Alan Chadwick a Gardener of Souls

Gallery of Photos and Documents about the Life and Work of

Alan Chadwick


Blue Lake


After three years of unremitting labor without a break, Alan Chadwick was exhausted from the initial phases of building up the student garden at UCSC. Clearly he needed a break to rest and rejuvenate himself before plunging back into the ecological project that he had begun in 1967. Somebody suggested a camping trip to Blue Lake in the Sierra Nevada, and that is where he went.



UCSC apprentice band


An overview of the recent celebration at the University of California at Santa Cruz marking the 50-Year Anniversary of the founding of the Student Garden Project by Alan Chadwick in 1967. This article offers a summary of the day by day events along with photographs by Jodi Frediani and Martha Brown.



Tom Benthin's Covelo Journal


In the Spring of 1974, Tom Benthin was an apprentice at Covelo. The journal that he kept between February 8th and June 1st of that year chronicles much of the propagation and planting that took place at that crucial time. The journal also spans the difficult episode when, due to heavy flooding, the garden had to be moved from its original location near the center of Covelo, to a more remote site at the north end of the valley. Moreover, Tom's detailed record of the technical methods used by Chadwick are an invaluable resource, as specific propagation procedures are described for individual plants. Planting methods for fruit trees and soft fruits are also recorded in great detail. This collection is a gold mine for gardeners who wish to employ the techniques that Chadwick pioneered.



Alan Chadwick's Aura Hangs in the West


One former Chadwick apprentice, Peter Jorris, recently contributed an account of his experience at the celebration at UCSC marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Alan Chadwick Garden. On Thursday, July 27, 2017 (coinciding with the anniversary of Alan Chadwick's birthday) a reunion was held for those who had worked with Chadwick in Santa Cruz.


Betty Peck


Jay Thorwaldson recently wrote a Tribute to Betty Peck, in which he reflects back on his experience in her third grade class at Los Gatos Elementary School, nearly seventy years ago. We reprint that article here because Betty was the prime mover behind the establishment of the Saratoga Community Garden, which began in the fall of 1972. She was one of the first educators to recognize the potential value of Alan Chadwick's approach to the natural world as it could be applied in a school setting. The Saratoga Community Garden was envisioned as a place where school children could visit on field trips in order to enrich the ordinary classroom-based learning program.



Chadwick Society Document


An introduction to what should have become a practical archive of Alan Chadwick's lectures and other documents after his death. This is a page from the inaugural meeting of the Alan Chadwick Society in 1980. Unfortunately, Chadwick's wishes have not been respected. For the last thirty-five years since his death, many of his recorded lectures have been kept inaccessible from the public by Craig Siska and Steve Crimi, under the guise of the Alan Chadwick Archive. Only a very few items have seen the light of day, and these are being sold for money, quite contrary to the spirit of Chadwick's philosophy of life.




The history of the Sustainable Agriculture program at UCSC, where some of Alan Chadwick's original impulses are still being carried out. Now called the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, the program continues to exert a powerful force for change in agricultural practice. UC Santa Cruz is often referred to as "the Harvard of organic farming" for its leadership in the organic movement since 1967.



yin and yang as symbol of the revolutionibus


An article on Alan Chadwick's cosmology by Rodney Blackhirst, PhD. Entitled Volcano of the Revolutionibus, Blackhirst traces the development of the concept "revolutionibus" in Chadwick's vocabulary from its earlier manifestation as "pulsation," the term that he used frequently inSanta Cruz, Saratoga, Green Gulch, and in the earliest days at Covelo.



The well-kept gardens, farm, and buildings erected by the San Francisco Zen Center near the Marin County coastline.


Scenes from a Pilgrimage to Green Gulch Farm in October of 2014, including views of Muir Beach, located at the lower end of Green Gulch Valley, with ample evidence that the people of Green Gulch are maintaining Alan Chadwick's tomb in a careful manner.




madonna and child


A scholarly article by Rodney Blackhirst on Alan Chadwick's conception of the Clairvoyer and how this relates to the philosophical ideas of Henry Corbin. Corbin was a contemporary of Chadwick, but was an academic rather than a gardener, whose specialty was Islamic religion. As Alan pointed out, the Clairvoyer can be seen in the backgrounds of many Renaissance paintings that depict the madonna and child.






Photo of Broadside by Jack Stauffacher printed at the Greenwood Press, 1980, in celebration of Alan's life's work.







Alan Chadwick's Tomb at Green Gulch


Photos of Alan Chadwick's Tomb and scenes at Green Gulch.







Photos and information about the Countess Freya von Moltke







Information about Pudleston Court, the family estate of the Chadwicks', where Alan learned the art of horticulture.





page smith



Photo of Page Smith, Professor of History at UCSC, a long-time friend and supporter of Alan Chadwick, and his eulogy for Alan written in 1980, the year of Alan's death.






natal chart



Alan Chadwick's Horoscope.








Alan Chadwick Apprentice information.







One of Alan Chadwick's favorite quotes by Paracelsus





Alan Chadwick portrait


Inspiring Quotes about Gardening, Nature, and Life





Alan in the Theater



Published Reviews and Photos of Alan Chadwick's Theatrical Performances.








Sonnet 15, by William Shakespeare.





Kenneth Peake at the Saratoga Community Garden


A Chronicle of the Saratoga Community Garden Project, Part 1 (1972-1973) as evidenced by newspaper articles which appeared at that time.






A Chronicle of the Saratoga Community Garden Project, Part 2 (1974-1981) as evidenced by newspaper articles which appeared at that time.




Garden Journal, Number 2



The Garden Journal was published by the Round Valley Institute for Man and Nature as part of the outreach and fund raising program at Covelo. Number 2 of the Journal is reproduced here.





Dirtman Journal Cover


The Dirtman Journal was the first of the Garden Newsletters published by the Round Valley Institute for Man and Nature, in Covelo. This issue was prepared in January, February, and March of 1976.




The Alan Chadwick Garden


A collection of photographs taken in 2012 at the site of the original Garden Project, now affectionately known as the Alan Chadwick Garden, at UC Santa Cruz.



Outdoor classrooms at the UCSC Agroecology Program farm


As a continuation of the foregoing item, we present photographs and commentary from the UCSC Agroecology Program Farm Project, where the majority of vegetable production now takes place at the University in Santa Cruz.



A mural located in downtown Covelo, California, exhorting people to be prepared and self-reliant as a time of difficulties is at hand.



A photographic gallery of the present day town of Covelo, California, the site of Alan Chadwick's garden project from 1973 to 1978.




The Chadwick garden in Covelo


A few photographs of Alan Chadwick's second garden site in Covelo, California, from 1974 to 1978, when the project was finally disbanded.





Ronald Reagan, Alan Chadwick, and Richard Wilson in conversation at Covelo


On August 22, 1974, Governor Ronald Reagan visits Covelo. He meets with Alan Chadwick and his apprentices in the garden under the guidance of Richard Wilson. Photos of that visit and Wilson's description of the events of that day.



The Saratoga Community Garden


Photographs from the Saratoga Community Garden taken from the personal collection of Jackie Welch, staff reporter for the Los Gatos Times Observer, and member, with her husband Ellsworth Welch, of the Garden Steering Committee. A second series of photos are presented here from the personal collection of Betty Peck, the founder and instigator of the Saratoga project.



King of the Golden River


A story loved and often retold by Alan Chadwick was John Ruskin's,The King of the Golden River. Alan's renditions were never verbatim, but he always came very close to the original. His memory was incredibly faithful to all the essential aspects of the story, and his theatrical presentation was always deeply moving. Here we present Ruskin's version, or rather his original text. It is a morality tale close to Alan's own sense of fairness and justice in the world.




Alan Chadwick at a lecture he gave at UCSC in 1971


Three fairy tales told by Alan Chadwick at the February 16, 1980 gathering at Green Gulch Farm, the property owned by the San Francisco Zen Center where Alan spent the final days of his life.






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