Alan Chadwick with students in the Covelo Garden, circa 1972
The most obvious quality that separates “organic” farmers and gardeners from chemical farmers and gardeners is an innate respect for the Wisdom of Nature, which is generally arises from a strong sense of the spiritual nature of working with the land and with plants.
Two teachers of note who arose on these topics in the Seventies were Peter Tomkins and Alan Chadwick.
Tompkins, and co-author Christopher Byrd, with the publication of The Secret Life of Plants, made Americans aware for the first time that plants were sentient, that if a human being pays attention to them (or plays music to them!), they will respond in positive ways.
Chadwick was already working with these insights and had a unique ability as a teacher to open other people to these new awarenesses in such a way that, in a time when people thought food could only be grown with artificial fertilizers and a lot of pesticide application, individuals were empowered to create gardens without chemicals of such astounding fertility that they out produced conventional farmers by many fold.
There’s more information about Craig and Alan on the next page, but you can download the podcast from iTunes or here (on a Mac, use your cntl- key to download, on a PC right click. If you simply click, the podcast will play in a new window).
Harvey Ussery, author of "The Small Scale Poultry Flock"
No other book on raising poultry takes an entirely whole-systems approach, or discusses producing homegrown feed and breeding in such detail—it is truly an invaluable and groundbreaking guide that will lead farmers and homesteaders into a new world of self-reliance and enjoyment.– Chelsea Press
Harvey Ussery has been developing his whole-systems poultry husbandry for decades and has been writing about chickens and other fowl for Backyard Poultry since the inception of the magazine in early 2006. He has also written numerous articles for Mother Earth News and Countryside & Small Stock Journal, and has published in American Pastured Poultry Producers Association’s newsletter, Grit!, over the years. Ussery has presented at national and local events on poultry, homesteading, and energy and sustainability issues, and maintains a highly informative website, TheModernHomestead.US. He lives with his wife, Ellen, in Virginia. Continue reading
Dr Rob Dunn, evolutionary biologist and author of "The Wildlife of Our Bodies"
We came to Rob Dunn and his astounding book through Dr Al Kapuler’s (See BDNow! Podcast episode 3) enthusiastic recommendations. Dr Dunn makes it pretty clear that our bodies are ‘who we are’ and our minds are ‘who we think we are.’ While our minds have evolved to live in the 21st century, our bodies are pretty much stuck at the point they were in evolution before the neolithic, before civilization. Our mind’s recent requirement for ‘cleanliness’ is denying our old fashion bodies of many of the synergies we co-evolved with. Dr. Kapuler was very impressed by how Dr Dunn explains that our ancestors’ experiences with saber-toothed tigers still colors our psyche and explains much of our current foreign policy. Dr Dunn’s explanations on how a host of modern ailments, such as Chrone’s disease and many allergies, are probably due to the absence of parasites in our bowels. More to the point, he encourages us to “re-Wild” our insides for better health and performance here in the sterilized and monocropped 21st century. Continue reading
Filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia, creator of Symphony of the Soil
Healthy Soil = Healthy Plants = Healthy Animals and Humans
The World Premier of Deborah Koons Garcia’s (The Future of Food) long awaited film, Symphony of the Soil, is 4pm Sunday March 25, 2012 at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Theater. It is being shown as part of the DC Environmental Film Festival. (Find more information here )
If you’re reading this before March 25, and you’re in the DC-area, please make it out to this free event to show Debroah Koons Garcia that DC food community values films like this. A high turn out to this wonderful film will convince the DC Environmental Film Festival that there is a strong interest in films about food and agriculture. (And this is a good one!) Continue reading