About Appalachian Outlaws

Deep in Appalachia, a war is brewing over one valuable commodity: ginseng. With global demand skyrocketing, dealers are eager to get in on the game, and with prices hovering around $1,000 per pound, diggers are in a frenzy to harvest the mountain gold. Some even believe its gnarled roots have special healing powers. Whoever controls the ginseng, controls the mountains.

The Appalachian Mountains have just the right elevation, rainfall and mineral-rich soil to produce the best wild ginseng in the world. Over-harvesting in Asia has increased demand, pushing prices to an all-time high. People are rushing to cash in, but it's only legal to dig for it from the end of summer until the first frost. To prevent over-harvesting in the U.S., some states have started regulating where it's legal to pull ginseng, which has made territorial lines even blurrier than before. And with ginseng fever heating up, outsiders are creeping in.