The pleasurable activity of “ sanging” or digging ginseng was also one of the most profitable for frontier families. The hardwood forests of Appalachia were the ideal environment for this hardy perennial. Through most of the 19th century tons of ginseng were shipped annually to Asia where it was highly valued for its medicinal properties. In mountain communities, it played an important role as a source of ready cash for subsistence farmers. By the end of the 19th century, over-harvesting led to a sharp decline in production, and poaching on private and public lands remains a problem. Ginseng production remains profitable and sustainable by careful cultivation of commercial ginseng or if only the older wild plants are harvested and their seeds replanted.

Multimedia:

Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio:

[audio:http://digitalheritage.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Gensing60Mx.mp3|titles=Gensing60Mx]

Related Posts

  • Civil War Experiences in Cherokee CountyCivil War Experiences in Cherokee County This is an American History unit for second graders that focuses on the life of Abraham Lincoln and the impact he had on the war. It also examines the Underground Railroad and the life of […]
  • Fontana DamFontana Dam In order to develop atomic weapons during World War II, the Federal Government needed a source of energy to power the top-secret Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Out of that need the […]
  • Apple ButterApple Butter Apple butter is a concentrated form of apple sauce made by boiling apples with cider and adding spices like cinnamon. . .
  • Folk MedicineFolk Medicine Not all people in western North Carolina regularly go to the doctor when they get sick. Some still rely on the traditional folk medicine of their ancestors, drawn from the regions many cultures. . .
  • Kirk’s RaidersKirk’s Raiders Essay by Timothy N. Osment History M.A. WCU 2008 In late 1862, a rag-tag group of Union sympathizers and Confederate deserters spent several days terrorizing the citizens of Madison […]