Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sang and Ramps




I'm fiddling about with ipainting -- a little program that's on my laptop.   The above is my attempt at drawing a ginseng plant. Alas, when I tried to crop it, I whacked off the bottom of the man-shaped root.
 
Dried ginseng root is thought to increase virility. For years it has brought a high price  and the wild plants were almost eradicated here in the mountains as 'sang' hunters  ripped up whole colonies and sold the roots for export to China. If there's any left in our woods, I don't know where it is. 

So I was excited to see that a root a neighbor gave me last fall had sprouted, bearing the characteristic five leaves. . . 

She also gave me a handful of ginseng seeds -- which have germinated -- the seedlings have only three leaflets.
Encouraged by this, I bought a bundle of ramps, a wild, garlicky bulb, at a local store and planted them. The leaf blades were a bit wilted but the root bulb looked healthy.  We once  had a little stand of ramps behind the house but some necessary track hoe work did them in.  

I'm hopeful both these wild Appalachian icons will take hold and flourish.
 
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17 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

Blogger is letting me down in the matter of pre-scheduled posting. I recently switched to the 'New' Blogger and it's possible I just haven't figured it out yet. So, better late than never, here's Saturday's post.

Ms. A said...

If I accidentally crop too much, I can go to edit-undo, or simply not save the changes and it goes back to what it was originally.

I didn't switch to the "New" Blogger... it switched me. Poop!

Brian Miller said...

yeah blogger is being a bit wonky there days after the upgrade...

cool pic you painted though...five leaves...that could be good, bad or really good...ha....hope it takes...

Kath said...

Yumpin Yiminies! WE have that all through the front woods. When we first moved in a man came to the door asking to ginseng hunt. He said he'd done it on our land for years and would leave plenty of roots.
I should have accompanied him so I could identify what I thought since was a Virginia Creeper.

Susan Whitfield said...

Vicki, don't let anybody come in there and uproot that new plant. Get our your shotgun if you must.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Vicki -- Yes, I understand that my property once had ginseng but hunters stripped it. One thing you might want to add to your Appalachians plant icons that is being depleted thanks to unscrupulous hunters is slippery elm. My neighbor tells me stories of bark being stripped from his trees creating eventually death for them. -- barbara

NCmountainwoman said...

I'm so glad you are returning those great plants to your farm. When I was a girl in Watauga County we always dreamed of making a fortune selling ginseng to Wilcox Drugs. We didn't get any more ambitious than dreaming, though.

Friko said...

Are your ramps the same as our ramsons? I have some in the garden by the gas tank and they will come back year after year, no matter how harshly I treat them. They make gorgeous soup.

Vicki Lane said...

I still haven't quite figured out this PAINT thing, Ms. A -- maybe in time.

Yes, indeed, Brian.

Ooh, Kath, how terrific!

Susan, they're planted very near our house . . . no worries, I think...

Interesting, Barbara -- I'll have to look into that.

I was researching ramps, Friko, and found that the name comes from the English ramsoms -- evidently very similar plants.

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

We still have sang diggers around, although they are having to work harder. But ramps seem to be more common.

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

And I forgot to add, Blogger hasn't posted a scheduled post on time since the change over. Since I've gone back and manually posted each since, I don't know if it would eventually get around to posting or not.

katy gilmore said...

I like your ipainting Vicki - hope you keep it up!

Merisi said...

Ramps are rampant in the Vienna Woods! I have a couple of bags of frozen ramps in the freezer and its garlic aroma is now everywhere! ;-) Good luck with your crops!

I love your painting! Amazing what one can do on a screen. How are you doing the "painting", with one of those tablets? I tried it for Photoshop, and found it hard to master.

I don't know how that paint program works, but for images in general it always helps to make a copy of the original, then do the cropping and fiddling. In between, save the image as a tiff file (every time you save an image as a JPEG, it loses quality). If you'd like to know more about that (basically easy once understood), just drop me a line!

I spent the whole of yesterday trying to adjust to the new Blogger (on Thursday they simply decided to change me over, without any previous notice whatsoever). I still have not figured out how to edit a new post so it looks the way I want it (Thursday's one picture post cost me way too much time). I have also tried several times to pre-schedule a post and failed The whole thing costs way too much time and I have nothing gained from it (well, I finally tried a new header). My hunch is that Google's desire to be "interconnected" into all their products is the reason for all this change and not their customers' ease.

A wonderful Sunday to you and yours,
Merisi

Martin said...

Well, if anyone can get them to grow, I'm sure you can, Vicki. Good luck!

Linda Starr said...

Lovely to see ginseng, hopefully it can be re-established in many areas as well as many other beneficials.

Jules said...

Love the painting cropped or not!!!!
I don't like all this talk of the new blogger mine hasn't changed yet but I didn't like any of it when I checked out the example!!!!!!

Rebel Fan said...

Painting's real nice. Lucky you if your sang and ramps take. I can't grow them down here in Greer. This old boy I know, my triple third cousin, has about 30 acres left of the original 1780-something land grant up on the NC/SC line covered with both. I'll not say who he is.