4 thoughts on “What tools do you use to harvest Ginseng?”

  1. Trapper’s trowel. This is my tool of choice. I am used to using them from my years on the predator trapline. I seldom break roots or cut them unless I get in a hurry.

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    On the other side of the spectrum, I would never ever suggest anyone ever use a screw driver! Dealers I know -self included- see more damaged roots from screwdrivers than any other tool used to dig ginseng. Remember, damaged root is worth 1/3 of going market price otherwise.

  2. Believe it or not I have always tried to find a Spicewood bush, fairly straight, about the same circumference as a quarter, and cut a section about 2.5 to 3 feet long. I sharpen the big end and smooth the other end so it doesn’t wear a hole in my gloves. I use the stick like a cantilever. This is how my dad did it and I guess out of respect and nostalgia I do the same. This stick works very good to help keep your balance on uneven ground and to knock down tall weeds like stinging nettles and briers. I also carry a huge screwdriver just in case the ground is super hard. I always wear a pair of flexible leather gloves, I have learned from several years experience to SLOW down, dig slowly and concentrate on not destroying what you have worked so hard to find. Take a few deep breaths, remain calm because if you do not, you will break or destroy the root. Buyers want whole roots, not broken or scarred roots. most buyers pay a premium price for intact roots. If you are digging to transplant be especially careful and try to keep some of the dirt it came out of with it, it will reduce the shock of being transplanted. I am certainly no expert and I’ve broken a few roots over the years but if you will be very careful you should enjoy great success.

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