Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Want To Be A 'Sanger?

What's a 'sanger you ask? Well, until I watched the reality TV series on the History Channel, Appalachian Outlaws about digging ginseng, I had no idea either.

Ok, why am I blogging about this? Because it gave me an idea about a new book - Dark Secrets that should be coming out later this summer.

I had no inkling that ginseng grew wild in parts of the United States, as well as areas of Quebec and Ontario. When I started doing some research, I found not only that it grows wild but that many states regulate the entire ginseng business from those who dig the roots to being a registered dealer. You need a license to be a 'sanger or ginseng digger. There's even regulations about how old a plant must be before it can be harvested.  How do you know a plant's age? Count the scars near the base of the stem. Each year the stem and leaves die back and leave a scar. Count these and it will give you an approximate age of the plant. The berries must be replanted near the harvested plant so more can grow.

Many of these facts are placed sporadically in my story.

There's even websites on how to dig, harvest, store the roots and when it can be sold or certified and when the actual season is. I was amazed at all the information about harvesting ginseng. I thought it was just something from China and Korea, used in herbal medicine. Boy did I get my eyes opened.

Of course my story, Dark Secrets, is a work of fiction with a few facts sprinkled throughout. The TV program portrayed the business as very competitive thus I've tried to  bring that into my story.

I enjoyed creating this story. It has a few twists and turns that I hope will keep you wanting to read more.

Dark Secrets should be released later this summer.  Watch for it!

Happy Reading!

K. R. Bailey