Bob Beyfuss, a poet of gardening, remembered | Greene County


CAIRO — Hundreds of people knelt at the legendary ginseng root altar during the 7th annual Catskill Mountain Ginseng and Medicinal Herbs Festival at Historic Catskill Point in 2008. With 5 guest lecturers and 23 vendors, the festival was attended by herb enthusiasts, curious and true ginseng devotees.

The festival was born out of the fertile spirit of Bob Bayfuss.

“This year has been really good,” Beyfuss said of the October 11, 2008 event. It was a peaceful and quiet festival. The vendors were happy, the speakers were happy. we are delighted “

His juxtaposition of optimism, politeness and documentation has made Beyfuss part of the natural world he has observed and reported on for decades.

Beyfuss wrote a gardening tips column for the Daily Mail, then for Register-Star and for the Columbia-Greene Media company seal for nearly 30 years. He died on Jan. 12 when he collapsed on the field while playing a pick-up baseball game with his friends in Florida, and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. Beyfuss was 72 years old.

Many readers believed that Bayfuss was from Greene County, so the topics he wrote were relevant, but he actually lived in Shoharie County and spent his winters in Florida. Bayfuss wrote a column there and emailed it to the newspaper.

His friend Tony Meluzzo said, “I know he wants us to remember that he was the loving man he once was.

Beyfuss was a longtime member of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of the Greene County staff and a gifted environmental educator, but his knowledge of ginseng made him a renowned international scientist for the myths, legends, and healing powers of the root. made him an expert

“Sadly, I learned on Thursday that my dear friend and colleague, Bob Bayfuss, passed away suddenly in Florida,” Cornell Cooperative Extension said in a statement. For those wondering, he is a longtime member of the CCE Greene staff, a nationally renowned ginseng expert, a talented educator, and personally and professionally There would be no Agroforestry Resource Center in Accra today without Bob, who from 1997 to 2009 was a staff member of the Cornell Cooperative Expansion in Greene County.

Beyfuss was born on March 15, 1950. He received a master’s degree in agriculture from Cornell University in 1986 and retired from the Cornell Cooperative in Greene County in 2009. He has children and grandchildren.

In a column published in the January 14-15, 2023 issue, Bayfuss discusses the perks of living as a “snowbird” (a resident of Florida’s Gulf Coast) and sampling some interesting locally grown tropical fruits. I write about opportunities.

“A few days ago I ate ripe black sapote berries,” he wrote. “This fruit is closely related to the persimmon and looks a bit like a large persimmon. It’s about the size of a small orange and shaped like a squat pumpkin. The very thin skin is pale green when unripe. When fully ripe, it is dark green with brown to black spots.The fruit process takes months to develop, even in this long-growing region.”

Still on vacation, Bayfuss has taken care to convey the joy of eating garden delicacies with verbal nuances, details and sheer economy. His work immerses the reader in the dream of gardening and also gives the opportunity to taste the fruit.

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