Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ginseng Update

Hi Everyone!

I just got off the phone with Joe Wood, the ginseng buyer who comes to the Kingston square to buy roots. He said he'll be here the first and third Saturday, starting last Saturday. So he'll be back again on Sat. Oct. 4 from 3:15-3:45, and at the same time again on the 18th of Oct. He may also be here during the month of November on the same schedule. He said he bought ginseng for only $400/lb last Saturday but that he anticipates being able to offer a lot more the next time he comes to town. He will usually start out lower on the first buying day and get better prices as the season progresses. Last year he started out higher, around $545/lb on that first day and ended up paying over $800/lb by the end of the season.

Here is his contact info, if you'd like to call him:

Joe Wood

There is an herbwalk/ginseng planting/transplanting day scheduled for Nov. 1. Originally it was set for Nov. 8, but I have recently found out that this is also the opening day of gun season for deer. Not a good day to be in the woods, even if I do think no one else should be on the property. The herbwalk will take between 2-4 hours and will cost $25. We will also harvest goldenseal if time allows and you'll get a chance to see how easy it is to find even when there aren't any leaves showing above ground. If we are lucky, we'll also see bloodroot. It's just as easy to find where it's plentiful, but it's not always plentiful where I'm looking so it takes longer. The goldenseal roots are very yellow and the leaf bud sits just below the ground cover of fallen leaves, and the bloodroot is red and sits the same way just below the leaf cover. I'll show how I plant ginseng seeds and we'll transplant a few roots. You'll get to see the difference in soil types in the woods and learn what areas are best for ginseng, goldenseal, black cohosh and bloodroot. If we are running late, I'll escort those that need to leave out and the ones who want to stay and do more planting with me are welcome to stay. I usually just spend all day in the woods on planting day. So bring a lunch, snacks, and drinking water. Wear sturdy shoes and long pants, bring a jacket in case it gets cool, and a camera if you want to take pictures or drawing pad if you prefer to sketch.

We'll head up the mountain at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. Email me for directions if you've never been here before. The road is long and sometimes bumpy, so if you have a car with low ground clearance or low profile tires, you might prefer to drive a truck or I might be able to arrange for you to meet in the square at Kingston and catch a ride in from another participant.

If you've reserved rootlets, I'll be starting to dig and ship those next weekend. There aren't many left, so if you didn't reserve any and you want to get on a list, let me know. All the rain earlier during the season washed out a lot seeds so I didn't have as many as first predicted.

Happy Ginseng Hunting!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Not Much

Not too much going on these days. Gary's still working on the house but the going has gotten slower. Our helpers had other jobs waiting for them and now they can only come on rainy days or off days from their other jobs. Nelson, Gary's electrician friend from the Borden days, came up to lead the wiring job. He left as Gustav was getting close to landfall to take care of getting his own house ready for that. Now everyone is watching as Ike approaches, but it looks like this one will go far enough west to not have such a large impact on the Baton Rouge area. Mom and dad are here waiting out the power outage Gustav left behind. If Ike does go too far eastward, then a lot of folks without power now will go even longer without. Gasoline supply is sure to be an issue soon (for generators) if that happens.

Fall is definitely in the air here now. It's been nice and cool in the lower 50's at night lately and all day the temps have been mild. Yesterday I saw a beautiful grass snake crossing the road. I haven't seen one of those in years and it was fun to hold his lithe lime green self when I helped ensure he got across safely. That's one of my favorite reptiles, such a gentle cutie. Even someone terrified of snakes should be able to tolerate these being around.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Gustav lands

It's been a strange experience watching Gustav from a distance this year. The last hurricane I went through was Katrina, and I had to stay at work for 48 hours, sleeping on the concrete floors in a sleeping bag. My coworker, Michele, and I were the only ones there in the lab. Katrina wasn't so close to us in landfall as Gustav is. Michele is there alone this year to weather out the storm. Well, not quite alone- I forgot Binki will be with her, lol.

What makes it such a strange experience is that it's so hard to not watch the news and progress of the storm on television. Even though it won't affect me here very much, if at all, the rest of my family and friends are down there in the storm's path. They all live between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and my oldest son's grandparents live in Houma and Labadieville. Houma was hit pretty hard and Charlie is sure hoping his bottle collection is still standing when he returns home after evacuation orders are over.