This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Good, and the best things some times run the risk of being all eaten up, - the supply scarcely meets the demand. Such an article is the delicious terrapin, now so high priced as to be deniable to the masses. Baltimore has a terrapin reputation; one man collects them from every source and keeps them for sale by thousands. They survive a winter without food, but gradually starve if not fed; the weight diminishes, as they feed on their own fat. They are now brought from California even, those from Visalia and the Sacramento, the first especially being much sought after. The coasts and bays of the Carolinas are now nearly exhausted. Who will be first to cultivate the terrapin? Some of the above comes through an American scientific journal, but what has it to do in the Gardener's Monthly? Much. It is one object of Notes and Queries to show that the means of livelihood are most extensive; that the. country is so extensive as to make any valuable production, properly introduced, lead to fortune. Very lately the terrapin, like the salmon is canned and sent everywhere. Later, and as it were to-day turtle soup finds a demand; this, as in the case of the whale and the terrapin is likely ere long to exhaust the world's stock of those esteemed animals.
Already the terrapin is more than quadrupled in price: the whale is becoming extinct, and the turtle is rising to a fab-bulous price. It is not likely that the world can cultivate the whale, but it is believed the other two are capable of indefinite extension. Who would have believed a few years ago that ostrich farming would be made into a profitable business; or that by freezing, the hotels can have a superior turkey every day in the year, and the housekeeper the same luxury in perfection from a tin can? Gardeners, look about you - this market scarcely supplies a good quart of plums, while in Rochester, where the proper care is taken, they are plentiful. This is but one example.
Explorers for new plants have been immensely aided by steam transportation. The writer was once going the rounds of Kew Gardens with Sir William Hooker, when the latter introduced Sir Samuel Cunard as his great friend who brought plants to Kew from all regions without charge. Now we probably have a new region for novelties in Stanley's Africa. Sir William Hooker was a Scotsman, tall, lithe in manner, with scarcely a trace of his native accent. He spoke of our Osage Oranges, and said he had just received a semi-comic message from the Queen, requesting no more such fruit should be sent to her table. Altogether this grand director of Kew was a most interesting and loveable man.