Hello Linda, really enjoyed your article on Ginseng in Lanark Village. I spent many a day with my father looking for wild ginseng in the backwoods of Lanark County from about the time I was six years old and continued on a more sporadic basis myself. If I remember the last time I looked for it would be around 1988.
My father always had a cultivated patch at there home north of Watson’s Corners and I imagine it is still growing there. Attached for your info is a few pictures I have. The first two were taken in my fathers patch the single root is one I found around 1988 and the last is one of my mother (Lorna Milotte) with a sample of some had found in the 1980’s.
Sure, by all means, I think the last year I picked ginseng, it was about $700/pound dried and I had about $1700.00 for the season. Was a valuable source of income for my parents in the early years (1950’s – mid 1960’s) of their marriage when they were subsistence farmers at Joe’s Lake.
Thanks to Everett Milotte for text and photos..
My Dad Gerald Desjardine also picked wild Ginseng. Brother of A.J and Leonard. Many times he bought our Christmas presents with money.
I can recall A. J. Desjardin & his wife coming into Brian Bingley’s cabin in behind the Dome and asking if he could pick Ginseng. A. J. said “he still knew the special places on the property to harvest this crop.” That was years ago and I recall him telling Brian that he and Elwin had some private lots to select from. All sounded like extremely coveted grounds to me.
Butternut trees and black ferns were usually good indicators of places it would grow
It is now on the endangered species list I do believe. I use to pick it lots with my Dad who has picked lots and planted it throughout Lanark Highlands
It grows on north slopes in hardwood forests so there are many locations that it could be grown in Lanark Highlands.
I remember Leonard Desjardins harvesting Ginseng in North Lanark back in the mid to late 70s up past Joe’s Lake – always secret locations.