I grew up in the small town of Dormansville and attended Greenville HS. While there I became good friends with Anna P, a local to the area. These hot summer days remind me of the time we'd spend at Anna's family's campground in Freehold. Anna's father would shoot off fireworks while us teenagers would sneak Mike's Hard lemonade from the cooler. Tubing down the Catskill, heated shuffleboard tournaments and playing barefoot volleyball were all good marker of these hot summer days back then.
Anna graduated and went to Cornell to study Natural Resource Management. Soon after she got a job with American Ginseng Pharm, a company that sells ginseng to folks in China. AGP grows wild ginseng on leased property in the Catskills. Anna's parents didn't want to have to maintain as much of the property and Anna wanted to farm, so part of the campground was converted into an intensive herb growing operation (echinacea mostly), bordered by a forest abundantly innoculated with shiitake and oyster. Anna's family's property also happened to be a great habitat for growing wild ginseng.
So what's the big deal about ginseng? American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)