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).
Sandor Katz is a self-described fermentation fetishist. His fermentation explorations developed out of overlapping interests in cooking, nutrition and gardening. He is also an herbalist and an activist and a writer and a builder and a craftsperson and a bicyclist and many other things: a generalist. He is a resident steward of Short Mountain Sanctuary, a queer intentional community deep in the wooded hills of Tennessee. Katz is a native of New York City, a graduate of Brown University, and a former urban planner and policy analyst. He has been living with AIDS for more than a decade and considers fermented foods an important part of his healing. (from Sandor's official biography, circa 2003) Continue reading
Michael Phillips, author of The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way
Michael Phillips is a farmer, writer, carpenter, orchard consultant, and speaker who lives with his wife, Nancy, and daughter, Grace, on Heartsong Farm in northern new Hampshire, where they grow apples and a variety of medicinal herbs. Michael authored The Apple Grower (Chelsea Green 2005) and teamed up with Nancy to write The Herbalist’s Way(Chelsea Green 2005). His Lost Nation Orchard is part of a diversified mountain farm in northern New Hampshire, and he also leads the community orchard movement at www.GrowOrganicApples.com