Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thinking about a cash crop

Before you get too carried away I'm not planning on a pot field. (That's what closets and grow lights are for.) LOL But, from some research I've done on the Internet, one could make some pretty good money from raising ginseng. Although cultivated ginseng in no way demands the high price per pound that wild "seng" brings it is still a good investment of time, land and money to raise and harvest. From what I have read (and I will be reading much more) one can expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 to $100,000.00 from an acre of cultivated ginseng in about 5 to 7 years of growth. The idea is to plant some each year for maybe 7 years and then in the 7th year you harvest, sell and replant more in that spot. The 2nd year you do the same with your next plot of ground and on and on. This would give you an income each year after your first crop gets to harvest/market size. Now I have no plans for planting an acre but I would like to dedicate some land towards this venture. Property on a hillside under trees and out of the way would be great for my use. I'm not doing anything with this land anyway so why not put it to some use. You can plant seeds or small rootlets that you have found or dug yourself or you can order them here. There are many websites that sell these products.
My question is, do any of you raise ginseng and have you had any success with it? Is this a good idea? I would love to hear your comment or ideas on this subject, I think it would be a lot of fun. If I don't have enough to make any money at least I would have it for personal use. Below is some information that I found about Daniel Boone that I thought you my find interesting, I did.

Daniel Boone, often remembered as a pioneering woodsman in Kentucky for his fur trading prowess (among other things), made a good part of his fortune not only on furs and skins, but also on a small and unassuming plant known as ginseng that still grows throughout the forests of eastern North America.

Though Boone lost twelve tons of ginseng roots in 1788 when his boat overturned in the Ohio River on his way to market in Philadelphia, he did much better in subsequent years, amassing his fortune.


warren said...

Your question is my question too...what to do with your'll need buyers...once you do that...I'd say you're set!

Amy said...

I don't know the first thing about ginseng but I will say that people get themselves into trouble when they go searching for it on private property around here. It's so over-harvested here that I think it's actually considered to be an endangered plant species. Let us know what you decide. I'm intrigued!

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

Daniel Boone was over here in Boone, NC too! :-)

My husband says that wild is so much more valuable, that buyers can always tell the difference. Raising ginseng is tricky.

BAMBOO -- This crop is grown for its edible shoots, and can
produce 3 to 10 tons per acre. Bamboo is also used for a wide
variety of construction items, including furniture. Currently,
U.S. growers cannot keep up with the demand, so bamboo is being
imported from Asia.

mmpaints said...

I can't say for other states, but in Illinois, the state requires you to have a license to even have possession of ginseng from the DNR. The local paper frequently has ads looking to buy ginseng, goldenseal and a few other herb roots.

HermitJim said...

Who knows? It might turn into something that can help in the preps...

Keep us informed, ok?

TEAM HALL said...

Hey Chris! I think I'd put in a "still". lol Always customers for that. hehe Especially when the SHTF!
Do we have any more babies yet?

scoutinlife said...

Chris I thot the 2nd largest cash crop from Ky was weed! Lol The amish tried growing a big field of gin rood here about two years ago.... It was robbed in the middle of the night...... So they dont even try anymore..

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Wow! Reading your comments, I'm amazed! Who knew ginseng was such a big thing? Interesting facts about Daniel Boone, too. BTW, I know you're not crazy about Walmart, but hubby and I just came from there. I always check their clearance aisle when I'm there, and our Walmart has taken all oil lamps and lamp oil and put them in clearance. I got quarts of lamp oil that were regularly $2.57--on clearance for $1.50! Don't know if this is going on everywhere, but it might be worth a look! Take care!

Grumpyunk said...

I looked into Ginseng several years ago and decided that trying to grow it where I was at then wasn't gonna work. Kinda forgot about it till you reminded me here.

It looked like a lot of work to get established, but would pay off well if you got it going right. Figure you could gather seeds and Stratify them yourself and plant them wild for long term.
Let us know what you come up with.

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

I never realized ginseng was such a beautiful plant. I take ginseng daily. Chris, when you get the time, pop on over to my blog and pick up your Premios Dardo award.

Woody said...

Dang it you got me thinking about sticking more stuff in the ground this spring.

I would like to hear from some folks who have at least tried to establish a plot. The long term for results does bode well for a procrastinator like me though. That is why I'm so successful at growing cacti. I forget to water.


The Scavenger said...

Warren, Buyers would not be a problem. Always buyers for seng. Maybe be interseting.

Amy, There is still some wild ginseng around it's just getting a lot harder to find. The biggest reason being that people dig it too early, before it produces berries/seed. No seed, no seng.

Joann, Bamboo is another crop I would like to learn more about. I could use a lot of it here on the farm. Sounds like it may even be profitable too. Thanks.

MM, not sure about a license here in Ky, may need to check that. Hate to get "Busted" for having a seng patch. lol

Hermit Jim, I may be wise to just grow enough for medicinal use. The Chinese love the stuff and they grow older than dirt. Something to that I'm sure.

Team Hall, to many helicopters flying over to even think about a still now days. They are always on the lookout for Meth Labs these days. I get caught before I got the first batch off. lol Still no babies from Emily yet. Thanks.

Scout, you are right my friend, weed is King everywhere. My grandpa used to plant seeds and small roots that he had dug all the time at his house. He got robbed more than once. Thank you.

Gen, Ginseng is very big business. My grandpa used to dig 3 or 4 thousand dollars worth every year. Some people depend on it and golden seal (Yellow Root) to add to their income each year. I will check Zombie Mart for the lamp oil. Thanks, I could use some more of that.

Grumpyunk, thank you for coming over. Are you gonna try to grow some where you are now? Let me know how it goes for you. I'm gonna plant some this year maybe not a great deal but some anyway. Oh yea, I linked you to my bloglist too, good stuff you got going on over there.

Mary, ginseng in bloom is one of the prettiest plants in the woods I think. And when it turns yellow and has red berries it will knock your eyes out. Thank you for the award and I will do my best to get everything done for it. Thank you very much.

Woody, sorry man. But if you have a good harvest you may not be so sorry. lol If it's done right and in the right place I don't see it being much work at all really. Thank you man for the comment.

Well, looks like I'm going to order some small roots and some seeds to see how it all works out. I think it will be a lot of fun to watch it grow and I may even make a little $$down the road. Thank you all for your interest.


Grumpyunk said...

Hey Chris, Thanks for the link. I'll reciprocate this week.

I had totally forgotten about Ginseng till I saw your post.

Now you got me thinking. Hope you're happy, because that's always dangerous!

Thanks for planting a seed in my head again.

DayPhoto said...

I have always wondered about raising ginseng. Do you know if it would grow in the desert mountain region of zone 5/6? Or does it need to be in rich moist Kentucky soil?


debtex said...

Elderberries. I read an article about them as a crop but can't remember where. Maybe Homesteading Easy and there is a market for it.

Seibertneurolyme said...

Ran across your post by accident. Here is a link that should help with your research.


The Scavenger said...

Seibertneurolyme, I'm gald you got lost and ended up here, thanks for the link.