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I pick ginseng like once a year.

 

I was out hiking through the woods and meadows one day when I moved to the yooper and I ran across a ginseng flower. it was on the edge of a meadow and a copse of trees on a slight hill. 

 

I was like,... ahh cool.  Then I looked to my right and seen another one, even cooler; then I looked up and stepped back and seen an entire small hillside with a lot of sporadic ginseng.

 

I have done small harvests of that patch for 17 years now.

 

:-)

 

Don't ask where it is.... hahaha...!  I protect it more than my morel and shaggy mane patches.

 

But yes,... I pick a lot of stuff from the woods myself.

 

About a half dozen different mushrooms, ramps, ginseng etc.

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Late spring to early summer works best for me, you'll want to find them before the ferns get too tall. Try looking in older timber with land that hasn't been disturbed in at least 20 years. Older & larger sang takes up to 30 years to fully mature. They almost always grow on hillsides & shoot roots great distances, look for the plant & dig down to the roots, then try to follow the roots up or down.

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It is 100% illegal to harvest wild Ginseng in Michigan. You have to get a license through the DNR which they haven't issued in years and years now.

 

It is an endangered species because of over harvesting. Due to it taking many many years to grow, it is very hard to replace. It is a state and federal crime.

 

So,... don't do what I do,... and if you do,.. learn how to properly manage your magic wild plot so it thrives and is not depleted.

 

:-)

 

You can plant your own and harvest all ya want though.  It takes years and years to get there. Properly grown anyway. Even 'improperly takes 3-4 years.

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There is also a ginseng "hunting season" in the late summer through fall when the berries are showing. In Illinois, it runs from the first Saturday in September through November 1. In Indiana, it runs from September 1 through December 31. Don't hunt ginseng outside of the season.

 

You are required to bury the berries in close proximity to where they were hunted. Do not hunt from someone else's cultivated "patch".

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Michigan Ginseng Certification Program

One of the lesser known, but very interesting small agricultural crops grown in Michigan for export is American ginseng, Panex quinquefolius L. Michigan's Ginseng Certification Program was established to promote the production and harvest of cultivated ginseng. Wild ginseng is rarely found in Michigan and is a threatened (legally protected) plant. Federally, wild ginseng is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Click here for Ginseng Frequently Asked Questions.

What is the difference between Wild and Cultivated Ginseng?

  • Cultivated ginseng is ginseng growing or grown in managed beds under artificial or natural shade and cultivated according to recognized horticulture practices.

     

  • Wild ginseng is ginseng growing or grown in an uncultivated state or harvested from its natural habitat. Wild ginseng includes ginseng that was introduced to its natural habitat by sowing ginseng seed or transplanting ginseng plants from other areas and then performing no standard cultivation practices.

What does Ginseng Look Like?

Ginseng Plant

 

Ginseng Root

 

Ginseng Farm

Ginseng look-a-like plants

Wild Sarsaparilla

 

Bunchberry

 

Jack-in-the-pulpit

 

The Michigan Ginseng Act

Act 184 of the Michigan Ginseng Act regulates the harvest, sale, and distribution of American ginseng grown in Michigan. Act 184 makes it unlawful to take American ginseng from the wild without a permit from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). Currently, the MDNR is not issuing any permits to harvest wild ginseng. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division (PPPMD) administers the state ginseng certification program. 

Michigan Ginseng Licenses

The Michigan Ginseng Act authorizes MDARD to issue both the Michigan Ginseng Grower's License and the Michigan Ginseng Dealer's License.

  • A Michigan Ginseng Grower's Application is required only in the year a ginseng grower harvests and distributes the harvested ginseng roots. The license runs from August 15 to August 14 of the following year and costs $25.
  • A Michigan Ginseng Dealer's application authorizes the dealer to buy, collect, or otherwise acquire ginseng roots for resale or export from the State of Michigan. The license expires annually on August 14th and costs $100. 

     

Certifying Cultivated Ginseng for Sale

After the fall harvest is completed, a PPPMD inspector will conduct an inspection of the ginseng roots and will supply the grower with a Michigan Ginseng Inspection Certificate. This certificate is a legal document that establishes the origin, weight, condition and source of the ginseng roots and also certifies that the ginseng was harvested legally within the State of Michigan, and that all State and Federal laws pertaining to the harvest have been complied with. 

 

Links of Interest

For more information, please contact: 

John Hill, State Ginseng Coordinator, Phone:  231-922-5233

 

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Where things get tricky is the definitions of "cultivated" vs "woods-cultivated" vs "wild-simulated" vs "wild".

 

If I were to plant ginseng seeds in a patch of forest, with no soil amendments or other adjustments, the State of Michigan would consider that to be "wild" and unavailable for hunting. 

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  • 4 months later...

I wanna bump this thread and also discuss the consumption of ginseng. I love it in all of it's forms: powered, tincture, or dry root. I buy my ginseng from a grower in Ontario through ebay. But I'm interested in finding Michigan grown product nearby, if it is available. I'd really like to see an active ginseng operation. I know there is a major center for cultivation, grading, and export located in Wausau, Wisconsin.

I find one very noticeable affect of ginseng is "morning wood". Seriously. Ginger is the same way, but ginseng is like superconcentrated shwing.

I figure that it also must be similar beneficial for the rest of the cardiovascular system.

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On ‎7‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 4:29 PM, mishigami bear said:

I wanna bump this thread and also discuss the consumption of ginseng. I love it in all of it's forms: powered, tincture, or dry root. I buy my ginseng from a grower in Ontario through ebay. But I'm interested in finding Michigan grown product nearby, if it is available. I'd really like to see an active ginseng operation. I know there is a major center for cultivation, grading, and export located in Wausau, Wisconsin.

I find one very noticeable affect of ginseng is "morning wood". Seriously. Ginger is the same way, but ginseng is like superconcentrated shwing.

I figure that it also must be similar beneficial for the rest of the cardiovascular system.

I know a guy that's starting up a small ginseng farm in Michigan. Haven't seen it myself. 

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  • 1 year later...

I like these guys (wildgrown.com from Wisconsin). They are well regarded in the ginseng forums that I frequent.

I'm gonna order 1 pound of seeds (~7000 seeds) for $150. But they have lesser amounts too, down to a 2 ounce package (~900 seeds) for $35.

You can probably find cheaper on ebay, but you risk poor germination rates.

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