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Korea Insam, Sansam and Festivals

Korea Insam,
Sansam and
Festivals

A From November 24 to 27 ‘Korea Insam & Medicinal Herb Fair 2005’ is scheduled to take place at the aT Center in Yanghae-dong, Seoul. At this event a large range of Korea Insam products will be exhibited by NACF (National Agricultural Cooperative Federation), KGC (Korea Ginseng Corporation), 12 local cooperatives, and private companies. Some of the noteworthy products are ‘Hansamin’ items made by the NACF, ‘Cheong-Kwan-Jang’ by the KGC, and freshly harvested roots from the local areas.
Korea Insam roots are harvested in autumn, like many other crops. And celebrating the harvest, some festivals are arranged in many districts in September and October. To these festivals more and more visitors are coming each year, most of them concerned about their health.
Of all such festivals the most famous are those held in Geumsan, Chungnam Province, and in Yeongju, Gyeongbuk Province. This year ‘Geumsan Ginseng Festival’ (GGF) took place from September 2 to 11, and it attracted crowds of visitors from Korea and abroad. GGK, highly recommended by the MCT (Ministry of Culture and Tourism) is really worth experiencing. It will be upgraded to the ‘2006 World Ginseng Expo, Geumsan, Korea’ next year. The other festival was held from October 1 to 5 under the name ‘Youngju Punggi Ginseng Festival’ (‘Youngju’ is the old transcription for ‘Yeongju’). This festival was also crowded with visitors.
And other noticeable festivals and special events are taking place in the following areas: Jeungpyeong (in Chungbuk Province), Paju (Gyeonggi), Pocheon (Gyeonggi), Seosan (Chungnam), and Hongcheon (Gangwon). This year the festival in Jeungpyeong took place from October 14 to 16, and it was the 14th event of its kind. Paju, a production center for Gaesung ginseng, held a festival for it on October 15 and 16, and Pocheon arranged another similar one on the 22nd of the month. The Hongcheon ginseng festival is biennial. And the Seosan ginseng experiencing event is organized by the local ginseng cultivators cooperative. This year’s event took place on October 21, and it included the picking of 6-year-old roots and an exhibition of dishes made with them.
As these festivals take place in the pleasant season of autumn, many Koreans join them with their families and more and more foreigners wish to experience Korea Insam through those events. All of them are well aware of ginseng’s good effects on the body. In this situation some special kinds of Korea Insam are attracting tremendous interest from many people for their even more powerful effects. There follows information on them:

 

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Sansam:
Wild Ginseng

Sansam has an appearance quite different from ordinary cultivated ginseng. Unlike the yellowish peach color rhizomes of the cultivated varieties, its rhizomes are silver-tinged and have white naps. Also sansam rhizomes are much shorter, and thinner, but have longer and tougher side roots.
There are 3 different varieties of sansam: genuine sansam, sanyang sansam, and noesam. Sanyang sansam is the variety which grows in the woods from the  seeds deliberately planted by human hand, whereas noesam is sansam transplanted when very young. Of all, the genuine sansam have an incomparably higher nutritional value, especially when they have matured for many decades.    
Usually sansam pushes out new shoots in late April and has small, white flowers in mid-May. Between mid-July and early August the flowers change into red berries, which start to fall in mid-August.

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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