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Burbank, Luther, 1849-1926 / Luther Burbank: his methods and discoveries and their practical application
(1914)

[Luther Burbank -- the bearing of his work on human life -- on improving the human plant],   pp. [202]-246 PDF (10.0 MB)


Page 219

IMPROVING THE HUMAN PLANT
The offspring of these city dwellers are reared
in an environment radically different from the
healthful one in which their parents were reared.
They are crowded into dark, ill-ventilated
tenements, amidst surroundings that not only lack
the light and air and joyousness of the country,
but are often positively vitiated as to their mental
and moral no less than as to their physical
atmosphere.
It is as if we were to take the plants that have
been bred in the rich, well watered, carefully
weeded soil of a garden and transplant them into
an infertile, dry soil, choked with weeds and away
from sunlight.
By no chance could we expect the plants under
these conditions to attain full growth or to put
forth even a fair complement of flowers and fruits.
The Burbank giant amaryllis bulbs, which un-
der proper conditions will put forth splendid
stalks bearing flowers ten inches across, would be
reduced, under such altered conditions, to the
throwing up of meager stalks and, at best, the
production of a restricted number of dwarf flowers
little calculated to add to the reputation of the
plant developer.
THE POWER OF ENVIRONMENT
This matter of environment, then, goes hand in
hand with heredity and is a final determining fac-
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