Last week I hiked across my granny's mountain property that boarder's the Blue Ridge Parkway to see if anyone has taken/stolen any of her wild ginseng. Luckily no evidence was discovered. I could harvest the crop now since it is on private land but I decided to wait for another week or so. Lot of poachers have been arrested during this time of year. And now there is a new marking system which was developed by Jim Corbin, a plant protection specialist with the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, will identify those harvested plants from our National Parks. A dye is attached to the root with a permanent adhesive and incorporates a specific color of bright orange. With the use of trained dogs, Park workers place the dye near the roots, and as the plant pulls moisture from the ground, it soaks up the dye. (link & other article) Wild North Carolina dried ginseng brought in almost $450 to $550 a pound last year (Link). This link will also tell you where one can sell their roots. And now even before the harvest season folks on eBay are selling it "wet" for great prices: Example 1, Example 2 and Example 3. There are more listings but you get the point. Prices this year might go even higher due to area droughts. If you own land I would advise to you look out to trespassers whether you dig for this plant or not. You can offer other folks to dig on your property to split the profits but that is your decision. Also the State offers permits to dig in out National Forests if so inclined. Might be fun too. Here's the link: Permits Here's a great video on how to spot this plant: [video=youtube;CmC1-kXwZl8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmC1-kXwZl8[/video] And how to dig the plant up (the proper way): [video=youtube;n6oxQ6lNRZw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6oxQ6lNRZw&feature=related[/video] Happy Hunting!