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Early California Gardens

Articles: Early California Gardens

Serendipity keeps on happening by chance, as Yogi Berra might have said. In the course of research for my first book, The Olive in California: history of an immigrant tree, I came across an unpublished manuscript by Harry Butterfield, which forms the core of a new book, from which this article is adapted.
Harry M Butterfield spent his entire professional life in the Agriculture Extension Service of the University of California at Berkeley. He was born in Nebraska in 1887 to a pioneering farm family that moved ever westward. They finally stopped when they reached the Pacific coast and settled in Orange County. He was the second of eleven children. To show how hard things were then, it took him and his next eldest brother two years to complete the last stage of high school. One of them would work and the other attend school. Harry was the first member of his family to go to college.

After a few apprentice years, he joined the university extension service. His task was to be the interface between the science of the academy and the person in the garden. Butterfield wrote numerous pamphlets and lectured widely on the best ways to grow flowers and vegetables. During the Second World ...

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