Saturday, November 14, 2009

There's a Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum?

Well, yes. Since 1938 there has been a museum dedicated to America's Father of Modern Horticulture. It is also Bailey's birth site, a 1850s Greek Revival rural farm house in South Haven, Michigan that is on the national register for historic places. The region is known as Michigan's southwest fruit belt. Soil and location make this place the largest non-citrus producing regions in North America. It is in this auspicious setting that Bailey grew-up amongst pioneer pomologists on a 80-acre fruit farm.

Despite the museum's early origins (even Bailey found it odd to have a museum dedicated to him before his passing), it has remained unknown to most of the country and even the natives of the region but for some legitimate and legally shaky reasons.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

L.H. Bailey and Albert Einstein

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." -Albert Einstein

"It is blasphemous practice that speaks of the hostility of the earth, as if the earth were full of menaces and cataclysm. The old fear of nature, that peopled the earth and sky with imps and demons, and that gave a future state to Satan, yet possesses the minds of men, only that we may have ceased to personify and to demonize our fears, although we still persistently contrast what we call the evil and the good. Still do we attempt to propitiate and appease the adversaries. Still do we carry the ban of the early philosophy that assumed materials and "the flesh" to be evil, and that found a way of escape only in renunciation and asceticism.
Nature cannot be antagonistic to man, seeing that man is a product of nature. We should find vast joy in the fellowship, something like the joy of Pan. " -Liberty Hyde Bailey, The Holy Earth

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Would Bailey Read? An Agrarian Primer for the 21st Century Offers Solutions to Food Crisis

Lincoln, NE – “Food and farms are involved in a blitzkrieg of changes,” writes veteran journalist Steven McFadden in The Call of the Land. The book joins a growing chorus voicing a new vision for food and agriculture. Picking up where Food Inc., the recent documentary on industrial agriculture, leaves off, the volume presents dozens of creative responses to the crisis. The sourcebook documents a range of positive pathways to food security, economic stability, environmental health, and cultural renewal. The surging range of responses—from individuals, communities, cities, and institutions—are both imaginative and practical. Steven McFadden is co-author with Trauger Groh of Farms of Tomorrow (1991), America’s first book on Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The volume helped inspire the movement to grow from two farms in the late 1980s to thousands, with hundreds of thousands of shareholders, in 2009.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Quotable Bailey, "What does a flower think?"

"What does a flower think? Who are the little people that teeter and swing in the sunbeam? What is the brook saying as it rolls over the pebbles? Why is the wind so sorrowful as it moans on the house-corners in the dull November days? There are elves whispering in the trees, and there are chariots of fire rolling on the long, low clouds at twilight. Wherever it may look, the young mind is impressed with the mystery of the unknown. The child looks out to nature with great eyes of wonder." L.H. Bailey, The Nature Study Idea, p. 36