The Search for Ginseng
Every fall, I set out in search of American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). Known for its medicinal qualities, resemblance to the human form, and costly price tag, Ginseng is highly sought after. Those who hunt, just like any forager, keep their hunting grounds secret.
The Ginseng harvest is strictly regulated, 19 of 50 US states have strict seasons (Sept. 1 - Dec. 31). All this so the plant can continue in the region.
My hunting zones have consisted of industrial easements and prairie in Northwest Indiana. These spaces have functioned historically as sacrificial spaces by mismanaged industry and environmental injustice. All of these sites current or former EPA Superfund sites
(A United States federal government program designed to fund the cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous substances and pollutants.)
Through this, I want to highlight the fleeting ecosystem of the Great Lakes Basin.