachian Outlaws" and after watching an episode, recorded the rest to watch later. I wasn't sure how accurate the programs were nor how much was "Hollywood BS" but I was intrigued. I wondered if any ginseng grew on my property.
I met a neighbor about that time who had done odd jobs for the previous owner and was friends with the guy renting the house until we bought it. I brought up the topic of ginseng and he said he had some, knew of nobody else in our area that was into it and that he had never seen any on my property. Bummer.
He offered to show me his honey hole so I could see what seng looked like. We found a couple plants on his property but encountered a bear on the way to his honey hole and decided to track the bear (go figure) which we did to his grandfather's old overgrown orchard.
I must've looked at a trillion plants last spring and summer on walks through our woods and often pointed to "lookalikes" and telling my wife, "that might be ginseng", "this might be ginseng". I had the fever but not the knowledge to even identify the plant. Despite everything I've mentioned, I ordered 1800 seeds to plant in the fall.
My wife let me buy a side-by-side (bless her heart) and last September while creating a trail to drive it on, something red caught my eye. I almost had a stroke when I realized it was a 3-prong seng. I scoured the area for more but found none. Oh well, my "honey hole" consisted of one plant. I at least could see a potential there.
The plant had 5 berries and after two disappeared I panicked and emailed Mike and he said to plant the remaining ones which I did. I checked on my plant almost daily then one day it was gone, eaten I suspect by a deer. It came back this year however with a couple youngins' just below it . Determined to differentiate between seng and its lookalikes, I studied my plant every time I walked up to check my game cam in that area.
In May, I was walking the opposite side of my property checking game cams. I heard a loud droning of a bee and wondered if it was a yellow jacket nest and turned my head to check it out and looked directly at a 3-prong seng. After a double-take, I walked over and confirmed it was seng. I spent the next hour searching and found numerous more plants. Elated, I almost ran down the mountain, I had to tell someone after all, my wife was like, "that's nice, can I retire now"?.
I went back there the next morning to make sure I wasn't dreaming and counted 30 two and three-prong plants. I didn't count any three-leaf plants since I wasn't sure I could accurately identify them.
I decided to systematically check my 100+ acres for more. I began checking the drainage slopes and while falling on my butt a few times, having to backtrack to find my favorite cap, I discovered two more patches, one with approximately 30 plants and the other about 20 plants.
Since then, I've only discovered a stray plant here and there.
I've also been checking where I planted last fall and am finding seedlings (right term?), in every location. One of my plantings happened to be within one of the patches though the plants had either died off by the time I planted or I just didn't recognize them.
So here I am. I have many questions for you folks but don't want to inundate you all at once. I realize you have been growing seng for years and since I've just caught the fever, I might come off over-zealous or ridiculous at times. If so my apologies.
I've ordered more seeds to plant this fall and look forward to watching my seng grow throughout the summer. At least those the deer don't eat first.
I've attached a few pics because I think Chieftain said he likes pics. I'm almost certain the last pic with three leaves is a seedling, yea?
Anyway, thanks for reading this and I look forward to discussions and learning from you all moving forward.