You never thought that a person with any passion, rich in soul? The desire to know more about passion pushes a person to purchase all new theoretical and practical knowledge. By a certain age, having a purpose in life – love of nature and its preservation, I have accumulated experience that gives you access to a new, higher "level" in the hobby. I decided to search for ginseng. Again and re-read a book on healing the root. Malyshev, Grushevitskaya, Elizarov, but I have not enough information and I refer to the old kornevschevikam. It is very difficult to get information from them – do not like to talk about the secrets of old men with young ginseng seekers. Too rapacious plunder hunters for profit reserves Maritime taiga. Collect not only grown roots, and far kids. But the worst thing is that the roots are dug, and the seeds for restocking is not planted. In late May 1994, I met with my grandfather Andrew. Called him "Goblin." All my life this man had in the forest. His wife died in childbirth, no children. He then decided to give me the secrets of the root. After long discussions I gained a wealth of experience. Appeared before me, topographic maps, where taezhnik found or planted ginseng. Imagination to paint a picture of steep mountain passes, giant bears, forest fires and the terrible typhoons. I felt that the romance of danger and adventure. Soul was sick taiga and ginseng. In ancient Chinese books written, "King of beasts – the tiger, the king of sea animals – the dragon, and the king of the forest plants – Ginseng." He is known eastern folk medicine for at least 4,000 years. Ginseng – is a perennial herb that belongs to the family Araliaceae. Distributed mainly in the southern and middle Primorye. Less common in northern Primorye and even rarer in the south of the Khabarovsk Territory. In Primorye, wild ginseng grows mainly in the dense cedar-broad, sometimes mixed with fir or spruce forests. Less common in oak and hornbeam forests of the mountain with a touch of maple, ash, linden, and aspen. Most often, it grows there on the eastern and western slopes, but sometimes on moderately steep any exposure to an altitude of 700 meters above sea level. In the forest grows on the loose, humus-rich, moderately moist soils. (AA Malyshev 1986). Undergrowth in areas where growing ginseng, Siberian ginseng has, mock orange ("Jasmine"), aralia, hazel. Grass cover is rich in ferns and wild sedges, but without the presence of moss. Ginseng grows extremely slowly. In the first year of life – it is a small piece of paper, like a cloverleaf, but with a pointed tip and a weak serrated edge. By five years – a sheet with five leaves like Eleutherococcus. On the ninth year already two sheets – three and five leaflets. For fifteen – eighteen three five-fingered leaves and flowers first hand. At thirty-five years – four five-fingered leaves, forty-five years – five leaves, six leaves – a rarity. Root growth in the year from 0.5 to 3 grams. Average increase of about 1 gram per year. Vegetation ginseng in Primorye from mid-May. Rare plant blooms from 5 to 20 June. The fruits ripen and turn bright red 15 to August 20. Therefore, the search "in berry" from mid-August, and the search for "Zielonka on" – after flowering, that is, from the beginning of June … And I wait for the time when you can start looking for ginseng. In one of the weekend I was able to take time off from work to hike into the forest. Since the "root of life" is listed in the Red Book and we must take care to preserve its kind, I deliberately do not mention the names of rivers and mountains, in order to protect the root area from the rapacious destruction. After a bit of fees and shaking on a passing car, I finally stayed among the hills alone. Net taiga air with hundreds of intoxicating smells hit me in the head. The sounds of birds and the rustle of leaves unusually influenced by ear. And the view of the steep hills, densely covered with cedar, was called off. My plan – to go to the north, as far away from crowded places for mountain ranges and passes. There, where the centuries ginseng hiding from the public eye, where it protects itself taiga, which can only get one. Plan risky but interesting: alone experience the difficulties of life in the forest. The first steps have brought travel and first meeting. Just a hundred meters from the road in a shallow gully found copperhead on the branches of raspberry. Copperhead snake – a poisonous snake in the family yamkogolovyh, up to 70 cm with a gray or brown color. On the back along the spine are wide dark transverse spots. On his head clear patchy pattern. Bite highly painful, but not fatal. Dangerous are bites to the neck and face, and a few bites at a time, as well as a weak heart and weakened body recovering from a serious illness earlier. Meat and edible cottonmouth prized in Asian countries as a delicacy. After superficial vein, I started climbing the hill about 700 meters on the slopes of rich growths of Korean pine. Great place to gather cones, which probably makes boars, badly plowed forest litter. Everywhere are streaks of freshly vyvorochennogo turf, maturation and traces of huge hooves. Subsequently, I've often been to Cedar Hill. Dozens of bags of cones, I lay in store for the winter, a lot of memorable encounters with the animals occurred on these slopes. Because of the dense thickets of rhododendron, mock orange, hazelnut and Eleutherococcus I had to climb the intermediate ridge, which went straight north. Nature did not stop hundreds of happy taiga sounds and smells. I've met dozens of plants, of which only read in the references … beauty and romance gradually weaken vigilance. In the forest you should always be prepared for surprises and dangers. Half way to the top, I went out on a rocky ridge area. A few steps over the rocks and hissed under his foot. The next moment, I felt a biting jolt left shafted … Reaction worked instantly. Jump to the right and stop! Hissed the front … and on the right. – Oh my God! What is this? Snakes? I stared in horror at his feet. Dozens copperhead lay on the rocks and crawling around my feet. Gradually, this sprawling horror from me. One snake in a panic crept in my boots, another fell from above, with driftwood, catching me by the elbow. Slowly I moved to a nearby bush. Carefully cut a meter stick with a spear. Now in front of him with a stick to probe the area, take a step, and so on. Many times even flinch from the snake crawls. One even took the stand and made several attacks on my "staff", for then was thrown five meters away. Thirty meters, I got out on flat land with coniferous litter. Sweat rolled off my hail, feet and hands cramping. Cautiously I sat on needles, gave ten minutes to calm down. That's what the devil place. Then I remembered the blow to the leg. Feels determined that the bite occurred on boot. Only one centimeter below the top trim boot, I found two drops of saliva and trail snakes. Took off his boots, but do not bite on the body. Lucky! I tasted one of the drops, it was a bitter-salty, so just poison. When I stepped on a snake, it bit me – for boots …… All day long I was hard up and down in the saddle, then again to assault another intermediate tops. Almost no trails, the velocity is small. Right and left deep ravines, covered with tall-coniferous taiga. On the crest meets maple, birch, oak, wild apples, cherries Mac and plenty of bush. Undergrowth, debris, midges, the heat and stuffiness, in turn, and at the same time made it difficult route. As evil in the sky there were no clouds, there was not a slightest air movement. Breathe stuffy, humid, almost tropical air, quite heavily, it seems that the lack of oxygen. The higher, the steeper the slope and difficult to walk. The path is generally areas impassable. I went around these "jungle" on the slope. But again grew terrible blockages, thorny bushes, climbing shoes, virgin taiga impenetrable thickets. Lemongrass thoroughly enmeshed this mess and living wall blocked the path. Night was falling, and the end was in sight hellish path. At the head of only one thought – quickly get at least somewhere. My situation was not scary. In an extreme case, I zanochuyu here – water supply allows. However, due to extreme fatigue and burning gnats like to find a more suitable place for the night. Closer to the dark, scarred and bleeding, and utterly exhausted, I went to the barely visible forest roads. She was very young, and overgrown with vines, but barely visible path zverovaya allowed to move fairly quickly. The thick fog in an hour the way I came into the clearing. Here, in the saddle of two mountains, thousands of feet above, I decided to set up camp. Professionally built cage like tents, obtyanuli its cellophane, dragged into the grass – and now ready home. To bring a tent and a few dry Kolodin different brushwood for a fire. While wearing the wood, we note the following with tiger cub. Traces of very fresh. For their own reassurance lit a fire and loaded shotgun sixteenth caliber. For cooking dinner and the night. Creepy one night stay in the taiga. Only fire – savior. It warms and inspires confidence. But the reflection of the flame in the fog creates a game of shadows: a snag into a lurking bear nearest bush seems moving and bending birch neck like a huge lizard. I moved to his gun and threw a few spruce logs in the fire. Long after midnight, tired brain stopped resisting fears, thoughts were confused. I appeared in the tent and went to sleep as I do not remember. Wake up several times at night in the cold. Awake, bumping into branches and twigs, tossed into the fire wood, again climbed into the tent. But the night passed, with the dawn of night terrors disappeared and I fell asleep in a deep sleep. By nine o'clock the taiga alive and clear skies foretold good weather. I woke up. After a light breakfast, thoroughly examine the following in the meadow and surrounding trails. This is a real kingdom of wapiti. The branches of aspen, willow and birch trees gnawed young deer trails trampled to the ground. Besides wapiti I found a few traces of the Himalayan bears traces of a tiger cub. On one of the wet areas clearly imprinted mark Manchurian hare. Generally, saddle represents a cross zverovyh numerous trails. Some of them were walking along the ridge, the other, is the output of the pass of the river valleys. Most likely in the autumn meadow becomes a testing ground for a bullfight deer and a hunting tiger. Quickly gathering camp, I continued the journey on very overgrown Forestry wire. The surrounding forest is an old logging with dense young growth birch, maple, willow, elm, Aralia. Bush on both sides of the trail thickly entwined lemongrass and actinides. The area visible within ten paces. Real jungle. Came fully prepared for a surprise meeting. But still encounter occurred suddenly. At one of the open spaces in front of the bushes and began to move towards me came a black body … Between me and Himalayan bear the distance does not exceed five meters. The bear stopped. The pungent smell of the beast hit me in the nose. Little evil eyes looking at me in the face, mouth opened and shown in yellow fangs. I was petrified and afraid to move. Shoot, do not have time. This is the end – as the current burned thought. Before his eyes swam laps, paw bear with huge claws, blood splatter and my body without a head, lying on the grass. The pause lasted an eternity. Fear was absent. We looked at each other and everyone was counting the last seconds. The end came suddenly. Under the leg of a bear straightened branch, which he bent when moving. Rustling and twig made shaggy jump and turn your head to the right. For me, waiting for an attack, this move was a signal of the beast … -Na.a.. Aah – foot pushed my body from the track to the side, raised their hands in the air rifle and pulled the trigger finger … -Ba.ba.. Baaah! Column of earth from the sixteenth caliber bullet exploded in front of the bear. He jumped in surprise and made back somersault. The second column of earth erupted close to the face of the beast. Bear, oshalev the noise, ran on a track with huge leaps. Perhaps at this moment he could understand nothing, as I sped past just two meters. After ten seconds, the crackling of bushes left of earshot … After a dangerous encounter I smoked a couple of cigarettes. Gradually the nerves calmed down. My future path a few hours passed by overgrown wire. On the left stood a pretty high hill and the road going around it. Surprised abundance of Actinidia, bear and izyubrinyh traces. On the way startled grouse. He flew and sat on a small fir. In one stroke, I provided myself dinner. Imperceptibly changed to the northern slope, and the taiga took on a darker appearance. Increasingly, there are wet areas, where there were mosses and ferns. After an hour's slope steepness increased and I began the descent into the unknown key. His track randomly strewn with giant boulders and half-rotted tree trunks. Gorge damp and cold, lifeless and unpleasant terrain. In this ad you can climb, but not by choice. For these lumps and chaos came to exhaustion – crawling, climbing and falling. Wilds more sucked me in their possession. On and on I went away from civilization, in the heart of the taiga. I planned to solve the mystery of the great roots, hoping to conquer alone taiga. Will you? Finally vybivshis of force, I came to a fork in the keys. Here on level ground, I have prepared the soup with stewed meat and tightly lunch. Again storm debris, shoals or clamps. Rocks are slippery from moisture balance to keep hard, legs cramp from tension, eye corrodes sweat. Yes, and stinging midges got out even under clothing. It seemed to be about to sound the river, but only in the evening went to the confluence of two streams, which, in fact, formed the beginning of the river. Valley widens further. On all sides understand surrounded pretty steep hills. Taiga mostly fir and birch mixed with lime, cedar, elm, and maple. Along the river grows lemongrass. In the river, trout flashed and strewn along a lot of dry fin. The optimal location for the camp. There is food, "tea leaves" and firewood. Within an hour of boiling soup grouse and insists herbal tea. Quickly set the standard hut of cellophane, dragged wood and covered with rain, threw two huge fire and went to sleep … The morning greeted me with bright sunshine and abundant dew. The day promised to be successful. After a bit I decided to investigate charges nearest to the camp key that went to the river to the north. In high spirits, light, I began to survey the eastern slope of the left key, gradually moving up in zigzags along the gully. Far from trying not to leave the key – was taught the elderly. I tried to exactly follow their instructions, follow the signs, look for related plants. Carefully examined sites near cedars and fern. Had not gone four hundred meters, admiring the beauty of the taiga, when suddenly his eyes found the unusual plant. Heart sank! Here it is – The root of life! Ginseng, a height of about 40 cm, had five leaves, thin "arrow" with the umbrella of twenty nondescript flowers. Adult, strong and rare plant. Later, at the root of the neck, I have determined its age at 47 years. Good luck! Inspect carefully meter by meter and this neighborhood, not far from the cedar more luck. Only six meters from the first – ginseng 30 cm high with three five-fingered leaves and small flower arrow. His age is about 20 years. Next to him, two feet two very tiny plants in a single three-toed leaf – two year olds. I made a stop. The pride and joy overcame me. People live for years in Primorye, tens of times there in the forest and do not find in his life is no root. And there is such a find. Adult, full healing powers. Rare roots. Long enjoyed and admired the beauty and grandeur of this plant. Geocoded, sketched the plan described in the accompanying notebook vegetation. He promised that the first discovery dig will not, and will build here plantation. Will collect the seeds and planted each year at least half in this way, which I call the root. About an hour I was circling in the search, but there was nothing else. Before the evening a few neighboring gully have been thoroughly tested, but in vain. In the camp, I picked up his record. My roots are grown on the eastern slopes of the gully. The slope of the slope is quite strong: up 20є. Close to the key, about 25 meters. Chernozem soil, with heavy pieces of large stones. Only occasionally the hill across a small horizontal segments. The vegetation consists of fir, black birch, cedar some, at least – maple and linden. A lot of Eleutherococcus and fern-strausnika. With a sense of victory and pride, I went to bed. Even slimy bothersome could not spoil my mood. The next day I went back to the discovery and continued the search above. Густой туман и сырость подсказывали о скором дожде. Но жажда поисков гнала меня на встречу с неизвестным. И уже через час поисков, за большой колодиной, глаза наткнулись на женьшень. Я дико завопил от радости. Перешагнул через колодину и замер – ещё один, а правее ещё. Стою на месте, боюсь сделать даже шаг и бегло осматриваюсь. It is. Вот справа от элеутерококка ещё два редких растения. Казалось – это сон! Сразу пять корней рядом. Все высотой до 30 см в три пятипалых листа. На двух – цветочные стрелки. Возрастом корни – 15-17 лет. Мне явно везло. Теперь неспешно привязался к местности, зарисовал план, обозначил ориентиры. Уже собирался уходить и под ногами нахожу ещё два двухлистка лет по 10. Хорошая семья. Решено – тут и заложу самую первую свою плантацию. Да… Вот тайга и доверила мне свою тайну. Годами женьшень скрывался от чужих глаз и набирал свою жизненную силу. Я прошёл через опасности и трудности, нигде не нарушив законов тайги. Поэтому удача от меня не отвернулась. После глубоких раздумий только теперь замечаю, что идет дождь. Через сутки ждёт служба. Надо выбираться, пока не накрыло на несколько суток. Жаль покидать удачное место. Попаду ли я сюда снова в край женьшеня? Хватит ли сил и духа дойти до потайных распадков? Я буду ждать новой встречи. Живи и жди меня Великий корень! Когда-нибудь я приду к тебе за помощью.
The untouched wilds of the taiga. Edge of ginseng