Goldenseal and Ginseng Production in Oregon or Washington
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Paul Bubrick
Posted on: November 27, 2006

Has there been any attempts to cultivate goldenseal or siberian ginseng on the coastal mountain ranges of Oregon or Washington?

Lots of history in this region (Columbia River Gorge), some successes, and one horror story coming up. Ginsengs and goldenseal were cultivated along the Columbia River back in 1933. Some of both escaped and have gone native. The horror story is about what happened up in the Canadian Okanagans. The problem there is too much moisture (snow-pack), leading to crown rot and other related viruses.

Quintizine is used to protect against crown rot, and now there are import laws restricting this chemistry. Your very best crops work from a terracing situation, with snowpack less than 30 inches per year. Or, you could have heavy cover from evergreens. Those soils are not the best for these kinds of crops, however.

I would pass on the Siberian ginseng, and think toward an American variety. Those markets are far more stable, open-ended, and with serious shortage ahead. You would be double-safe putting only 6 acres of each year for the next four years. Both prices have gone up significantly this last, with shortage and non-domestic productions.

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