Rooting for an organic wonder in central Vietnam

By Dac Thanh   June 17, 2018 | 08:00 pm GMT+7

The ‘Vietnamese ginseng,’ grown in sylvan surroundings in Quang Nam Province, can fetch up to $4,400 per kilogram.

A full view of Ngoc Linh mountain.The mountain is 2,500 meters high, spanning the three provinces of Quang Ngai, Kon Tum and Quang Nam.People grow ginsengs within the jungles of the central province of Quang Nam, Tra Linh Commune, Nam Tra My District.

A panoramic view of the Truong Son mountain range, home to the Ngoc Linh Mountain.

Vietnamese Ginseng (Panax vietnamensis) is grown on the Ngoc Linh Mountain, which is 2,500 meters high. The range spans three provinces - Quang Ngai, Kon Tum and Quang Nam.

One place where residents grow this ginseng for a living is in the forests in Linh Commune, Nam Tra My District, Quang Nam Province.

Village houses on the mountain.There are four villages lying in between the mountains here. Their houses are made of wood.

A village houses on the Ngoc Linh mountain.

There are four villages in the area. Houses here are typically made of wood. Tourists wanting to explore the mountain will need local guides to accompany them. Typically ginseng growers will not allow strangers near the cultivation areas for fear that the precious roots will be stolen.

A house for ginseng growers in the jungle.These people eat and sleep right here in the jungle to protect the ginsengs from thieves.

A house used by ginseng growers in the forest. 

They eat and sleep in the forest to protect their crop. 

A tree grows in the jungle.

The trees under whose shade the Vietnamese ginseng is grown. 

Mushrooms sprout of a tree.The jungles temperatures are optimal for mushrooms to grow.

Mushrooms sprout of a tree trunk in the forest.

Two people collect ginsengs in the jungle.The ginsengs are grown organically, without fertilizers or pesticides.

Two people harvest ginseng in the jungle.

The root is grown organically, without use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. It is believed to have antibacterial properties, reduce stress and fatigue and even inhibit tumor growth.

A ginsengs flower.Their flowers bloom in spring, under the canopies.

A ginseng flower.

The plant flowers in spring.

A ginsengs fruits.Each flower will bear from 10 to 30 fruits. These will be harvested and their seeds will be taken to grow new plants. They typically ripen from July to September.The plant will wither away afterwards, leaving only the ginseng itself underground. It will sprout back after winter passes, typically in January the next year.At the beginning of each month, these ginsengs will be sold in local markets. One kilogram of ginseng could cost from VND60 to 100 million ($2,600-4,400). Their leaves might cost from VND5.5 to 6.5 million per kilogram.

A ginseng plant's fruit.

Each flower will bear from 10 to 30 fruits. These will be harvested and their seeds used to cultivate more plants. They typically ripen from July to September.

The plant will wither away afterwards, leaving only the ginseng root underground. It will sprout again after winter passes, typically next January.

A 5-year-old ginseng root is harvested. The ginseng is sold in local markets at the beginning of each month. A kilo of this ginseng can fetch between VND60 to 100 million ($2,600-4,400). The ginseng plants leaves, also having medicinal values, cost from VND5.5 to 6.5 million per kilogram.

A 5-year-old ginseng root is harvested. The ginseng is sold in local markets at the beginning of each month. A kilo of this ginseng can fetch between VND60 to 100 million ($2,600-4,400). The ginseng plant’s leaves, also having medicinal values, cost from VND5.5 to 6.5 million per kilogram.

 
 
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