Friday, September 29, 2006

Immortality in the Rich Fields Left Behind

We were in Mansfield, OH at the inauguration of the new visitor’s center at Malabar Farms, the dream of the local Pulitzer Prize winning author, Louis Bromfield. He set up the 900 acre Malabar in the late 1930s to showcase the sustainability of a balanced agricultural approach. The farm was left to the State of Ohio, which has continually expanded the programs and buildings on the farm.

Bromfield’s daughter Ellen Bromfield Geld and her husband Carson moved to Brazil in the 1950s at the same time that my in-laws, Pete and Mary Lee Emmert, moved there. I’ve known the Gelds and their family since the late 1970s and it is always a treat to spend some time with them, which is why we made the trek to Ohio to visit with them at the inaugural festivities.

During its prime, Malabar Farms was the most famous farm in the USA. Many celebrities, including Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall’s wedding took place on the farm. Today the farm has become an educational treasure.

Bromfield wrote, “Rarely does the good farmer long for any immortality better than the rich fields he has left behind.”

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