Farmer Jack London

jacks cactii

Jack worked with Luther Burbank to develop a cactus to feed livestock.

I don’t know why it’s taken me twenty years to pay homage to Jack London’s homestead in Sonoma, but the wait was more than worth it, and I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface of the agricultural side of the great writer. Having achieved literary stardom by the time he decided to settle down, London positioned his career as a populist writer/lecturer to support his agricultural experiments, most of which were way ahead of their time and in common practice today. He seems to have been most influenced by his travels to Asia, having seen firsthand the Chinese practice of terracing to conserve water. He raised horses and other livestock and collaborated with Luther Burbank to develop cacti as livestock feed, a failed experiment influenced by practices he witnessed in Hawaii while cruising the Pacific on board his ketch, the Snark.

jacks bed

Jack slept on a sun porch, smoking and writing into the wee hours.

jacks notes

I love his system for keeping track of notes.

jacks desk

I love his writing desk that looks like two up-turned fruit crates with a slab on top.