From the middle 19th into early 20th centuries there lived a man who embodied a heart-felt love to be modeled by many. Luther Burbank’s genius serves to offer a light into a world of compassion. He allied with nature on a mission to feed and serve humanity. His gentle spirit formed a mutually beneficial relationship with plants to develop a grand diversity of food crops. He left a legacy that carries on to serve through the arts and gardening.
Luther Burbank’s began his path of compassion when he recognized a need to feed a nation. Ireland experienced six long years of famine that killed over a million of their people (2). Potatoes were a major crop grown in this agricultural nation. Living in Massachusetts, Burbank discovered a unique ball of potato seeds growing in his garden (3). He meticulously germinated and grew the seedlings. The gentle tending of the plants resulted in what is now known as the ‘Russet Burbank Potato’. This natural potato strain was resistant to the blight that destroyed the crops of Ireland.
This genius of a man decided to carry on his legacy by moving to California. He went on to develop “more than 800 strains and varieties of plants” that satisfies your pallet (4). Luther’s relationship with plants baffled scientists and nurserymen. This insightful man possessed an intuitive understanding of Charles Darwin’s work. He was respected by the famous Paramahansa Yogananda. He was sought out and partnered with the Stark Bothers nursery business men.
How was one that only completed an elementary level education able to achieve so much in a lifetime? It must have been due to his ability to spiritually commune “with the forces of nature and the cosmos” that contributed to his incredible success with plants (3). The founder of the Philosophical Research Society of Los Angeles, Manly P. Hall, reported where Burbank went to his knees to talk with the plants to get what he desired. Luther spoke of human’s inability to understand the “over twenty sensory perceptions of plants”. It was this humble man’s goal to “create a vibration of love” in harmony with plants.
This fascinating humanitarian’s love carries on well after his passing through the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. The center’s mission is designed to “enrich, educate and entertain children and adults” (1). You may find the Burbank Center in the North Bay, near to San Francisco. His nurturing spirit may still be present where the facility is available for families, performances, programs that embrace the arts, culture, and gardens. Many of his plant creations may be found throughout the gardens at the center.
May you be inspired to form allied relationships with the rich diversity of life that co-inhabit on our Precious Planet Earth.
About the Author
Dr. Elizabeth Armstrong, the “Greenie Genie”, leads on a journey to tap into Your share of $72 trillion in Natural Products and Services and with building your online business. You learn how to balance Heart and Mind awareness in partnership with Nature. She is a speaker, author, and educator. Contact her at wwwdrelizabetharmstrong.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Luther Burbank Home and Gardens. Online <http://www.lutherburbank.org/>
2 Irish Potato Famine. 2000. The History Place. Online <http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/introduction.htm>
3 Thompkins, Peter and Christopher Bird. 1972. The Secret Life of Plants. HarperCollins Publishers Inc., New York, NY
4 Wikipedia. Luther Burbank. Online <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Burbank>