Photo, Print, Drawing Close-up of ginseng
About this Item
- Close-up of ginseng
- Halstead, Randy (Depicted)
- Eiler, Lyntha Scott (Photographer)
Created / Published
- October 26, 1995
- - Fall
- - Commercial gatherings
- - Ginseng (Panax quinquefolia)
- - Harvesting of fruits and vegetables
- - October
- - Randy's Recycling
- - Peytona
- - Photographs
- - Ethnography
- - West Virginia -- Boone County -- Peytona
- - People who harvest wild botanicals from the woods can sell their wares to local brokers like Randy Halstead, the proprietor of Randy's Recycling in Peytona, West Virginia. Halstead annually brokers hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of wild herbs (leaves, bark, and roots) from the mountains, including bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictoides), ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius), wild ginger (Asarum canadense), virginia snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum), indian turnip (Arisaema triphyllum), sassafrass (Sassafras albidum), sumac (Rhus vernix?) , witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), and wild yam (Dioscorea villosa). Halstead also recycles non-ferrous scrap metals, including aluminum, copper, and brass. But the bulk of his income is generated by ginseng (Panax quinquefolia). As a buyer of ginseng, Halstead can tell at a glance whether the roots are wild ginseng (worth hundreds of dollars a pound, dried), or "tame seng" (cultivated and worth around $30 per pound at the time of the interview). He can also tell from the shape of the root which counties in West Virginia the root came from, because soil differences affect the root's ability to grow, causing some to be elongated, others to be "bulby," as Halstead put it. The prized "stress rings" on a root are produced through soil density, which wrinkles the root's outer membrane.
- 35 mm Color Slide
Call Number/Physical Location
- AFC 1999/008: CRF-LE-C029-10
- Coal River Folklife Collection (AFC 1999/008)
- American Folklife Center
IIIF Presentation Manifest
Rights & Access
The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.
The American Folklife Center and the professional fieldworkers who carry out these projects feel a strong ethical responsibility to the people they have visited and who have consented to have their lives documented for the historical record. The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.
Copy photographs of numerous historical still photographs owned by Woody Boggs and Rick Bradford were made and are reproduced here with permission of the owners.
Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these collection materials should contact the Folklife Reading Room for assistance.
Coal River Folklife Project collection (AFC 1999/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Cite This Item
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Halstead, Randy, and Lyntha Scott Eiler. Close-Up of Ginseng. West Virginia Peytona Boone County, 1995. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/cmns000095/.
APA citation style:
Halstead, R. & Eiler, L. S. (1995) Close-Up of Ginseng. West Virginia Peytona Boone County, 1995. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/cmns000095/.
MLA citation style:
Halstead, Randy, and Lyntha Scott Eiler. Close-Up of Ginseng. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/cmns000095/>.