Alan Chadwick a Gardener of Souls

The Biodynamic French Intensive System

Techniques Employed by Alan Chadwick



Part 1: Videos of Gardening Methods Using Raised Beds


Cultivation video thumbnail


This is the first in the series of videos demonstrating the basic techniques of the Biodynamic French Intensive Method as developed by Alan Chadwick. Topics covered: Clearing the soil, use of hand tools, double digging, single digging, tilthing, shaping the raised beds, intensive plant spacing using raised beds.



Video of fertilization techniques using raised beds


The second video in the series of basic techniques. Topics covered: Types of manures and where to obtain them, composting manures before use, application of bone meal or rock phosphate, application of cow manure, working in the fertilizations, the nature of fertility, water starts the bacterial process.



sowing cover crops

Sowing Cover Crops

The third video in this series. Topics covered: Preparing and sifting the cover soil for sowing into raised beds, techniques for sowing several types of seeds, the proper depth for covering seeds, techniques for applying the cover soil, how watering the seeds begins the germination process, a general discussion on the value of cover crops.



A compost pile made according to the Alan Chadwick methodMaking Compost

The fourth in this series. Topics covered: Preparing the ground in preparation for a compost pile, siting considerations, laying down a layer of roughage, building up the pile in layers, using green materials, using kitchen waste, using periodic layers of soil, the importance of fresh green plant materials, keeping the pile moist, using the compost.



buckwheat grown accoriding to the Alan Chadwick methodBuckwheat: a Summer Cover Crop

An excellent way to improve garden soil is to grow cover crops. We demonstrated the use of winter cover crops in the segments above, but here we show the cultivation of buckwheat as it can be grown during the warmer times of the year. Buckwheat is a very fast growing crop and, if desired, can be grown three times in succession in one single growing season. Its roots provide an abundance of humus to the soil, and its tops can either be composted or dug under while cultivating.




Part 2: Examples of the Biodynamic French Intensive Method of Alan Chadwick


French Intensive Beds

Section 1

Raised beds, thermal control, carrots, beets, sonchus, nicotiana, borago, lettuce, potting soil. An over-view of the Biodynamic French Intensive Method.




Section 2

Lavender, Swiss chard, cilantro, the strawberry





Section 3

Kale, mint, broccoli, basil, spinach






Section 4

Tomato culture, the construction of the compost pile, moles and gophers






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