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“Poetry Prefaced Peaches.”

Guide to Nature Magazine, Vol. X. October 1917. No. 5.

The real happy farmer
The real happy farmer.

In THE GUIDE to NATURE for July, 1914, we published an article on Idylland, the home of Charles H. Crandall, the farmer-poet, in the northern part of Stamford, Connecticut. In addition to the usual farm crops that farm was then productive of a prolific crop of poetry, and as typical of that crop we published in our article certain of the poems, namely, “The Forest Cure,” “Three Trees,” “The Happy Farmer” and “Lean on Your Oars and Rest A while.” In the point of view of the present these poems have a special poetical significance not then recognized Idylland was afterwards sold to Mr. Paul M. Barrows, and in its development into one of the best fruit farms of the state of Connecticut the emblematic three trees have multiplied into a forest of fruit trees innumerable. Mr. Barrows as the happy farmer is surrounded by everything needful to make him the exemplification of the title, for the new homestead has every indication of happiness, prosperity and even indeed of luxurious comfort. While it was not a leaning on the oars that has transformed this poetical farm into a model peach orchard, there was, even in the strenuous labor of brain and hand required by the transformation at least emblematically speaking, a period of resting awhile in the time necessary for the maturing of the forest of fruit trees which now cover the slopes and the summits of the hills of this farm of magnificent views. It has been renamed Mayapple Farm and is being developed for thoroughly patriotic service in that each square foot of the land is planned for the greatest production at the least expenditure possible.

Mr. Barrows is college trained in everything that pertains to up-to-date farming and forestry and especially in fruit growing. The equipment of Mayapple Farm is ideal. The old barns have been pulled down and replaced by better and larger ones. The old homestead is still retained as the caretaker's lodge while the new homestead in its palatial beauty crowns the summit of the farm, the highest elevation for miles around.

Still the work goes on. A large apple orchard has recently been set out but in the waiting for their maturity there is no leaning on the oars. The ground has been utilized to the utmost for corn, and one of the heaviest crops of the state is produced between the rows of thriving young apple trees The remarkable prolificness of this farm is not by chance. The orchards represent industry combined with the best modern knowledge. After every rain the ground is stirred. The weeds are kept out. The tree trunks are treated with the chemicals most approved for the prevention of fungus and insect troubles. But care and effort rightly applied bring results. This year is the first year of the larger crops to be expected from this farm. For the first time the peach trees have come into bearing and it is estimated that the crop will total nearly two thousand baskets. These are not harvested all at one time but in the different varieties are scattered well over the season from about the middle of September to way into October.


We predict great things for this farm. Mr. Barrows is full of energy and has the requisite knowledge and ample financial facilities for ideal development. At the recent meeting of the Northern Nut Growers Association in Stamford it was voted to accept his offer to establish an experimental nut orchard on his farm. Work on that will begin in the spring and will be followed with the greatest of interest by the nut growers, while the development of all the interests of this farm of manifold efforts will be closely watched by those in the line of the back to nature renaissance as well as those who realize that battles are won by hoe and spades as well as by guns and cannons. There is to the writer a peculiarly emblematic significance in the fact that a farm which for so many years gave to the world its ideal poetry is now transforming into the very poetry of all nature's productions. Some one has said that architecture is frozen poetry. In a similar spirit may we not say that peaches are growing poetry? If so, then in more senses than one poetry has produced peaches for Mr. Barrows must have had well in mind the sentiment of the thing, the ideal or, if you prefer, the prosaic plans before he could accomplish such a thoroughly practical success as is evinced everywhere on Mayapple Farm a farm of poetry, patriotism and peaches.

sorting peaches

Anne Barrows on her horse “Stony”