On December 4th and 5th, 2015, the North Carolina Natural Products Association will host an all-star gathering of ginseng experts at the second International American Ginseng Expo to discuss the impact of wild and wild-simulated American Ginseng on the economy, health, and culture of Western North Carolina, Appalachia, and the nation. (Tickets here for International American Ginseng Expo.)
The Expo on the “king of herbs” is open to the public and tickets for one or both days are available in advance, and if space allows, at the door on the days of the event. The event will be hosted at UNC-Asheville’s Highsmith Union and includes vending and poster presentations from the scientific and research community.
Local and national celebrity, “Junkyard” Sam, area resident and one of the stars of the History Channel’s Appalachian Outlaws, will be attending to talk about his family’s tradition of digging, why he joined the show, why he hates poachers as much as anyone, and what he is doing to preserve the plant in the wild for future generations.
W. Scott Persons, renowned Ginseng grower and author and Bob Beyfuss, retired Ginseng specialist from Cornell University will share their comprehensive knowledge of the opportunities and challenges with the cultivation of “wild-simulated ginseng” in a special Friday afternoon intensive for beginning growers. Both will return on Saturday for presentations. Dr. Jeanine Davis, Associate Professor of Horticultural Science, NC State University and herbalist Phyllis Light will present on Other Forest Botanicals in demand, while Chip Carroll of United Plant Savers and Wallace Souther will speak about creating sanctuaries for plants of concern. All presenters as growers, authors, educators, herbalists, conservationists, and researchers, have devoted their careers to developing ginseng as a profitable crop for forest landowners, to using and preserving it as a traditional medicine, and to conserving the plant for future generations.
Of serious concern is security and protection of wild and wild-simulated plots of American Ginseng on public and private lands. This will be a major topic of both days and expected to be a hot topic of the roundtable discussions to be held on Friday where attendees and speakers can sit together to discuss issues surrounding the industry. Other panelists include representatives of state and national government agencies tasked with the growth and regulation of the ginseng industry, export specialists, researchers and herbalists. The program includes in-depth and time-sensitive information for anyone interested in the conservation or horticulture of Panax quinquefolius (American Ginseng), or how entrepreneurs are blending value-added products made with ginseng.
“We’re so excited to host the 2015 International Ginseng Expo. It’s been exactly 300 years since American Ginseng was discovered in America by European settlers although Native Americans already used leaf and root medicinally. In 2012, the US exported 45,000 lbs of wild ginseng and 342,000 lbs cultivated ginseng. As wild stands diminish, we are so moved to see those that have been harvesting for generations continue to be land stewards, putting a lot more ginseng seed back in the wild, hoping it will not be stolen. These stewards have saved American ginseng, as our beautiful Appalachia experiences more deforestation due to development. The expo will create an environment for serious discussions and a great time to network and swap techniques for wild simulation and cultivation. Anyone can help save American ginseng populations by growing a little in their small or large woodland plots, even in the city,” says Jeannie Dunn, NCNPA President and Owner of Red Moon Herbs.
To register and for more information, go to http://www.tinyurl.com/2015GinsengExpo.
Just so long as they don’t do what the AC-T does every 5 or 10 years – talk about how much you can make poaching ginseng, tell people where ginseng grows, and then top it off with a big full color picture of a wild ginseng plant.