Join us at Su Casa April 7 for dinner!

April 5, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Join us for the next Night for the Museums event at Su Casa Restaurante, ( located on Center St. in downtown South Haven.

Please join us on April 7 from 5-9, and a portion of the night’s bill will be donated to South Haven museums.

We deeply appreciate the support of Su Casa as well as the patrons who have made this a festive monthly happening.


A special thank you to restaurants for their long-term support:

Thirsty Perch and Oyster House, Phoenix St. Cafe, Clementine’s, Taste, Su Casa and Amicarelli Vineyard.



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Dinner at Taste with us, on March 3.

February 26, 2016 at 3:20 pm

We are looking forward to the next Night for the Museums event at Taste (  Taste, located on the corner of Phoenix and Kalamazoo St. in downtown South Haven, is known for its “small plates” dishes served to share at the table.  Taste has a full bar (Martinis!) and a wide selection of food at a location that overlooks the harbor.

Please join us on March 3 from 5-9, and a portion of the night’s bill will be donated to South Haven museums.

We deeply appreciate the support of Taste and other participating restaurants as well as the patrons who have made this a festive monthly happening.

The final Nights event is April 7 at Su Casa Restaurante.

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Night for Museums, gathers February 4 at the Amicarelli Vineyard

February 3, 2016 at 2:08 pm

Please join us for dinner on February 4 at the Amicarelli Vineyard Italian Restaurant in South Haven ( ) for the fourth Night for the Museums.  This monthly event benefits the Museums of South Haven by contributing a part of the evenings profits.  This includes dining-in or take-out orders.

It is a fun way to enjoy great, fresh, local food and help strengthen our museums which preserve and celebrate South Haven’s farm, maritime and artistic legacies.

There will be Nights on March 3, at Taste and April 7 at Su Casa.

See you there!

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We still have red poinsettias!

December 8, 2015 at 2:26 pm

The Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum still has poinsettias for sale!  We have small and large red plants until they are sold out…

We appreciate everyone that bought a poinsettia to enjoy at home or work.

We are open this week 9:00 – 3:30 until Friday, unless we sell-out, then we close except by appointment.



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Art & Antiques, A special Holiday Sale 2015

November 5, 2015 at 2:22 pm
Art & Antiques Holiday Sale is coming to the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum!
 The Sale will feature original artwork and selected antiques: items that are funky, traditional, upcycled, and hard to find.
Shoppers will find handcrafted bowls, custom jewelry, felted toys, abstract paintings, antique chairs, cabinets and settees.  Shoppers will find hand-made quilts,  a brass bed, varied primitives, vintage smalls and sundries, and hand-made ornaments.   There will also be wooden bowls, carved spatulas and up-cycled Kitty sweaters.
The price range will be from $5 up to $1,000 with most items in the $10 to $20 range. There is truly something for everyone.
Women’s Only Weekend registered participants get an additional 10% off November 13 and 14.
The Sale is organized by museum volunteers Robin Reva and Joan Hiddema.
 The Sale will include a wide variety of poinsettias again this year! There will be a choice of style and size of these brightly colored holiday plants. There will be traditional red, white, pink and others.
The Museum gift shop will be open during the Sale as well!  During public hours, the museum offers a variety of books, children’s science toys, and coloring books, for kids and adults, and vase brushes.
Art & Antiques Holiday Sale at the Bailey begins on Friday, November 13. It will be open for two weekends on November 14, 20 and 21,  from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
On Saturday, November 21 children’s book illustrator and author Wendy Anderson Halperin will be at the museum to sign copies of her books from 1:00 until 3:00. Planting the Wild Garden, written by Kathryn O. Galbraith, is currently available for sale at the museum.
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Plant drawing workshop with Wendy Anderson Halperin

September 30, 2015 at 1:49 pm

The Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum is hosting a workshop on  November 7 with Wendy Anderson Halperin, nationally recognized children’s book author and illustrator.   The workshop, “Draw Plants and Gain a Deeper Appreciation of Their Magic,” is for everyone interested in plants.

No drawing experience is necessary!  Students will be guided with step by step instructions through the drawing and observing process.

In addition to being an acclaimed book illustrator, the instructor Anderson Halperin, is also the Director of Drawing Children into Reading, a non-profit that has developed a curriculum for schools with gardens using drawing.    The web site for her non-profit is:

Participants will  learn about plant structure, patterns, and form.  “Learn the function of various parts of the plants from seed to root, from pollinator to decomposer and from photosynthesis to your kitchen table,” Wendy said.

All students enrolling in the class are asked to bring the Crayola (brand) 64 set of crayons.  Additionally, students will be given a Portable Art Studio box with a pencil, an eraser, a terrific sharpener and an alphabet book about plants we eat.

Draw Plants and Gain a Deeper Appreciation of Their Magic workshop is Saturday, November 7 from 9 until 5, with an hour for lunch.

To register, it is $150 per person.  Payment may be mailed to the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum, P.O. Box 626, South Haven MI 49090, checks made to Drawing Children into Reading.  Payment may be made by credit or debit card by calling the museum, 269-637-3251.

Please contact us with any questions.

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Join us for Vineyard tour at Fenn Valley Winery

July 29, 2015 at 2:59 pm

The Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum is collaborating with Fenn Valley Winery to offer an educational vineyard tour with Viticulturist and Farm Manager, Todd Robbins.

This special tour is designed around wine and the grapes in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.  Participants will sample wine alongside the grapes, while Robbins explains the basics of wine making, grape growing and farm sustainability at Fenn Valley. The tour will be conducted from the “Grape Train,” specially designed wagons pulled by tractors that allow participants the opportunity to take-in vineyard vistas.

Todd Robbins is a graduate of the Michigan State University Sustainable Farming program and in interested in promoting sustainable practices.  He is also a trustee of the museum.

Following the vineyard tour participants will enjoy a chicken picnic with sides, dessert and a glass of Fenn Valley wine or hard cider.  There is a vegetarian option available.

Wine sampling is included throughout so participants must be at least 21 years old.

The tour is Thursday, August 6, at 4:00 at Fenn Valley Winery located at 6130 122nd Ave. in Fennville.  Reservations are $45 per person and may be made by calling the Bailey Museum with a credit or debit card by August 3.  Space is limited so make your reservation soon!

Contact the Bailey Museum at 269-637-5132 or

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New exhibition on “The Holy Earth” opens

July 16, 2015 at 5:00 pm

One hundred years ago, a new idea that we now take for granted was just taking hold in the American imagination—the idea that nature might have rights as well as people, and that if we don’t adequately protect our environments we might lose them.  Liberty Hyde Bailey, native son of South Haven, contributed an influential book to this discussion 100 years ago this year, and the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum in South Haven is celebrating with a special exhibit, titled “The Holy Earth Centennial: Bailey’s Vision at 100,” which will run from July 18 until November 7.  The opening reception is at 7:00 July 17, former museum director John Stempien will give a short talk.

A public talk with exhibit curator John Linstrom will take place on July 19 at 7:00 p.m.  A hors d’oeuvre reception will be held at 6:00 to meet Linstrom.

In addition to his substantial contributions to the fields of botanical horticulture, outdoor education and 4-H, the land-grant university system and agricultural extension, and popular gardening, Bailey is also remembered for his major contributions to agrarian and environmental philosophy.

The Holy Earth became Bailey’s environmental manifesto,” said John Linstrom, curator of the exhibit and himself a South Havenite.  “It was also an important book in Bailey’s life—he had just retired early from academia, and he wrote much of the book on scraps of paper during a sea voyage to New Zealand to deliver a series of lectures.  He felt the freedom of the sea and of his newly independent life.  But he was also writing in the wake of his father’s death and mother’s decline here in South Haven, and the home farm and hometown are described beautifully in the book’s penultimate chapter.  So The Holy Earth is many things—philosophical, spiritual, and personal too.”

“It’s a meditation on how we should all live out our daily lives with an increased awareness that everything we do affects everything around us,” Linstrom added, “which means we all have a personal relationship to and responsibility for both the planet and our local neighborhood.  It’s a call for thankfulness and awareness, and also an impassioned plea for better, more ecological farming and land use.”

Linstrom spent several years working at the Bailey Museum, eventually as director, before heading to New York University where he has begun doctoral studies in English and hopes to study the agricultural tradition in literature.  Bailey plays a big role in that study.

The Holy Earth made a bigger impact than most people realize,” Linstrom said.  “Aldo Leopold is one of the looming figures in the history of American environmental philosophy, and his most famous idea—the idea of a ‘land ethic’—comes straight out of this slim 1915 book by our man Bailey.  It’s no wonder that, at the end of his life, Bailey counted this as his favorite of the 65 books he penned.”

The exhibit also anticipates a new centennial edition of the book, edited by Linstrom and featuring a new introduction by acclaimed author and farmer Wendell Berry, forthcoming from Counterpoint Press in December.  The book can be preordered at the museum or on its website,  The exhibit will both unpack the book’s content and Bailey’s nuanced “earth-philosophy” and also explore the story of the book itself, from its origins in Bailey’s life experiences through its initially lukewarm reception and its popularity boom during World War II.  It will introduce Bailey’s manifesto to those who have never picked it up, and it will deepen the appreciation of those who have already treasured the book for years.

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Exciting events coming to the Bailey

May 15, 2015 at 4:14 pm

As lush shades of green return to the landscape, so too, do activities at the Bailey Museum.  The planning committees have planned seven new events through the end June.

The Spring Cleaning Sale runs May 22 & 23 and it will feature a variety of antiques, furniture, fixtures, art, and other unusual items.   We will accept cash, checks or credit.

We are offering an interesting workshop called Integrating Language and Landscape, Art and Culture: Voices from the Land on June 18 and 19.  The workshop is in conjunction with EIRC sponsor of the Monarch Teaching Network  (  A form to register is available at (  Voices is geared towards those interested in learning strategies to connect children to the landscape and fostering a love of nature.

In conjunction with the Voices workshop we are offering a public talk Thursday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m.: Under the Walnut Tree with Voices leader, Brian Hayes.  Hayes will speak about Nature Study, Listening to the Earth.  No reservations needed.

An exhibition of new paintings by South Haven artist Robin Reva opens in the McNeill Woodshed at the museum. It is called, Tellus Forms, New Watercolor Paintings.  The show opens with a public reception on Friday, May 29 at 7:00 p.m. Tellus Forms runs through Saturday, June 27, 2015.  It is supported by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Come join us for the Sunday Social! Enjoy the company of other “Baileyateurs” for hors d’oeuvres, drinks and live music on June 28 at 2:00 p.m. in the back of the museum among the lovely gardens and trees. Live music will be provided by Whiskey Before Breakfast.

Members are invited to visit Pleasant Hill Farm on Thursday, June 4, with “Baileyateurs”. We will have dinner at Salt of the Earth restaurant at 5 pm and then at 7 pm  go to Pleasant Hill Farm for a tour by farmer Joan Donaldson.   To join the expedition, please call the museum at 269-637-3251 or email the museum at to reserve your spot.

The Bailey’s Budding Naturalists (BBN) children’s camp is on again this summer in two sessions: June 22-26 and July 20 –24.  BBN is designed for children, ages 6-11, to experience the many wonders of nature through hands-on activities. This year, choose either of the two identical sessions offered in June and July!  The cost is $5 per day or $20 for the whole week.  The BBN is supported by the South Haven Garden Club.

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The Holy Earth by Liberty Hyde Bailey: Centennial Edition with Wendell Berry

May 7, 2015 at 6:44 pm

This blog post was first published on John Linstrom’s personal website, at

On the occasion of having recently sent the complete manuscript to the publisher, I want to announce here on my website what has already been public news for some time — in December of this year, Counterpoint Press will be publishing a Centennial Edition, under my editorship, of Liberty Hyde Bailey’s agrarian manifesto The Holy Earth, featuring a new introduction by Wendell Berry and new editorial content.  You can preorder through the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum here.

The cover for the Centennial Edition of Bailey's The Holy Earth - the photograph is by Bailey himself.
The cover for the Centennial Edition of Bailey’s The Holy Earth – the photograph is by Bailey himself.

My intellectual obsession with Liberty Hyde Bailey began in the spring of 2010, when, as a senior in college, I first discovered his name — ironically, since he and I grew up in the same, small hometown of South Haven, Michigan just about 130 years apart.  Since then I have become involved with the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum, located in Bailey’s birthplace and childhood home, now a National Historic Place in South Haven, and Bailey’s life and work have influenced the whole course of my own work — from a creative nonfiction master’s thesis exploring the altered worlds and strange resonances that Bailey and I have inhabited, to over two years handling the directorship of the museum, and now to doctoral study in English at New York University with a planned dissertation focus on American agricultural writing since the Civil War.

This special edition celebrates one hundred years of this book’s quiet but powerful influence on environmental and agrarian thinking and on conservation policy.  Wendell Berry‘s new introduction is not to be missed, and Counterpoint Press has already been doing a wonderful job with design.  I have also done work to establish the work’s authoritative text and provide a preface and some notes.  I’m very happy with how it has all come together, and believe that this edition will do the work the justice it deserves.

The cover art comes from a photograph taken by Bailey himself in the 1890s, and it depicts his elder daughter, Sara May Bailey, sitting beside a tree planted by Bailey’s father in front of the Bailey homestead in South Haven, looking out towards the world beyond. The image is fitting on multiple levels, not the least of which is the role that Bailey’s childhood home played for him in the writing of the book, and especially in the penultimate chapter on “the open fields,” where he provides one of his most lovely descriptions of his hometown and the sense of deep local history that is so important to agrarian communities.  Berry touches on this influence of farm life in his wonderful introduction, and I describe some of the resonances in my editor’s preface.  It has not often been appreciated just how much The Holy Earth subtly bridges the local and the global in ways far ahead of its time.

I hope this book will help boost the continuing revival of interest in Bailey’s work, and also serve to kickstart new efforts to foster agrarian values and community in this strange twenty-first century.  I plan to post more updates and reflections related to the edition on this blog in the coming months.

The first upcoming event related to the centennial is a panel discussion that I will contribute to at the annual joint meeting and conference of the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society (AFHVS) and the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA — details here.  The panel, titled “100 Years of Liberty Hyde Bailey’s The Holy Earth,” is organized by Amy Guptill of SUNY Brockport and Scott Peters of Cornell University, and it will consist of three papers presented on June 25 at 8:30 AM: “Ground-Levels in Democratic Agrarianism: Liberty Hyde Bailey’s Communitarian Environmental Ethic,” by Clark Wolf of Iowa State University; “The Holy Earth and Ecocriticism’s ‘Third Wave’: Bridging the Dualism between Relinquishment and Superfluity,” by myself; and “The Holy Earth in the Century of Climate Change” by Paul A. Morgan of Westchester University.

Counterpoint has now released its Fall 2015 catalog, including the advertisement for the centennial Holy Earth, which you can access electronically here.  Please consider preordering the book from the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum, in order to support all they do, here.  And here is the information from the Counterpoint catalog:

“The earth is divine, because man did not make it. We are here, part in the creation. We cannot escape. We are under obligation to take part and to do our best, living with each other and with all creatures.”

The agrarian tradition runs as an undercurrent through the entire history of literature, carrying the age-old wisdom that the necessary access of independent farmers to their own land both requires the responsibility of good stewardship and provides the foundation for a thriving civilization. At the turn of the last century, when farming first began to face the most rapid and extensive series of changes that industrialization would bring, the most compelling and humane voice representing the agrarian tradition came from the botanist, farmer, philosopher, and public intellectual Liberty Hyde Bailey. In 1915, Bailey’s environmental manifesto, The Holy Earth, addressed the industrialization of society by utilizing the full range of human vocabulary to assert that the earth’s processes and products, because they form the governing conditions of human life, should therefore be understood not first as economic, but as divine. To grasp the extent of human responsibility for the earth, Bailey called for “a new hold” that society must take to develop a “morals of land management,” which would later inspire Aldo Leopold’s “land ethic” and several generations of agrarian voices. This message of responsible land stewardship has never been as timely as now.

For the first time since Bailey’s death, we present the restored and authoritative first edition text—with the author’s 1943 retrospect and original editorial annotations newly gathered and edited by John Linstrom—to introduce this extraordinary book to a new generation of readers. Published in cooperation with the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum, this special centennial edition of Bailey’s masterwork will feature an appreciation of the book by Wendell Berry, whose own work has long been indebted to Bailey’s writing.

Liberty Hyde Bailey (1858–1954), born on a humble frontier farm in southwest Michigan, went on to become the “Father of Modern Horticulture,” a leading public intellectual on the question of rural communities, and a national spokesperson for agricultural policy. His birthplace and childhood home function as a museum and educational outreach center devoted to telling Bailey’s story and engaging the modern world with his philosophy and ideals.

Essayist, novelist, and poet Wendell Berry has written more than thirty books. One of the major voices in for agrarianism today, he lives and works in his native Kentucky with his wife, Tanya Berry, and their children and grandchildren.

John Linstrom worked for several years as curator and then director of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum, where he is now a Bailey Foundation Fellow. His essays and poems have recently appeared in a number of journals, and he currently lives in New York City.

First full photograph of the earth. Courtesy NASA.
First full photograph of the earth. Courtesy NASA.
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