Malabar Farm – And Eggs on the Road

  • Post published:06/09/2022
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Malabar Farm was built by the prize-winning author Louis Bromfield. In 1938 he bought 600 acres of poor land in Ohio, named it Malabar Farm and went to work.

Bromfield set about to restore the land, learning and teaching how to practice soil and water conservation techniques that later became widely influential. He became devoted to educating farmers and the public about soil and water conservation. In 1941, Bromfield became first vice president of the Friends of the Land, a new national volunteer organization allied with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, that sought to correct the ruinous farming practices that had culminated in the Dust Bowl and other incidents of widespread soil erosion in the 1930s.

At the same time that he was working on his land he had many visitors from different fields who wanted to see this brilliant man and his new work.  One surprise visitor was in 1945 when Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall came to marry at Malabar Farm – with Bromfield as the Best Man!  This brought Malabar Farm into even greater fame.

Steve and Norma preparing to drive across the country – again.

A California friend of ours flew to visit us, and other friends, but her husband loved travelling in his van across the country stopping to explore many camping spaces. Along the way he called to say he was stopping at Malabar Farm. We were happy to tell him about the history of Malabar Farm, and in exchange he brought us a box of Malabar Farm eggs.

E.B. White




Another person who  loved Malabar Farm was the author E.B. White who wrote for the New Yorker Magazine , and also wrote children’s books like Stuart Little and  Charlotte’s Web 



“Malabar Farm is the farm for me,

A place of unbridled activity.

A farm is always in some kind of tizzy,

But Bromfield’s place is really busy:

Strangers arriving by every train,

Bromfield terracing against the rain,

Catamounts crying, mowers mowing,

Guest rooms full to overflowering,

Boxers in every room of the house,

Cows being milked to Brahms and Strauss,

Kids arriving by van or pung,

Bromfield up to his eyes in dung,

Sailors, trumpeters, mystics, actors,

All of them wanting to drive the tractors,

All of them eager to husk the corn,

Some of them sipping their drinks till morn;

Bulls in the bull pen, bulls on the loose,

Everyone bottling vegetable juice,

Play producers jousting with bards,

Boxers fighting with St. Bernards,

Boxers fooling with auto breakes,

Runaway cars at the bottom of lakes,

Bromfield diving to save the Boxers,

Moving vans full of bobby soxers,

People coming and people going,

Everything fertile, everything growing,

Fish in the ponds other fish seducing,

Thrashing around and reproducing,

Whole place teeming with men and pets,

Field mice nesting in radio sets,

Cats in the manger, rats in the nooks,

Publishers scanning the sky for books,

Harvested royalties, harvested grain,

Bromfield scanning the sky for rain,

Bromfield’s system proving reliable,

Soil getting rich and deep and friable,

Bromfield phoning, Bromfiled haying,

Bromfield watching mulch decaying,

Womenfolks busy shelling peas,

Guinea fowl up in catalpa trees,.

Oh, Bromfield’s valley is plenty pleasant –

Quail and rabbit, Boxers, pheasant.

Almost every Malabar day

Sees birth and growth, sees death, decay;

Summer ending, leaves a-falling,

Lecture dates, long distance calling.. . .

And though his husbandry’s far from quiet,

Bromfield had the guts to try it.

A book like his is a very great boon,

And what he’s done, I’d like to be doon.”

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