foraging for profit

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MELOC, May 9, 2006.

  1. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    does anyone collect herbs, roots or fungus for money? what do you forage for and how do you sell it?
     
  2. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

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    I've helped people with collecting and selling ginseng,yellow root,and wild berries. Like blackberries...some people will pay atleast $15 for a gallon of blackberries..especially older folks that can't get around in the wooded areas. That's not too bad,if you pick fast and have a loaded down area to clean out.
     

  3. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    what is yellow root?

    i am researching ginseng. you have to have a permit here in pa. even to grow it. i was wondering what the flowers look like on ginseng? i know the berries are red. when i look online i mostly see it in the berry stage.

    i have been lucky enough to sell some morels in the past. they sell from $8-$15 a quart zip-lock bag around here. i only sold a few once or twice for $8.
     
  4. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Ginseng. I sell it to several different people who pay truly obscene amounts of money for the stuff.

    Going to do a extensive survey of the property this year to check for more medicinal herbs. I had one person do a cursory walk through and they were simply giddy with the stuff they seen and in the amounts in which it was growing. My great great great grandmother was big into medicinal herbs and other members of the family were into them and they had extensive collections. They are growing wild and from what I understand from the person I had looking some of the stuff is quite rare. Hopefully this stuff is marketable like the ginseng.

    I collect berries nuts and mushrooms of course but they are for my own use.
     
  5. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Morels will easily be picked up by a retailer who will buy them from you fresh picked, IF you will part with them, and IF you find enough!

    Wild berries sell.

    I've seen first hand experience of people selling at least these 2 types of foraged products in demand.
     
  6. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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  7. sue currin

    sue currin Well-Known Member

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    I have always sold sing and ramps, the morels I find I can't part with. Sing has bought many a Christmas for me as well as paid the house payment. And there is nothing like walking through the mountians and finding something that pays you so much.
     
  8. pistolsmom

    pistolsmom Well-Known Member

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    My kids used to make $1000 or more each over the summer picking berries and selling to local restaurants for their pies.
     
  9. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    When I was 14 their was a bumper year for them in eastern KY I picked 25 gallon and my grandpa picked 25 gallon I sold them for $5 a gallon delivered others were sellingthem $10 a gallon so I sold all I had and they were still getting people calling them 10 years later asking if I was going to pick them again! I picked 10 gallon with my wife in Ar last summer it was alot of work they were not as big as the ones I use to pick in Ky for the most part. I sodl 100 lb of white oak acorns to the forestry service for 75 cents a lb when I was 14 to. I guess it was a hard year to find them that is why they were worth so much.
     
  10. Big Dave

    Big Dave Well-Known Member

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    I am courious as to what is sing? Where does it grow, Who would you sell it to? :help:
     
  11. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    chanterelle mushrooms grow here en masse. I find they do not freeze well, nobody in the area wants to eat them, much less buy them. we have lots of hazelnut bushes growing on our place, the squirrels want to live, too I guess. I never get to see a ripe nut, though I have seen big clusters of the green nuts.
     
  12. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    "Sing" is short for Ginseng.
     
  13. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    Grandpa and I spent lots of time wandering the hills sangin. he had a patch on his land where he planted all the littl eones he found and all the seeds built it up to 50k worth and some one came and dug it all up and stole it.
     
  14. Qwispea

    Qwispea Well-Known Member

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    As a kid, I once picked wild flowers and sold them to people in the downtown area. It started as a whim..a hunch..and we were very surprised when we made a sale. You just got to be willing to try..people will buy all sorts of things that they don't have time to go out and pick themselves.
     
  15. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    I used to harvest wild rice a few times back in my youth. Still remember a couple of days back in 1970 when the wild rice was exceptionally good that year. My mother let my brother & I skip school (the only time ever) 2 days to harvest wild rice. We made over $100 each for 2 days (1970 dollars!) at the respective ages of 15 & 16.
    The wild rice season ALWAYS is spotty. Like anything in nature, a million things can go wrong. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources shut the lake down for harvesting for 3 days. We harvested the wild rice 2 more days and made $60 & $50 each per day. A thunderstorm then pretty much destroyed the remaining harvest.

    Wild rice buyers would purchase the raw wild rice on the boat landing at the shore of the lake and payment was in cash. The normal price was $.50 to $1.00 per pound for the raw wild rice. One time it reaching $1.50 per pound. A good 2 person team could harvest up to 300# per day. Native Americans were naturals at harvesting wild rice, no doubt due to their centuries of doing so.
    At best. when conditions were ideal, the wild rice harvesting season would last 3 weeks. I was brought up very close to a reservation and the influx of money from the wild rice harvest was undoubtedly the most prosperous time of the year.

    Unfortunately, commercially grown wild rice has almost completely destroyed the market. Finished (ready to cook) wild rice sold for $5 or $6 a pound in 1970. Today, its about the same. Native American naturally processed wild rice still brings $8 to $10 per pound. Its a ton of work to process wild rice.

    I haven't harvested wild rice in 20 years. Today, I suppose a person could still make from $50 to $150/day harvesting wild rice during its short, spotty season.
    Even though I no longer harvest it, I still cherish the food. I purchase several pounds every year from local Native Americans, who still process the wild rice in the same manner that their ancestors have been doing for centuries.
     
  16. Bee_Rain

    Bee_Rain plays well with others

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  17. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    nice story about the wild rice and all. i had no idea rice grew wild in abundance and could be harvested. i like to hear about direct links to the past like with the indian rice market.

    i have been trying to find ramps in the wild here in south central pa and have not had any luck. i know they grow in western maryland and west virginia. i worked with a guy who used to bring them to work by the buckets.
     
  18. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    We have never previously eaten 'Fiddleheads' before. But now living here in Me, we see them being offered out of the trunks of cars on the side of the roads. $7 / pound.

    Last weekend we went collecting fiddleheads on our property, we must have 5 acres of them.

    And we had them with dinner.

    The season for them is almost over now, but I think that next year, we will be better ready to harvest them as they become ready.
     
  19. Shadow

    Shadow Well-Known Member

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    We pick blackberries but not for sale only for our use. We have a lot of wild plants on our place that have some market but have never sold any. We do have problems with one neighbor that has a bad habit of harvesting stuff on other peoples land with out permesson. I have caught him and his wife twice with a load of giinsang. Took it and replanted it myself the first time second time I made him. Whiile replanting it he told me all about him being a wounded vet and having a hard time making ends meet and so on so I pulled open my shirt and showed him my bullet scars and told him if my dog let me know he was back again he would really have some bullet scars he has not been back. And the ginsing is still growing where we put it.
    You are not going to get rich most of the ginsing is gone and the other things that you can sell just will not make a lot of money and its lots of hard work.
    If you are not on your land get permission and lots of plants are protedted as endangered.
     
  20. sue currin

    sue currin Well-Known Member

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