Last Updated 27 Jul 2020

Luther Burbank

Category Agriculture, Bank, Plants
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Luther Burbank 7 March 1849 – 11 April 1926 Mercedes Moshier 3rd Hour Luther Burbank a man said to be the Edison of the garden. Born on March 7, 1849 in the small town of Lancaster, Massachusetts. Burbank grew up on a farm, always treating the plants just like humans. The garden his mother built was a haven for Luther, spending all his time there Burbank had little friends and usually kept to himself, even though he was the 13th child of 15 brothers and sisters. Luther received only a elementary education before he dropped out at age 15.

He also visited the vocational college Atlantic Union during the wintertime for four years. Almost all of his knowledge came from the science books at his local library that he hovered over for hours on end. The book The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication by Charles Darwin sparked his curiosity and pushed him to learn more about evolution and botany. At the ripe age of 21 his father died leaving him a little inheritance. With this money Luther bought a 17 acre of land near Lunenburg, Massachusetts. In 1870 Burbank picked up the lifestyle of market gardening.

Where people were very competitive so he had to learn the secrets of the garden. The use of cold frames, hotbeds, fertilizers and the professionalism lead Burbank to making his first ‘creation’ the Burbank Potato. Which is now called the Russet Burbank Potato because of its color, and is known and used world wide and highly popular. Scrabbling for money after his discovery, Burbank sold the rights the the Russet Burbank Potato for 150$ in 1872 to a man named Gregory J. Using his well earned money, Burbank moved to Santa Rosa, California, where three of his brother were living at the time.

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In Santa Rosa Burbank purchased a 4 acre plot of land, where he built a nursery, greenhouse and a experimental fields. With these fields he tested crossbreeding many types of plants and trees. He soon named this plot of land the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, which is now a National Historic Landmark as of 1964. Not only did he become famous for his Burbank Potato, but Burbank also came up with thousands of other crossbreeds and plants and discoveries! Some of his most famous would be the Shasta daisy which he cross breeded with four different daisies.

The Oxeye daisy, English field daisy, Portuguese field daisy and the most important one was the Japanese field daisy. The result was a bright white petite flower instead of the wild tall dull white flower. Creating 117 new varieties of prunes and plums which most are used in juices we drink everyday. Also making 169 new types of nuts and berries , Luther Burbank earned himself the key to California. For he also increased quality and growing rate and wealth of crops, added defenses to environmental pressures to 46 trees and plants, which helped them withstand extreme temperatures, drought and other things.

Luther also helped create plants and concoctions that were resistant to viruses, fungi and bacterias. His added defense also helped with insects that would normally destroy the plant, and the tolerance to herbicides helped with production and distributing for it was almost always perfect. With a garden filled with all the colors of the rainbow, all of which Burbank had discovered and/or cross pollinated himself, Luther needed more space. So with the grants he received from the Carnegie Institution, which was a grant for 10,000 a year for a p of ten years.

In 1885 Luther bought an 18 acre plot of land in Sebastopol, CA, which he named Luther Burbank’s Gold Ridge Experimental Farms. Which was the main place that was promoted in Luther’s newly issued catalog “New Creations” which was released in 1893. Which newspapers said that this, at that time, was what made Luther Burbank famous. This catalog included many type of seeds, trees, flowers, fruits and vegetables that Luther was willing to sell and make profit from. A lot of the thing were highly expensive, but he claimed ‘Perfection and its riches was not cheap. Shortly after the catalog was released, Burbank was now making a recurring profit for all of hard work he has been doing. Claiming that he has just made the best of all Japan plums, the ‘Perfection Plum’ he named it. Burbank sold it for 2,500, and people wanted a bite of this perfect fruit. Although Burbank was highly known for his creation of the Shasta daisy, he also made many other flowers and seedlings. Also known for his blue Shirley poppy, Fire poppy, the fragrant Calla and the state flower of California.

Since Luther lived in the vast land of California, there were many cattle there, and also droughts and bone-dry deserts. Plus there were so many types of cacti, most of them had edible juices, but the spikes were always a problem. And some farmers and cattle and cow raisers didn’t have the tools or wits to be able to cut into a spiky cactus without stabbing themselves. Luther, being the wizard he was claimed to be, came up with the spineless cactus. Making it billions of times easier for animals and people to eat and drink cactus without hurting themselves in the process.

Some of his other achievements would have to be his involvement in many honorary clubs of leading scientific societies all over the world. Including one of the invitation only American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Royal Horticultural Society. Which Burbank took great pride in, for many people took interest in his work and congratulated him. He also shared his work with other scientists and people of that nature. Such as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. He also was the heroine of the song, ‘All Hail to Luther Burbank’ which is quoted in all of his schools, communities, businesses, and corporations.

Luther Burbank’s name has been used for titles in 36 plants, schools, buildings, towns, streets, banks and corporations. Including the school he had attended as a child in Lancaster, Mass. With all these dedications before and after his death, people started this ‘Fanclub’ called The Burbankens. California even got on the bandwagon of the Burbankens, and had parades dedicated and representing Luther Burbank. There are still Burbankens to this day that try to do what Luther did, learned and experimented for over 50 years.

Two weeks after Luther’s 77th birthday, he suffered a severe heart attack from gastrointestinal complications and was immediately transmitted to a hospital. On April 10, 1926. Around 6:00 pm, Burbank slipped into a coma. 15 minutes after midnight, Luther’s heart stopped. Luther Burbank died on April 11, 1926. Cites: The Garden of Invention by Jane S. Smith ffrf. org/legacy/fttoday/back/burbank. php bookrags. com/biography/luther-burbank/ A Gardener Touched with Genius, the Life of Luther Burbank by Peter Dreyer people. famouswhy. com/luther-burbank/

Luther Burbank essay

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