The History Channel has added Appalachian Outlaws to its 2014 primetime schedule. The new reality series that delves into the world of ginseng harvesting will premiere on Thursday, January 9th at 10pm ET/PT, following ginseng growers, diggers, and middlemen as they attempt to survive in the often brutal world of ginseng farming which, according to History, is worth $600 a pound.
Whoever controls the ginseng, controls the mountains. People will steal it, risk jail time and even their lives to get their hands on it. Over-harvesting in Asia has increased demand, pushing prices to an all-time high, and people are rushing to cash in. It so happens the Appalachian Mountains have just the right elevation, rainfall and mineral-rich soil to produce the best wild ginseng in the world, but it’s only legal for digging 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 on local’s territory to find it, causing massive turf wars over this heavily revered root.
Appalachian Outlaws follows a set of unique characters in their quest to acquire and fight for this plant that affords many their livelihood. From diggers to growers to middlemen, every day is a matter of survival in a trade where people will do just about anything to get their hands on this rare root.