Smoky Mountain Money2014-2014
Four teams of mountain folk set out into the Great Smoky Mountains every September, searching the ridge-tops and “hollars” for wild American Ginseng. Ginseng is a federally protected endangered species so the harvesting of wild Ginseng is a heavily regulated, but profitable trade. Ginseng harvesting is a highly competitive and territorial, natural treasure hunt with many similarities to the commercial fishing industry. The teams come from long bloodlines of “Sengers” who have a great respect for the valuable plant and want to conserve as they forage, allowing Ginseng to continue thriving and be a source of income for their children and their children’s children. They are all searching for a legendary “Monster ‘Seng” – a huge man-shaped root that is rumored to fetch $10,000 on the Asian market.