PHOTO FROM The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
In the early 1900s Walter J Robinson conceived the idea of growing ginseng under cultivation. After an exhaustive examination into the project he became convinced the Lanark soil and climate would be ideal to the growing of Ginseng as wild Ginseng had been already found throughout the vast hardwood forests of Lanark County.
So Mr. Roberston prepared a corner of his garden, bought an assortment of seeds and roots, and began his career as a Ginsengist and people thought he was a bit crazy. When fall came along the next year the plants reddened and grew beautiful. The garden was one acre and one quarter would be planted with Ginseng, and in September and October the berries would become vibrant red.
The large brilliant bunch of berries projecting so brilliantly attracted much attention from the locals. But, then there were the questions as to the use and commercial value of the plant. Out of this rose The Ginseng Gardens and Mr. Roberston became manager, C. M. Forbes secretary, and the other members of the company were:
Mell T. Watt
James N. Dobbie
They had initially invested a capital of $2500. The market was paying $6.00 a pound and the worth of one acre was $50,000 and the roots were shipped to China where the media said 400 million were addicted to its use. However, there were many locally who doubted its future existence. But some said there should be no fear as tobacco and tea were still on the rise. Robertson insisted those who got in on the ground level would be rewarded. Anyone in Lanark County deciding to grow Ginseng was advised to contact the company for information.
Any more info on this? Such as how long was the farm in operation? Have been wanting to grow ginseng on my land in north Frontenac but all my research says it takes years to produce a root with enough active ingredient.
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Jean.. this is all I found and this was from a book in 1910 at the museum.. not much online either.,..