Wildcrafted Goldenseal
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Nora Shepherd
Posted on: June 14, 2006

I am in southern Indiana and have access to lots of wildcrafted goldenseal. This year the rhizomes that are dug have been very big so far. I am interested in selling them for replanting. I had some come in today that are about 2 inches long and a few longer plus the fine roots. We try to be careful to not rob an area without being good stewards of the plants and the land.

At present I have a small operation but have the idea that we can grow with time. My family is helping me in this as I am wheel chair bound elderly woman with a desire to stay out of the ‘system’ and still be independent.

If there is an interest in the things I have stated, please let me know. I do have a desire to eventually start a shade cover cultivation business for goldenseal.

Let me ask you a question you probably should be asking yourself. If you know you are going to want to grow this crop "someday," and you know you must wait four years before you can take first harvest? Why not just reset the root into smaller sizes and begin growing your field NOW?

Wildcrafted root does not bring in the incomes for the effort (this year), not like growing it COG - field or forest farmed. Plus, the market demand for this root now is just beginning to grow back to where it belongs. Within four years it will be priced to be commensurate with effort. Start now for that future.

As for getting around in a wheel chair, most forest-grown operations require a small tractor - far more fun than driving a wheel chair. It can do more things, and with lots more POWER. You might have to build some swings to mount these various toys. Plows might also require a second person, helping behind the tractor.

If you want to do this, see it in your mind’s eye. It not only could happen, there are others already doing it - and none came from the Mobility Store. I will be available to help when you might ever need some technical insights. Keep your roots, split them yourself, and reset them for a forest farming operation (2 acre goal).

The roots are worth far more to you than cash. Trust me on that part, since you already know you’ve got good root to work from this year. Price right now for wildcrafted root on is $14/lb. You will never again pay that little for such a goo9d root. Keep it for your own dream. Then, if you can’t or don’t want to do it, sell the field to someone that does or can. That’s my best advice.

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