Louis Bromfield served bravely in WWI. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor for his heroism. After the war he returned to New York City, working as a reporter. His first novel, The Green Bay Tree, received high praise in 1924, and in1927, Early Autumn won the Pulitzer Prize. All 30 of his novels were best-sellers, and many of them, such as The Rains Came and Mrs. Parkington, were made into successful motion pictures.
For the next 13 years, Bromfield and his family lived in France, a country he had come to love during his service in WWI. With WWII approaching, the Bromfield’s moved back to the U.S. Bromfield bought 1,000 acres near his hometown in Mansfield, Ohio. He opened a farm named “Malabar Farm.” For the next 20 years Bromfield continued writing and also developed new organic and self-sustaining gardening practices. Malabar Farm was among the first farms to stop using pesticides, it was a government test site, and was later made into a state park visited annually by 35,000 guests. In the 1980s, Bromfield was elected to the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.