Ginseng harvesting season begins

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:42 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Ginseng farmers across the state begin to harvest ginseng root.

Marathon Ginseng Gardens Owner Ming Jiang said fresh ginseng root is what buyers market for most.

“People want to have the first taste of the season,” Jiang explained, “so we cater to mainly Asian supermarkets for this purpose.”

Jiang planted the crop he is currently harvesting six years ago. The crop generally takes five years to mature.

“The roots are mature and it’s time to harvest,” Jiang said with excitement.

The crop is covered throughout the years as Wisconsin winters can be detrimental to its growth. The harvest process includes removing the covering.

“We will remove the shade and the cables,” Jiang explained, “then we’re going to strip the top off the ginseng. And then we will be digging.”

Once uprooted, farmers must make new use of the land because ginseng cannot be replanted in the same soil.

“Ginseng has always been planted on virgin land,” Jiang explained. “When you replant, it will die in a year or two.”

Jiang said he plans to plant other vegetables.

“This land will be used for other crops, like corn, soybean, or just hay,” Jiang said.

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