You Can Support the Malabar Farm Foundation

By Maura Teynor

July 9, 2018

The Malabar Farm Foundation recently established an endowed fund at the Richland County Foundation.

Malabar Farm Foundation Vice President Bob Berry said the fund is to help plan for the future of the beloved Malabar Farm State Park.

“There was a time when the Foundation board was scrambling to have enough money to mail membership applications for the Louis Bromfield Society, a membership program established to raise funds to support the mission of the Foundation.

Through the hard work of all the volunteers and generous donors, we came out of that weak financial situation. The board members decided to preserve a nest egg so that does not happen again. That is when we set up an endowed fund,” said Berry.

The Malabar Farm Foundation was founded in 1994 to provide resources in support of the vision and programming of Malabar Farm State Park. The Foundation preserves, educates, promotes and extends the legacy of Louis Bromfield in the fields of agriculture, conservation, the arts, and literature.

Donations to the Malabar Farm Foundation, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, help fund many projects including educational exhibits and restoration of the many one-of-a-kind artifacts found in the Big House, the 32-room sprawling former home of Louis Bromfield, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and conservationist.   

The Malabar Farm Foundation has spent in excess of $80,000 over the last three years to restore artwork and furniture in the Big House with more restoration projects in the works. In order to preserve these treasures in the Big House, the Foundation plans to install UV protection shades on all the windows.

“While the Ohio State Parks division has done a tremendous job restoring the Big House and other farm structures, it does not have the resources for this type of work. We have to creatively fundraise to preserve the history, art, and artifacts in the Big House,” said Berry.

“I can safely say that we as a board want to leave Malabar Farm State Park a better place than when we found It,” said Berry.

When you tour the Big House you take a step back in time and see how beautiful it was in the 1940s and 1950s.  

The Malabar Farm Foundation in partnership with Malabar Farm State Park hosts multiple fundraising events throughout the year such as dinner and entertainment in the Big House, serving food and drinks at Maple Syrup Days, Heritage Days, barn dances and a car show.

Malabar Farm State Park is a family friendly place with a playground, picnic area, hiking trails and is a working farm where people can see farm life up close. People come from all over the country and world to visit.

For more information on the Louis Bromfield Society, how to volunteer or donate go to malabarfarm.org. You can also donate to the Malabar Farm Foundation Endowment fund at richlandcountyfoundation.org

The following information is from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website:

Malabar Farm State Park in Lucas was the dream of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Louis Bromfield. Today, visitors can see the house and farm existing just as they did in Bromfield's time. The outbuildings and pastures still house chickens, goats, and beef cattle. The hills are ribboned with strips of corn, wheat, oats, and hay while the scenic trails are adorned with nature's bounty.

A somewhat obscure name today, Bromfield was a prominent celebrity and artist in the first half of the twentieth-century, gaining international acclaim for his novels. The artist earned much of his fame whilst living abroad in India and France, and when World War II came to France and Bromfield returned stateside, he purchased several farm tracts in the Pleasant Valley area of Richland County and there established and nurtured his dream farm, Malabar Farm.

Upon purchase of these lands in 1939, Bromfield became somewhat disinterested in writing fiction when rejuvenating his farm and promoting new agricultural philosophies became some of his main passions and life’s works until the time of his death in 1956.

In his book Out of the Earth, Bromfield said that, like much of America’s agricultural lands in the early twentieth-century, at Malabar Farm, “These hills had been corned out, farmed out, pastured out, sheeped out, and abandoned.” And he wrote in the book Pleasant Valley that he “wanted to prove that worn out farms could be restored again.”

The Malabar Farm Foundation said that “Bromfield set out on a quest to restore rich fertility to Malabar Farm by applying conservation methods that were mostly unheard of or little used at that time. Bromfield shared these conservation methods with people from all over the U.S. and other countries through speaking engagements, a newspaper column, radio broadcasts, and printed materials including a series of non-fiction ‘farm’ books.”

« Back to Blog