Wisconsin exports ginseng?

Whoa. That one caught me by surprise. Nonetheless, Governor Doyle is happy to announce a new trade agreement with China over the matter.

Ginseng is a plant grown primarily for the root. Wikipedia says the Chinese believe the root can clean your excess Yang . (I’m thinking that might not be legal in America. 😉 ) The photo is from the article and is labeled as a ginseng field from Wisconsin.

Who knew the state was so balanced?


  1. Randy in Richmond says:

    Maybe there are different types of ginseng but it grows here in the wild–and in the mountains. It is very valuable and lives have been lost protecting the growing sites. It is right up there with white lightning. A very small amount is worth a great deal of money.

  2. Oh yes! I was quite surprised, too, when some Chinese friends told me about it. Wisconsin ginseng is PRIZED so much that other nations label their produce with our name in hope of fetching a higher price.

  3. Well I’ll be darn.

  4. And cultivated Wisconsin shang had pretty well ruined the wild ginseng market in the 80’s. Overproduction forced a lot of growers out as fast as they came in.

    Once they figured out that it took 5 years to bring a crop to market, that cultivating it was stoop labor, and that it was just as susceptible to fungus in the 5th year as the first there were a bunch of folks who lost the stomach to grow it.

    It was big news in Clark, Wood and Marathon counties and caught on in Richland and Vernon as well back then.

    Kathryn is absolutely correct that there is far more Wisconsin ginseng on the world market than Wisconsin could ever produce. In fact, Wisconsin’s biggest competitor may be pirated Wisconsin shang.

  5. Ok. Grumps, you win the amazing revelation of the day award. I bow before your amazing knowledge of this subject. (Don’t get used to that bowing thing.)

  6. Hey, with all that bowing, you could be cultivating Wisconsin ginseng!

    One of my college roommates went on to grow ginseng for a while near Wausau. I do remember her talking about the long production time. She gave it up though, maybe it was too much stooping over?

  7. Santa's Elf says:

    So exactly what does a chinaman take if he has excess ying? Perhaps we could grow that stuff without all the stooping!

  8. “Santa’s Elf,” huh? I think we used to call them Subordinate Clauses.