A Primer of Conservation
Originally written by Louis Bromfield, November 1942
Condensed and paraphrased in 2013 by Siera Marth
“This other war, the war upon destruction of natural assets is one that will never be finished. Our weakness in this vast war is largely ignorance, that most of our citizens do not realize what is going on under their very feet.”
What is Conservation?
In its richest terms, conservation means the preservation and resoration of our soil, the husbandry, control and augmentation of our water supply, the preservation and restoration of our forest. But, in its simplest terms it means saving each of these things from our own destructive ways. Although as far back as 1900, when Theodore Roosevelt recognized the need for conservation, it is still a matter that is of high discussion today!
Soil, water and forests are the foundation not only of our national economy but of our very existence and civilization.”
Foundation of Civilization
If conservation is not taken seriously and put into practice here in the United States, we could fall in to similar situations like those in China, Modern India, Babylon, Assyria, and other cities that followed them. China, one of the oldest nations’ decline lies at the root of soil and water destruction. There is no longer enough soil to grow even the toughest weeds. Another great city, Mesopotamia, once being credited as the original Garden of Eden because of its ancient fertility is nothing more than a desert.
“Here in America the hour is already much later than we think.”
In 1942, when Bromfield wrote “A Primer of Conservation” he had divided the land in America into fourths. One fourth had already been destroyed and another fourth was already half way to deadliness. A third fourth, because of its topography was progressing more slowly along the same path. The last fourth was largely undesirable for agriculture or pasture anyway, but makes very beautiful scenery.
“The basis of all civilization, of all economic stability lies in the natural resources of a country.”
The most important of resources, is soil. Soil is the basis for which feeds and clothes our citizens and it keeps our economy thriving. Without the survival of soil, other industries begin to decline. Soil, is the basic income for banking, industry, insurance and other businesses. At one time, if a family could not make their farm run, they became a liability rather than an asset. Instead of fueling the economy, they would bog it down. Even as our world today grows and develops with technology and discoveries, the same principle applies. Imagine your favorite cotton t-shirt, you wear it all the time and the edges are beginning to fray a little and holes are appearing in the armpits. Now imagine that due to soil depletion, we can no longer grow cotton to produce t-shirts just like yours.
What Water Means to Us
Just as the cities of China and Mesopotamia were once fertile, it is possible that our fertile country is well on its way to a desert-like state. While there is no less rainfall in the United States than there was hundreds of years ago, there seems to be a growing water shortage. Not only does this affect agriculture, but also industry located in cities. Bromfield presents the example of steel mills in Youngstown, Ohio in 1941; it was near closing because there was no water. Almost exactly one year later it was near closing due to flooding; flooding caused by heavy rainfall and poor soil profiles.
Rain falls the same way as it always has, but because forests and sod have been destroyed and the land is poorly farmed, only about twenty to forty percent of the water remains. What happens to the rest? It sweeps away into rivers and to oceans almost immediately, taking with it tons of precious top soil.
What We Can Do About It
“The problem of soil and water conservation is our gravest and most fundamental national problem.”
“It is the duty of every citizen, for his own welfare, if for no other patriotic reason, to support and fight for and possibly initiate measures having to do with conservation of soil, water and forests.”
There are tried and true methods to save our soil, conserve our supply of water, prevent floods, and devastating effects of droughts. Some of these methods include reforestation, contour plowing, terracing, and strip planting.
You may also contact your local Water and Soil conservation service, extension office, or state department of agriculture or natural resources.
“Our prosperity, our high standard of living, our very liberties will disappear as they have disappeared in other countries all over the world when soil was washed away and there was no longer any adequate supply of water. The hour is already much later than we think.
We have published our event schedule for 2014!
Malabar Farm State Park is constantly buzzing with birds, bees and events!
Explore Malabar further by visiting our Events page and attending some of our many events. There is something for everyone; from dog lovers to art lovers, history buffs or the nature lover.
Find out more about our events here!
As the Seasons change, So do Our Hours
As the cooler weather sets in, our hours are changing. Due to the winter weather we will only be open Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday: Gift Shop
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm
Sunday: Gift Shop
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm
**Closed Easter Sunday**
The Visitor's Center and Gift shop will be closed all day on April 20, 2014. No house tours will be offered.
WANTED! WANTED! FARM HOSTS!
If you enjoy volunteering, working with and meeting people, you can assist in providing information about activities and facilities.
Following an orientation / training program, Farm Hosts greet visitors and help them have a great experience. Farm Hosts gather information about the experience our visitors have through casual contact and simple written surveys. They might be asked to help with frequent school group visits to the Big Barn and adjacent livestock areas.
To express your interest in volunteering your time as a Farm Host and to find out more information please call 419-892-2784 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Visitor Center and Gift Shop will be closed Sunday, April 20, 2014 for Easter.
No House Tours will be offered.
Join in on the 13th Annual - 2014 Mohican Wildlife Weekend. Accompany Malabar Farm park Naturalist, Tom Bachelder, while enjoying the scenic trails of Malabar.
Saturday, April 26, 2014 10 a.m.
Malabar Farm State Park
(meet at the Visitors Center)
For more information, please see our event listing for the Mohican Wildlife Weekend.
April 25, 26, 27 2014
Many activities about wildlife, nature, birds and history of the Area presented at many different locations throughout the Mohican area.
- Visit MohicanWildlifeWeekend.com for activities & times
- Most activities free
Saturday & Sunday Only:
House Tours - 12pm, 2pm, 4pm
Wagon Tours - 1pm, 3 pm
Enjoy the beauty of the Malabar Farm Landscape while listening to an in-depth talk about Bromfield's farming practices from former Malabar Farm Foundation President, David Greer.
April 26, 2014 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The 2nd Annual Malabar Farm Udder Nonsense 5k is a family-friendly, pet-friendly, non-competitive & cow-themed 5k that allows you to Walk, Waddle or Run the scenic grounds of Malabar Farm for fun and fresh air. Staggered start times begin promptly at 9:00am and go every 30 minutes until 11:00. Entrance fees include an “Udder Nonsense” t-shirt, a goody bag and lots of silly activities, for kids and adults, throughout the farm. Join us for the 3.1 miles, arts & crafts, concessions, tours of the Big House, and animals in the barn! Stay in the area to enjoy the Mohican Wildlife Weekend activities and the Malabar Farm Barn Dance. For a complete listing of activities, please go to www.mohicanwildlifeweekend.com
All participants (age 11 and up)--$20.00 ($30.00 after April 23)Children 10 and under—Free (T-shirts can be purchased at the event for $12)Team/Family Registration per runner (Teams of 5 or more)--$18.00 each (Each should complete their own form)
Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
$1.00 donation at the door
Malabar Farm State Park
- Live music and caller.
- Round and Square dancing
- Beginners welcome!
- Food available
- Main Barn