Science You Can Use
Planting alternative crops such as American ginseng is increasingly popular among forest landowners. Ginseng, a native medicinal herb prized throughout the world, can be deliberately cultivated under a forest canopy. As landowners in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States become more aware of possible income opportunities from American ginseng, they’re asking for more information from foresters and extension agents about how to plant, cultivate and market the herb.
In 2011, Virginia Cooperative Extension developed a publication to provide extension agents, foresters and landowners with information on American ginseng and how it can be profitably farmed in the forest. SRS forest products guru Jim Chamberlain contributed to this comprehensive guide, which includes sections on ginseng ecology, laws and regulations (harvest is regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), the selection of growing sites, seeds and planting methods, harvesting and drying of roots, and marketing and profit potential.
Access the full text pdf at http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/37547 .