Saturday, September 19, 2015

Malabar Farm State Park

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  Malabar Farms was the home of Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist Louis Bromfield and his family. Bromfield, who wrote 30 best selling books, served in WWI and lived in France after the war but returned to his childhood home of Mansfield, Ohio at the start of WWII and bought the land for Malabar Farm. Bromfield was very interested in organic and self-sustaining gardening, and soil conservation which he practiced on the farm. He wrote and lectured on these topics during the 17 years that he lived and worked on the farm. The state operates the property as a working farm following the same principles as Bromfield. The gift shop sells grass based and free range beef products at reasonable prices.

  The park is large and includes a stage coach stop which is now a restaurant, a visitor center, youth hostel, the Bromfield family home, the Pugh cabin, the Ceely Rose House, a primitive campground, picnic areas, farm buildings, fields and hiking trails.

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The visitor center is accessible. The road to the farm buildings and the family home is paved. One of the buildings has information about Louis Bromfield and the history of the Native Americans who lived in the area before the Europeans arrived. This building is accessible. The home is opened for tours but we didn’t visit it. The bottom floor is probably accessible. There are also farm tours using  wagons pulled by a tractor. I noticed a wheelchair on the wagon so I think it had a lift. Most of the rest of property and the trails are not accessible. Visiting the park is free but there’s a small charge for the tours.

  The visitor center contains displays about farm animals, wild animals and conservation. Most of it is geared towards middle school children. We were disappointed at the small amount of information about the farm and Louis Bromfield so if we visit again we’ll take the tours and hopefully get a better understanding of the farm.

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The parking lot at the visitor center has long RV/bus spaces. RVs will fit in the restaurant lot. Some of the sites in the campground are long enough for any RV. Park

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