Luther Burbank

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  • Topic: Luther Burbank, Russet Burbank potato, Potato
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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. 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...
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