A talk: Why we built a house powered by Wind and Sun, by Maynard Kaufman

September 23, 2016 at 3:22 pm


Author, farmer and philosopher Maynard Kaufman will present a talk and tour on Thursday, October 20 at the Railroad Cafe in Bangor at 4:30.  A carpool will gather at the museum at 3:30 then travel together to Bangor.

Kaufman will discuss his home, Sunflower, that utilizes the sun and wind for its energy needs and give a tour after.  The home is ‘off the grid’ and self sufficient. for more information see michiganlandtrust.org/Sunflower 

Maynard Kaufman and Barbara Geisler built Sunflower in 2001 after Kaufman retired from Western Michigan University where he was a professor of Environmental Studies.  He and Geisler farmed and have been involved in Green Politics groups as far back as 1987 and were eager to live more independently and in harmony with nature without contributing to global pollution. They also operated an organic farm and taught farming.

Building a house that used renewable sources of energy was a natural step forward for them.

Their home uses solar panels, a wind turbine, a masonry stove and hydronic floor heat.  It has electrical storage capacity to manage the flow of power.  These and other features will be discussed on the tour.

Participants will travel in a carpool from The Bailey Museum at 3:30 on October 20 to Bangor’s Railroad Café for food, drinks and an informal talk on why they use renewable energy at 4:30.  After that we will continue on to Sunflower.

Please sign-up with the museum by Friday, October 14 for this free event.  Contact The Bailey Museum, 269-637-3251 or info@libertyhydebailey.org.

The Bailey Museum installs new garden markers with grant from Michigan Realtors

September 2, 2016 at 3:41 pm

The Bailey Museum has recently installed new signs and plant markers in our gardens.  The new markers are possible with a grant from the Michigan Realtors and their Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper Grant.  The markers include information about select plants and trees and, for most, their Latin name.  The markers are spread through the vegetable and flower beds.

Information includes the story of heirloom ‘Sugar Bon’ Peas, the ‘French Breakfast Radish’ and others.  The captions discuss what plants make good bed fellows, plant origins and their taste.  The markers were made by Lark Label, which made markers for the museum in the past.

Many thanks to Meryl Greene for contacting us with the grant lead, Anne Long for submitting the needed forms and Dr. Fenske for his research on the plants.  Thanks to Kathy Pallas, of Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors for her help and patience in this process.


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Join the Grape Train, learn about a vineyard and taste the wine!

August 25, 2016 at 10:47 am

The Bailey Museum is planning a tour of the vineyards at Fenn Valley Winery on Thursday, September 15.  The tour will be led by Fenn Valley Winery Farm Manager Todd Robbins, who will discuss the characteristics of different varieties of grapes and the wine produced from them.  This special tour is designed around the grapes and the environment in which they grow.  The tour will be relaxed and fun, participants will sample wine alongside the grapevines while Robbins explains the basics of wine making, grape growing and farm sustainability at Fenn Valley Winery.  The tour will be conducted from the “Grape Train,” open covered wagons pulled by tractors that allow participants to take in vineyard vistas and get close to the vines.

After the vineyard tour participants will enjoy a light picnic of sandwiches with sides, dessert and a glass of Fenn Valley wine or hard cider.

The event will begin at 4:00 pm, Thursday, September 15.  Wine sampling will be included throughout the tour so participants must be at least 21 years old.  Fenn Valley Winery is located at 6130 122nd Ave. in Fennville.

Reservations are $25 per person and should be made in advance by calling The Bailey Museum with a credit or debit card by Saturday, September 10.  People can also drop a check or cash off at the museum during regular hours.  Space is limited so make your reservation soon!  The Bailey Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 9 until 4.

Contact us at 269-637-3251 or info@libertyhydebailey.org if you have questions or to make a reservation.

Next Brown Bag August 24

August 14, 2016 at 6:34 pm

Our next, and last for the season, Brown Bag will feature a talk about planning a Milkweed Monarch butterfly garden.  Ilse Gebbard, of the Very Active Monarch Network, will give a Power Point show at noon on August 24.  The talk will be inside the museum in the McNeill Woodshed gallery.

The talk is free and open to all!  So bring a friend and a lunch.


Brown Bag with blacksmith Ted Guimond

July 29, 2016 at 1:00 pm

The Brown Bag Botany Series continues under the Walnut Tree.  Entertaining blacksmith Ted Guimond will demonstrate making tools for the garden on a portable forge. Ted will be working over the fire with iron, hammer and anvil to show how iron is converted into useful tools for the grill.  Come and learn about iron, carbon, fire and style.

Bring a lunch and join us outside for the Ted’s talk.

We hope the weather will be agreeable, otherwise we may be in the barn.  Please contact the museum in case of rain.

John Linstrom speaks about The Holy Earth

July 21, 2016 at 10:55 am

Book Talk to Celebrate Centennial Year of Local Author’s Masterpiece

Editor John Linstrom on Liberty Hyde Bailey’s The Holy Earth

On July 23 at 1:00, John Linstrom will lead a book talk and conversation about one of the most influential books by environmental author and “South Haven’s Favorite Son,” Liberty Hyde Bailey (1858-1954), at Black River Books in South Haven (330 Kalamazoo St.).  Linstrom edited the recent centennial edition of the book, which was released in November 2015 and features a new foreword by renowned agrarian author Wendell Berry.

Over the past year, Linstrom has participated in academic panels as well as informal book talks at venues in several states, ranging from Cornell University to South Haven’s own Bailey Museum, in order to mark this special anniversary year.  Liberty Hyde Bailey was born in South Haven when it was still a tiny frontier village, and he grew up on what would become one of the region’s premier fruit farms of the nineteenth century.  His experiences in the woods and fields in southwest Michigan would help shape the influential environmental vision that he articulated in The Holy Earth, and his curiosity and love for the farm and garden led him to the eventual position of “Father of Modern Horticulture” and founder of “New Agrarian” philosophy.  A prolific author, Bailey wrote 65 books and edited 140 more over the course of his 96-year life.


In The Holy Earth, Bailey argues that the very earth should be understood as divine due to the fact that it is “beyond us,” surpassing in its intricate mysteries all human understanding and imagination.  And if we accept the holiness of the earth, Bailey argues, we have a moral responsibility to be good stewards of that earth, which requires us to take “a new hold” in our lives.  His application of Judeo-Christian ethical imperative to environmental discourse in the book ultimately influenced many key environmental thinkers of the past century, including the likes of Aldo Leopold, Wendell Berry, and Wes Jackson.


The event will begin at 1:00 with informal conversation.  At 1:30, Linstrom will speak about the interesting detective work he did during the editorial process in the research archives of Cornell and Princeton, and he will also share some of Bailey’s fascinating life story and how it led Bailey to write such an important and unique work—a book that manages to be simultaneously expansive and compact, growing from tradition and challenging dogma, and still as challenging and relevant as it was 100 years ago.  There will also be time afterward for questions and the opportunity to purchase copies of the book.


For further information on this or future events, please contact Black River Books at (269) 637-7374

Brown Bag with Bee Keeper Don Lam

July 14, 2016 at 10:04 am

On Wednesday, July 20 at noon we present Don Lam who will discuss bee keeping and how to create the right environment on your backyard.  Lam is the President of the Holland Area Bee Keepers Association and has years of experience cultivating bee colonies.

Please a bag lunch and join us under the Walnut Tree behind the museum.  Enjoy the summer weather, good company, and education about bees.

Fruits of their Labors

July 6, 2016 at 2:32 pm

We are presenting the fascinating story of South Haven’s origins as a center for fruit growing and development in the new exhibition, Fruits of their Labors, The Story of Four Pomologists and South Haven Fruit, which opens Friday, July 8 and will run through September 24.

Fruits tells the story of South Haven’s early apple and peach growers Liberty Hyde Bailey, Sr. and Aaron S. Dyckman.   The story will take visitors from 1852 with the development of South Haven into a thriving town up to the twentieth century with development of the Haven variety of peaches and highbush Blueberries by Stanley Johnston.

The exhibition will include pictures of the early days of South Haven, artifacts from the peach and blueberry industry, and resources from the State Pomological Society.  Visitors will get to know the men who worked to develop the peaches and apples that were highly sought-after and that withstood the challenges of weather, disease and marketing.

Fruits also tells the story of the South Haven Experiment Station founded by orchard owner and scientist T.T. Lyon.  The vital legacy of experimentation and fruit production are celebrated through the stories of history-changing work.

There is no admission fee to visit the museum or Fruits of their Labors. The show is generously underwritten by MBG Marketing, the Blueberry People and in part by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Erik Mollenhauser speaks at Lake Michigan College June 28

June 23, 2016 at 2:04 pm

The South Haven Speakers Series is presenting Reconnecting with Nature in a Digital World by Environmentalist Erik Mollenhauer on Tuesday, June 28.  There will be a reception at 6:45 p.m. then at 7:30 p.m. the Presentation Begins.

The talk is at Lake Michigan College, 125 Veterans Blvd., South Haven.  Admission is $10 per person, students are free.

What are we losing when we separate ourselves from nature? How are we depriving ourselves by enabling this “extinction of experience”?

Studies have shown many American adults spend more time in their cars than outdoors, and our children spend 90% of their days indoors. Computers, TV, cell phones, and an ever-growing array of technological distractions are leading us to “disconnect” with nature.

Erik Mollenhauer’s thought-provoking presentation will challenge us to explore what happens to our humanity when we separate ourselves from nature.

A nationally recognized science educator, he will explain the core elements imprinted in our genetic and emotional memory that shed light on our place in the world. Passionate about the environment, Erik will show us why we need to reconnect with the wonders of nature to be fully functioning human beings.

For more information see: www.southhavenspeakersseries.org