Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Château Hough

“...Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.”—William Jennings Bryan 1896

Now, Bryan may have been this country's best orator. He was the Democratic candidate for the presidency three times. Many people loved Bryan. His popularity was a phenomenon in US history. There were many boys named after him. William Jennings Bryan Herman was an all star second baseman for the Cubs, and played later with other National League teams. He was also a team manager, and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Bryan still may be the most liberal candidate nominated by a major party. Unfortunately, he did not win a term. Especially, his first run in 1896 was thought to have been fixed against him. Some writers have ridiculed him through malice. Militarists, economic royalists, and social darwinists despised him. Some of Bryan's programme came to be under Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Rural America was being crushed by bankers, railroads, and other financial interests that continued to gain power. Bryan was a populist, and a fervent Christian. He believed in social justice. The quote above affirmed the value of an agrarian society (not until 1920 census was the US an urban society), and its people, over an industrial society run by plutocrats. Well, Hough famously burned in riots in 1966. It has declined in population, and economically. The remaining population became poorer. Economic interests will not save them. Urban farming, horticulture, and raising and creating foodstuffs will make the urban land of value again. Small landholders may make a passable standard of living. So an hundred years on, Bryan's comment may be, “Your burned down cities, will be made into farms”.

Urban farming is starting to have a foundation in America. Mansfield Frazier had an idea, on Hough Avenue, Cleveland Ohio, there is a vineyard. Perhaps, it will be a pioneer in the city.
  Frontenac grapes were favored by birds. Netting was necessary.
  Traminette grapes
 The Frontenac berries were picked Saturday.
I first saw these vines in January 2011. The foot tracks, in the foreground, are on the sidewalk. There is no fencing. The house is gone, replaced by a bio-cellar building.

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