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Malabar Farm

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The threat of war in Europe and Louis Bromfield's own desire to return to the land of his youth prompted him to purchase three exhausted farms here in Pleasant Valley in 1939. He named the estate Malabar Farm after the Malabar Coast of India, the setting of his 1937 book The Rains Came. Bromfield then set about to restore the land, putting into practice soil and water cons ...more
Paperback, 417 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Wooster Book Company (first published January 1st 1948)
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Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Malabar Farm was one of those gardening-related books that managed to get into reprint during the 1970's organic gardening movement. Luckily for me, my back-to-the-land fanatic parents had a copy of it in the house so I was able to read it as a teenager.
If you are looking for a "how-to" book that will help you get into organic gardening and farming, this isn't the book for you. What this book is, is the story of a man's life while he brings a worn-out farm back to life. You will get to know him,
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Definitely a period piece. Author was ahead of him time on farming practices and soil maintenance. He was a product of his time on social issues. It is a nice piece about farming in Ohio, which is very similar to western PA. Book is not well editted - the author repeats small stories multiple times. This was a gift from Rich Collins and is his favorite book of all time. Our copy is signed by the author.
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Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, environment
Summary: Malabar Farm continues the story begun in Pleasant Valley of the author's efforts of restoring a worn out farm to productivity, covering the years from 1944 to 1947 and going deeper into his philosophy of agriculture and the all-important matter of the soil.

I've finally gotten around to reading the narratives of the beginnings of Malabar Farm, now owned by the State of Ohio, but originally purchased and restored to fertility by novelist Louis Bromfield. Recently, I reviewed Pleasant Val
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've read most all of Bromfield's non fiction but only a few of his fiction, due to lack of time.
I discovered Louis after I got my second boxer in the mid 80s. I didn't have cable TV at the time, so when I did turn it on I tuned to PBS. At the time there was a show out of Indiana, done by Marcia Adams who wrote cookbooks to go with. Anyway, she often visited various locals for filming her show, and I happened to catch one done at Malabar Farm. I was stunned. I grew up in Bowling Green Ohio and n
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is so curious on so many levels. It was written in 1947 and was one of those books that back in the day everyone was talking about. This guy Louis Bromfield ran a very progressive, organic farm in Ohio on a sprawling and picturesque piece of land and basically everyone in the country wanted to know how he did it. In fact, US soldiers deployed overseas for WWII wrote him letters and his book opens with a letter in response.
I was impressed because I always assume that interest and aware
Carrie Robinson
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
A continuation of life on the farm started in Pleasant Valley. More information on improving soil, a chapter on animals on the farm (always delightful), chapters on grass--the author has focused on raising cattle, chapters on creating ponds to stock fish (interesting to see the cycle of life in a healthy pond), information on earthworms. There's also a chapter on the organic fertilizer vs chemical fertlizer debate. Here he tries to create a balance, feeling that being a fanatic for either side i ...more
Jul 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
It was really interesting to read about cutting-edge agricultural practice in the 1940s, especially since Malabar Farm is only a few hours away from where I live. I was already familiar with many of techniques from reading books by people who were influenced by this one, but there were plenty of nuances that were new. It was sad that so many of the poor agricultural practices that Bromfield observed still continue to this day. It's even more sad that some of the techniques and business models th ...more
Nov 24, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked it overall, but I just ended up skimming a lot of it, as it was repetitive. Worth reading if you love nature, or are any kind of gardener or farmer. Louis Bromfield was a fascinating person, and I will be visiting Malabar Farm this summer to see all the places he so lovingly describes in his books.
Nov 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: small scale farmers
Recommended to Tracy by: reference in another book
Fascinating cultural juxtapositions to modern times. Also interesting to read what was considered state-of-the-art back then.
This nonfiction book, in journal form, describes the life as it was on Malabar farm.
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Louis Bromfield was an American author and conservationist who gained international recognition winning the Pulitzer Prize and pioneering innovative scientific farming concepts.

Bromfield studied agriculture at Cornell University from 1914 to 1916,[1] but transferred to Columbia University to study journalism. While at Columbia University, Louis Bromfield was initiated into the fraternal organizati

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