Lady Eve Balfour (1898–1990)

Author of The Living Soil

Includes the names: E. B. (Lady Eve) Balfour, Lady Evelyn Barbara Balfour

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Lady Evelyn Barbara "Eve" Balfour was a daughter of Gerald Balfour 2nd Earl of Balfour, and Lady Betty Balfour. She was born in Dublin, where her father served as chief secretary for Ireland, and spent her childhood at the family estates in England and Scotland. She was one of the first women to study agriculture at an English university. After graduating from the University of Reading during World War I, she became a pioneer of the organic farming movement. On her own New Bells Farm, in Haughley, Suffolk, purchased with her older sister, Lady Eve and her friend Ryan Nelson launched the Haughley Experiment, the first long-term scientific comparison of organic and chemical-based farming methods. In 1943, she published the initial results in her classic book The Living Soil. She lectured at farmers markets and cattle sales throughout Britain, often joined in Wales by Dinah Williams, who founded the first organic dairy farm. In 1946, she co-founded and became the first president of The Soil Association. During the 1950s, she toured Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand to spread the organic farming message and create networks of supporters. She also wrote three detective novels She wrote three detective novels with Beryl Hearnden, under the pen name Hearnden Balfour, including The Paper Chase (1928).
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