It’s long drive down a bushland-shrouded road to reach the small farm in northwest Tasmania that grows one of the world’s most valuable plants. This rare root, sometimes valued more than gold, takes two years to germinate from seed. Ground and powered, it is credited with everything from enhancing your athletic prowess and improving your mental powers to making you better in bed. At 41 Degrees South Salmon and Ginseng Farm, Ziggy Pyka has found his perfect spot for growing ginseng and it’s also great for his other product, bright pink-fleshed Tasmanian Atlantic salmon.
“We have been growing ginseng for over 15 years,” Ziggy says. “In that time we have harvested a few acres worth of ginseng and most has gone towards the value-added ginseng products including spice, honey, tea, nougat, chocolate, vodka and essence, that we sell in the shop. We do not sell the ginseng as a whole root.
“In the world market, ginseng can sell anywhere from $20 per kg to $2000 per kg. The price depends on size, grade, colour, weight, age, where it was grown and if it is wild or farmed.”
Youthful looking Ziggy says he takes ginseng every day, with a break in summer, and has done since he started growing it.
A former electrician, he moved to Tasmania from Germany via Western Australia to create the salmon and ginseng farm.
With solar panels and a water wheel for renewable energy and an aquaponics facility to make use of fish waste, Ziggy’s farm ticks many sustainable boxes.
“We have natural wetland and have added on a manmade wetland to filter the fish waste through our farm and create a lush habitat for the native flora and fauna,” Ziggy says. “The water is gravity fed and stock density is less than 20kg per cubic metre of water.”
The farm produces around 10,000 fish per year and also works with other local salmon producers to source fish for the products sold at the farm gate and from outlets around Australia.
Visitors can wander the farm on a self-guided tour, enjoy a snack or lunch at the farm gate, taste the salmon products and take home their favourites.
You can pop a hot smoked, vacuum-sealed baby salmon into your bag and take it home without refrigeration like I did or try some of the ginseng flavoured honey.