Hamyang sanyangsam grows from germanium rich soil by Our Farm

김태인 기자l승인2021.09.28






▲ Our Farm / CEO Chunbok Lee

(PowerKorea) A record says that Qin Shi Huang of China (259~210) sent his envoys to Korea in seeking of elixir of life: the envoys reached Hamyang County, found wild ginseng and journey back with it. There is a saying that a ginseng digger must be blessed by God in order to find a wild ginseng. In other words, finding a wild ginseng happens once or twice in a life time. 

So, farmers today rather grow wild ginseng by sowing the seed on the mountains 700 to 800 above sea level. This ginseng is called ‘sanyangsam’ by Koreans and it is wood cultivated ginseng in English. Sanyangsam is known to contain medicinal effect similar to wild ginseng. 

To grow quality sanyangsam, the soil must be wet, wind flows in and out, and exposed to the sun by half. Qualifying all of the three is Our Farm in Hamyang County. 

Chunbok Lee, CEO of Our Farm, used to work in the advertisement in the city. He decided to go back to his home time in Hamyang when his health was deteriorated in 2005. Hearing that the county planned to promote sanyangsam cultivation in the region, he established Our Farm on a 132,231 square meter land in Baekjeon-myeon in March 2007. He secured 3 million won from each of 36 people on condition to supply 5 year old sanyangsam roots after 3 years on, and bought and planted 200,000 heads of 2 year old sanyangsam from the county. 

Despite trial and error at the initial stage of cultivation, he kept his promise to start supplying sanyangsam to his investors after 3 years from 2010. While many goods are conveniently traded online, Lee keeps his principle ‘visit to buy’. This is because he wants buyers to see how sanyangsam they buy is grown. In return, he provides visitors a free-sanyangsam chicken soup called ‘baeksook’ made with a whole chicken and a variety of healthy ingredients. 

Sanyangsam is best eaten raw as soon as picking it up from the soil or wash it and eat before bed or after waking up. Lee recommends you to chew about 10 minutes before swallowing though the taste is bitter. If it feels too bitter, dip it into honey. 

One root per day is ideal to feel effectiveness. The leaves are dried and made into tea and it can be a good alternative to green tea. You can also take it by boiling preferably in pottery pots or glass pots as metal does not go well with ginseng, as some say. The fruits of it also can be eaten by boiling them more than 30 minutes and drying for 3 to 4 days and keeping it in frozen. 

Reportedly, sanyangsam contains saponin, protein and carbohydrate. It has been used as heart stimulant and diuretic. Saponin is known to have anti-cancer and anti-oxidation effects and lowering cholesterol.  

Currently, Lee is farming 300,000 heads of sanyangsam and around 3,000 to 4,000 people are buying his sanyangsam every year. 

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김태인 기자  red3955@hanmail.net
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