Alan Chadwick a Gardener of Souls

The Alan Chadwick Forum


When, from time to time, we receive comments from our readers that, in our judgment, deserve to be shared with others, we will post them here as time permits. For the most part, those comments focus on Alan Chadwick's history, his mission, his methods, and his legacy in the world. Notification of upcoming events may also be posted here, as well as contact information for former apprentices and friends.


From: Gregory Hudson, July 17, 2020


Dear Greg,

Lockdown has given me the opportunity to sift through my life, and this has brought me back to your website. I have to admit that no days go by without my thoughts touching on Mr. Chadwick.

While looking through the site, I noticed memories about Blue Lake. I went there with a few others on what we thought was an "Errand of Mercy" with Bibb lettuce and other Alan necessities. Of course, we were met with tea time and an invitation to a chicken dinner with wine. 

Much of that three days has fallen back into the mists, but not the hikes we took. After breakfast on the next two days, we hiked. Will, thankfully, lingered in camp. One hike took us over the southern brow of the bowl in which Blue Lake sat, down towards Lake Spaulding. We followed a brisk creek that tumbled  through a forested hillside. Each twist and turn of the sun/shadow dappled creek held pools of liquid light. We became giddy with intoxication as we sampled what each pool had to offer.

The other hike took us away from the lake, across the northern brow, and then over the eastern edge of the bowl towards the Grouse Ridge area. There the landscape was open, far-reaching. As we descended into a canyon we were serenaded by a great herd of cows, each step they took causing the bells hanging 'round their necks (used to frighten rattlesnakes) to ring and join this great harmonic symphony. When we rose on the far side of the canyon, we found and then followed an alpine creek tumbling between rock and sunlight, both sides graced with alpine flowers in full bloom. We followed this creek to a large granite outcrop. At its foot was a deep pool of cold, clear water, cut into the rock. After swimming and resting we continued to search around the outcrop and came to another pool cut out of the granite. This pool was shallow and still. In its middle was a water lilly in full bloom. The lilly floated next to a submerged log, and between the two, seeming to be suspended in liquid air, lay a very large trout. I don't remember the returns on either hike but I will always remember those hikes at Blue Lake with Mr. Chadwick.

Well, I have much more to write, but that will have to wait for a while.


Gregory Hudson



From: John Clayton, June 21, 2020

Hello Mr Haynes,

Though I am too young (being born in '68) to have had a chance of meeting Alan Chadwick, I am developing a deep appreciation for what he achieved and am so grateful to you and others such as Paul Lee for your work to keep the memory and message of Alan Chadwick alive. It seems to me that the young apprentices must now be around the age Alan was when he died, which is a sobering thought.

We can only hope that through this website and in other ways people will hear about and be influenced by Chadwick in his approach to life and connection with something much deeper than this shallow material world we are often forced to inhabit. 

Many thanks for creating and maintaining your website which has inspired me to try to find a better version of the future for me and those I love. I can only regret that I am starting my journey rather late. 

What did you do after you left the garden projects? From your audio diaries I gathered that you taught gardening at a Steiner school. Is that something you did for many years?  I understand some of the former apprentices have spent a lifetime in the organic movement (like Stephen Decater). 

I have realised I am only about 1 hour away from Forest Row which seems to be some sort of centre of Steiner beliefs. There is Michael Hall school and Emerson college there as well as a biodynamic farm or two. What a small world we live in.
I hope you are well in these strange times we are living through.

All the best

John Clayton
East Sussex



From: Sam Hitchcock Tilton, April 2, 2020

I am a former vegetable farmer, and current horticulture instructor at a technical college. I have been a plant nerd for ten years now - maybe I am too into plants.  Alan's way of understanding and communicating speaks right to me, and I have read all the books I can find by him or about him.  I stumbled on your website a few months ago, and it is such a trove of information. The website seems like a labor of love. 



I will share aspects of your website with my students. Especially, your videos are wonderful illustrations of the technique. Words cannot express my thanks to you for sharing these techniques and world-outlook. 


 Sam Hitchcock Tilton 


From: University of California, Santa Cruz, July 20, 2018

Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at UC Santa Cruz now accepting applications for 2019
Learn how to grow food organically at the UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden!

The Apprenticeship

Located at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz, the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture is currently seeking applicants for its class of 2019.

This six-month residential program offers 1,000 hours of training and academic instruction in organic principles across a wide variety of core competencies for organic gardening and small-scale farming.

Core Competencies
Apprentices receive training and instruction from CASFS staff and off-campus experts in areas such as:

crop selection
making and using compost
double digging
soil science and soil relations
pest control & insect management
food systems awareness
direct sowing & transplanting
and more!

Living on the Farm
Program participants have the option to stay in one of the on-Farm tent cabins, or choose to live off-campus. Apprentices share the Farm Center kitchen and dining room, library, bathrooms and solar showers. The Apprenticeship community that forms each year shapes a big part of people's experience. For this reason, apprentices should understand that a fair amount of their time and energy will be invested into community life.

Fees and Fee Waivers
Cost for the 2019 Apprenticeship course is $6,000. Upon arrival, apprentices purchase a set of their own tools and books for $375, which they keep after completing the program. Other expenses include food costs of approximately $110/month; UCSC parking permit costs of about $55/month (if you bring a car); personal health insurance; and personal spending money. On-site housing is included in the course fee.

Through grant and gift funding, we are able to offer full or partial Course Fee Waivers to support a significant number of applicants each year. Opportunities include:

need based waivers
The Matthew Raiford Veteran Scholarship
The Food Justice and Equity Scholarship
The Simply Organic Scholarship
The program also accepts AmeriCorps credit. For more information, visit the Course Fee Waiver Information page.

How to Apply
Interested applicants can visit the Apprenticeship Information and Application page for details on the program and how to apply.

There are no academic requirements for entry into the program, but applicants must be 21 years old or older by the start of the program to be considered. A strong command of the English language is necessary.

Deadline for international applicants: August 15, 2018. Deadline for domestic applicants: September 30, 2018

UC Santa Cruz Farm
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064


From: University of California, Santa Cruz, October 22, 2015

Farm/Garden Assistant Manager position, to work alongside Christof Bernau.

Some words from Christof:


I am writing to you to ask that you please consider the following opportunity at the UCSC CASFS Farm and Garden, either for yourself or someone you know who could contribute to the growth of a healthy food system by working as part of a talented team of people committed to training farmers and gardeners, food system activists, educators, undergraduates and the public. We are looking for a highly motivated individual who seeks to understand whole farm/garden systems, is able to see how individual actions and elements effect the whole, someone who is able to carry out the daily work necessary to support a diverse cropping system, someone who is committed to the process of experiential education, and to creating a supportive learning environment where every participant can thrive. This is a career position, with ample opportunity to continue growing your skills and capacities, and to take on additional responsibility, as desired, in the future.

Thank you very much if you submitted an application, or you have already encouraged someone to apply for this position. Please accept my apologies if this posting has come to you more than once. Filling this position with the the best candidate possible will have a huge positive impact on the collective efforts of CASFS, and specifically on the Farm Garden's role in contributing to the missions of the Apprenticeship, CASFS and UCSC. The position will remain open until filled, but the Initial Review Date closes on October 25, 2015, so please act swiftly if you can help us find an outstanding candidate.

Thank you,



To apply, go to the UCSC Employment website,, click on the Staff Employment link, then click on the Search Postings link (in the upper left-hand bar) and enter the job #1505965. Please note that the Initial Review Date is October 25, 2015.



From: Lee Jacobs, August 14, 2015

After recently posting a photo of Alan Chadwick and Lee Jacobs, we contacted Lee to find out if he still had any memory of its context. He didn't, but sent us another anecdote about an experience working with Alan.


"Here's a story about how Alan motivated me:

I was planting a new bed in the late afternoon by myself and it was slow going. Alan came by, inspecting and complimenting the work. He said,

'Let's finish this up.'

He picked up a trowel and began working at a hyper-fast pace. When he caught me looking at him, he kind of sparked up and said,

'I'm 65 years old. How old are you?'

I laughed and rose to the challenge. We met in the middle and finished the work for the day.


I really appreciate the work you put into this project. What you've done to clear up Alan's name and reveal the actors behind the scenes is really important. Thanks to Peter also."

Lee Jacobs


[ed. note:

For those who don't know Lee, he first worked as an apprentice to Alan Chadwick in 1971 in Santa Cruz. His dog, Fernando, a black Labrador who always wore a bright red scarf around his neck, in lieu of a collar and license, was the only dog that Alan would allow in the garden because he scrupulously avoided walking in the beds. Lee later rejoined "The Project" in Saratoga and was a very key collaborator in that garden. In fact, it probably wouldn't have happened without him.




From: Pedro Betancourt, April 2, 2015

My name is Pedro Betancourt, owner of Oliview Farm in Southwestern Shasta County.  I find your website to be a priceless resource and sometimes feel like I was born 40 years too late. But I love the recorded lectures and listen to them religiously almost daily.  Alan seems to have spoken from a heart connected to that invisible realm of secrets and cosmic destiny he so eloquently describes.

Lecture section 5.2 is missing from the website.  The link says the video doesn't exist.  I'm wondering if you can fix this?

Thank you for passionately preserving his legacy.  It's a treasure beyond description.

Pedro Betancourt


[ed. note: Link repaired. Thanks for alerting us to this problem, and for the feedback on the site.

Update: Pedro shared some of the olive oil from his farm with us recently. We did a blind tasting with a number of other specialty oils, and his 2013 pressing won first place with all of the judges. A truly excellent olive oil. He can be contacted at: oliviewfarm (at} gmail (dot} com to see if he has any more of it left. Highly recommended. gh]



From: Craig Siska, November 24, 2014


Alan visited the Virginia community in late May or early June of 1978 and came to Virginia for the duration of the project in mid-late August of 1978. Both trips he made with Agaja Enahoro; a friend of mine who just passed away recently. Alan left the VA Project in December of 1979 - staying at Nick & Ann Chandler's residence in Greenville, VA with Kathleen Acacia Downs. Then they both left for Green Gulch.

[ed. note: The above comments from Craig Siska are meant to clarify his earlier communications (2012) to us here at about Alan's arrival and departure dates from the Virginia project. We appreciate the update.




From: University of California, Santa Cruz, November 22, 2014

Two Jobs Available at the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden

Field Production Site Manager, CASFS/UCSC Farm

The Field Production Site Manager will join a team of experienced farmers and gardeners and assume primary responsibility for day-to-day operations of the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) Farm, a highly complex, diversified organic agricultural system. These include crop planning for field site production as well as marketing and sales management of produce for the CSA. Along with the other site managers, the incumbent shares responsibility for wholesale, farm cart and dining hall production; tillage and cultivation systems; irrigation infrastructure and function; and ecological stewardship of the overall 30-acre farm site. For the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture (AEH), the Field Production Site Manager will participate in the AEH apprentice selection committee, curriculum meetings, policy meetings, and apprenticeship orientation sessions as well as mentor and supervise two second-year apprentices in all aspects of field production and management, including irrigation and marketing. The incumbent will plan and coordinate daily work and learning activities for first-year apprentices that fulfill core curricular goals of experiential education in the AEH. The incumbent will play a key role in maintaining a safe and orderly public farm. The incumbent will create a safe environment where a diverse group of participants can prosper. The Field production site manager also supports learning by degree-program students, including undergraduates and graduate students.

For more information and to apply for the Field Production Site Manager position, please see:


Assistant Director, Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems

Under the general direction of the Center Executive Director, the Assistant Director will be the chief administrative officer for the Center, responsible for managing Center human resources, budgets and for coordinating operations with minimal direction. The Assistant Director is a member of the Center's leadership team. The assistant director will serve as liaison with the Social Sciences Division on human resources, facilities and IT.

For more information and to apply for the Assistant Director position, please see:

Initial review of applications for both positions begins on December 16, 2014. Contact information:, 831.459-3240



From: Matt Drewno, May 10, 2014


To the editor:

From time to time I visit the site to view and listen to the video's put up regarding experiences with Alan. I am currently working with John Jeavons and have the privilege to work with interns and apprentices teaching John's methods which are largely inspired by Alan. I take every chance I get to speak with students regarding Alan and the french intensive method. I only recently came across Alan's work and life and the trail of inspiration has swooped me up. I worked with Steve Crimi for a few months transferring John's cassettes to MP3's for the Alan Chadwick Archive he was putting together on the East Coast. In that time, and still today, I get to listen to some of Alan's amazing lecturessome of which make me laugh, others make me cry and all of them capture my attention to every detail, oftentimes having to rewind to get to that spot where I sense something profound and worth noting.

I just want to thank you for your efforts in cataloging and making available all of this. Although I wasn't a part of the program, I am so grateful that I can participate through hearing the stories and reading the words. It seems many Chadwick projects commenced around the same timemaybe it was written in the stars after all. In any case, the fact that interest continues to burn and that so many people are devoted to bringing this forward is something special. Deep thanks and gratitude for your efforts,

Matt Drewno
Mendocino, CA


From: John Balawejder, February 14, 2014

I didn't find Alan's gruffness too off-puting. I was from the East Coast and that style was more common there than in mild mannered California. He was more like a certain style of Zen priest, not a Suzuki Roshi type, more from a school of warrior Zen.

I attended lots of workshops at the garden and visited and shovel/hoed at other times. His warrior attitude was obvious. I was searching for teaching, not necessarily a teacher. I do remember once holding back on asking a question to avoid his scrutiny, not to appear as a fool. As I sat in this sorry state, I reviewed the question, and just said "f*ck it" and asked. His aura made me be SURE about my true self, not be worried by appearances. He ended up teaching me in spite of myself.



Received December 22, 2013 from Andrew Lorand, Ph.D.


Dear Greg,

Your website is stupendous and gives real insight into Chadwick's work. I have been studying it and have recommended it to a number of people.

I particularly like the emphasis on excellent gardening practice: classical technique and attitude of approach. For me, any ecological farming or gardening must begin with raising the level of ecological health, naturally, vigorously, first. Natural quality matters. The various homeopathic or anthroposophical things one can do (like teas or preps) are to enhance good, solid, common sense, ecological practice, not replace it. Steiner was of the same opinion, by the way. That biodynamic practitioners today sometimes think that these additions in some way replace good farming practice, is a sign of deepest misunderstanding and practical folly.

If I may, I would gently disagree that the preparations Steiner suggested are for use in larger operations alone, indeed Steiner spoke about this issue, suggesting different rates of application for different crops and sizes of fields, specifically also talking about gardens and their needs. But, much more importantly, the preps are NOT designed (contrary to what some biodynamic folks think) to replace fertilization, but are to enhance certain specific cosmic forces and to attract elemental beings, NOT (as a stand-alone) to create the basic ecological-agricultural health that a farm or garden needs. Ecological health has to be created and preferably in advance of any biodynamic / anthroposophical efforts or at least at the same time. Biodynamics, or let us say anthroposophical agriculture is meant to spiritualize the work, help heal certain imbalances and create food imbued with spiritual quality and to help the farmers become more spiritual, balanced, ethical and ecological practitioners (not somehow to be only materialistically ecological, no matter how well meant).

Your brief, dismissive discourse on Steiner seems to suggest that he was purely a syncretist and offered little original: somehow taking everything he said, suggested, and developed, from others, be it Aristotle or HPB. I would agree that he was a syncretist, but by far not only so. By academic standards he did not give credit where credit was due, and thus the line between his own authentic research and that of others is blurred for the academically oriented a big no-no. He was not academically inclined in that way that's for sure. Yet, to suggest he was ONLY a syncretist and offered little to nothing original is not a fair assessment of his work. I too suffer under Steiner's less than forthcoming discourse about the sources of his ideas, ideals, and inspiration but I also recognize his authentic work as valuable. In the end, we are all syncretists to some degree or another.

It is clear to me that many (perhaps most) of the best, modern ecological agriculture practitioners are divided into two camps: ethical materialists and practical spiritualists, almost all of them in the first group. I am sure, however, from all the people I have met and some known well, who worked with Chadwick (like Alan York or Steve Decater), that he, Chadwick, was in the second group: a practical spiritualist. Even if, at times, his personality may have gotten in the way of his message, as it did for others. And, he was a real teacher with his very own approach.

My father was, besides a mathematical-physicist, also an artist-painter who had his own, small, private schools of art in Europe and the States. I can remember him telling his students: "I am NOT interested in your talents. I am interested in if you can do the basics properly: shading, proportions, depth, etc. Your talents will only matter if you can do the basics with mastery." I think Alan Chadwick, to the small degree that I can experience him myself through talks with those influenced by him, was working with the greatest of vigor and valor to get his students, his apprentices, to understand this same point: Your talents will only matter if you can do the basics with mastery. It is a very important message.

To distinguish between the human being and his message, is a challenge with any strong personality. The more we can share the message, the less important the failings of the human matter. Your website, to the degree that I have been able to take an initial, but serious look at it, does this effort justice and the message of Chadwick shines through.

Andrew Lorand



[ed. note: Andrew Lorand, Ph.D., is an agricultural consultant with a speiciality in Biodynamic Viticulture. Over the years he has helped over 100 farmers convert their vineyards to biodynamic methods . He publishes a monthly newsletter on the subject, an example of which can be found here: His website, which describes more of his professional background, can be found here: We at are grateful for his thoughtful commentaries, clarifications, and educated opinions on the subjects of traditional Biodynamics, Rudolf Steiner, and Anthroposophy.]



Received December 19, 2013 from the University of California at Santa Cruz

Farm Cat Needs Home!

Precious has been our beloved "propagation" cat, guarding all the baby seedlings here at the CASFS Farm for 7 years (he is 11), and it is time for him to find a new home. We recently learned he had cancer in his front right leg and before the cancer spread we decided to amputate the leg. He is otherwise healthy, but an all-outdoor farm life would be too rough on his new 3-legged life. He is a beautiful brown and black cat with a raccoon-like tail and is so sweet. He definitely lives up to his name! Please help us find a safe and loving "retirement" home for Precious, who has served the farm for many years.

To find out more, please contact Dr. Sara Huckabone at (831)427-3345 or email, or email Second Year Apprentice, Anna Pierce-Slive, at



Received November, 2013 from Jessie Spain

Hello, I have just come across your web site. I am a graduate of the 2009 CASFS apprenticeship at UCSC. I am currently teaching a gardening workshop at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur and was looking for some inspiration from Alan. Thank you so much for putting this site together. I have only browsed it but look forward to immersing myself in the information with the onset of the long nights of winter. How long has this web-site been up? I don't seem to have ever come across it before. Thank you for honoring the life and work of Alan Chadwick.

Jessie Spain


Received August 3, 2013 from Lily Shaeffer of Boulder, Colorado

"I was wondering if you know anything about why Alan Chadwick should have had the words, "THIS TOO CAN BE YOURS," written on the side of his car, as shown in the photograph included in the recent article about the move to Green Gulch? Just curious..."


[ed. note: This was not Alan's doing. After Alan's own car broke down, he was given the already inscribed white Rambler station wagon by Greg Haynes in Santa Cruz.

With all the tension and bad blood that had developed as a result of Steve Kaffka's usurpation of the farm project, Greg decided to escape it all and join a commune on Sonoma Mountain led by Robert deRopp, who had lectured at Cowell College sometime late in 1971. One of the stipulations of this community was that anybody who was accepted as a member had to give all of their worldly possessions over to the group. Greg thought that THIS TOO CAN BE YOURS (as we affectionately called the car) would serve a higher purpose used by Alan Chadwick than by anything else, so that's what prompted the gift.

Allen Kalpin and Greg Haynes were staying for a while at another commune near Ithaka, New York, a year or so before arriving in Santa Cruz. One day Allen said to Greg, "Why don't we paint something on the side of your car?" Greg asked, "Like what?" Allen answered, "Something like, 'this too can be yours.'" So, without further discussion, that's what they did. Later, driving across the country, they would pick up hitch-hikers who unfailingly asked what the words on the side of the car were supposed to mean. Greg and Allen always pretended to have borrowed the car and said that they were wondering the same thing, asking if the riders might have any idea of what it could signify. The weird assortment of speculative answers deserves a book in itself (which was the original plan), but unfortunately these were never written down and are now lost in oblivion.

Somebody once asked Alan Chadwick why he didn't paint over the words, THIS TOO CAN BE YOURS, as this seemed somewhat undignified for a man of his stature. He apparently said that he was sentimental about its origins and decided to just leave things as they were. The car finally died while in Covelo.]



Received June 30, 2013 from the University of California at Santa Cruz

"Dear Farm & Garden Apprenticeship Alumni in Central California, We wanted to let you know about a new job with the UCSC Farm & Garden/CASFS that is now being advertised: CASFS Outreach, Recruitment, and Residential Program Coordinator A large part of the job will be working with the Apprenticeship Program on tasks such as finances, recruitment, and curriculum, as well as administration for the international apprentices, scholarship recipients, and those using GI Bill and AmeriCorps funding. Also included will be developing new outreach-oriented/public programs and fundraising efforts, and increasing outreach about, and marketing of, existing and new programs, e.g., community workshops, tours, and fundraising events, through print and digital media and direct contact with media and community groups. The job will also include working with the Farm & Garden's volunteer docents, Friends of the Farm & Garden Board of Directors, and others to develop effective volunteer efforts. The work will include financial tracking, dealing with accounting forms, cash handling, and other administrative tasks. You can find out additional details and apply online. The job # is 1304358. The job title is Outreach, Recruitment, and Residential Program Coordinator. The initial review date is July 10. "


Received September 14, 2012, from Jackie Welch

Alan Chadwick gave a series of lectures at the Montalvo Center for the Arts in Saratoga, CA.  He talked about the reverence for the garden and bio-dynamic gardening, etc. After the lecture he asked for questions and a lady said, "Mr.Chadwick, how can I keep the birds from eating the cherries on my tree ?"  He asked her, "Madam, have you ever heard the birds singing in the early morning ?"  She said, "Yes." He replied, "Madam, to hear the birds singing like that, I would give them every cherry on my tree!"

[ed. note: Jackie Welch and her husband Ellsworth Welch were founding members of the steering committee for the Saratoga Community Garden back in 1972 when Betty Peck began to organize the effort there. Jackie was a staff reporter for the nearby Los Gatos Times and Observer and she subsequently penned an extensive series of articles about the progress of that garden poject.]


Received June 6, 2012, from Peter Jorris

"In regard to chronology I remember asking Alan why he left South Africa, since I'd heard him praise the climate so highly on several occasions.  He said it was because of the apartheid.  I recall him mentioning he performed several plays in South Africa, making me now wonder whether that was before or during his management of the Admiralty Gardens.  I remember him referencing a nine-year period, but don't know whether that was how long he ran the Gardens or if that was the length of his stay in South Africa or between what dates?  He indicated he was hospitalized (or in convalescence) for some duration after the war, but I don't know whether that was several months or possibly longer.  However, I do recall him saying he came to America in 1962, because he was inspired by the election of President Kennedy and believed it to be the beginning of a more enlightened era for our country, which unfortunately ended rather abruptly shortly after he got here.  He spoke on several occasions of managing an estate garden on Long Island, before coming to Santa Cruz in the spring of 1967. "


Received May 23, 2012, from Jeff Nichols

 "Hi, Greg or the Editor,

I changed my last name about 18 years ago, before that it was Nichols. I was googling recently to see if Paul Lee had published his book and your site came up. Paul has since sent me a pdf version of his book. While looking around, I was pleasantly surprised to see my name attached to a quote! I've emailed Paul to let him know I was never a formal apprentice of Chadwick, though Chadwick certainly impacted my life, propelling me to California through an article about him in New Age Journal.

I also told Paul he got some facts and chronology about the Saratoga Garden wrong. Then I discovered while further perusing your site, my information was incomplete and that Greg was the main guy at Saratoga. After more than thirty years my fuzzy memory told me it had been some input from Alan and a lot of muscle from Charles Griffin and Dan McGrath, I'm sure your name probably passed through my ears back in 1977-1979, but I knew Dan and Chuck in the flesh so they stuck. You may be interested in what I sent Paul, here it is -

"Thank you for the quick response. Like any normal human being I read the part of the book containing my letter to you first. It may be too late to do anything about it, but I noticed some inaccuracies in that section. First of all I was never an actual apprentice of Chadwick’s. I had just four contacts with him as described in my letter.  I arrived in Saratoga in the summer of 1977. Chadwick’s two visits at Saratoga took place before then. He only did a lecture at the Saratoga Garden in the spring or summer of 1979 on a one day visit. My understanding at the time was that he did the basic design and inspiration at Saratoga and his stay or stays were brief. The main foundational grunt work, heroic in intensity, was done before 1977 by Charles Griffin who had apprenticed with Chadwick in Santa Cruz, and a Dan McGrath, along with Betty Peck garnering community support.

I led many school children around the garden. Helped me to start losing my fear of public speaking. The garden persisted into the 1980’s and finally fell prey to land development as the Oddfellows needed to sell the prime real estate the garden stood on to finance their retirement home. Much of the garden is now buried under a thick layer of fill with homes built on it. When I last saw the site back in the early nineties I could only pick out a few trees as the remnants of much sweat and devotion. Very sad. I may write more later in response to your writing after I finish the book."

I was blessed to be at Saratoga during a couple of its peak years. We had a grant writer and for a number of years up to five apprentices were paid from the federal government probably what would be 1200 dollars a month in today's money for their work, along with the garden's own foundation money for the director's salary. When I get a chance I will listen to Greg's accounts of the founding of the Saratoga Garden.

What you're doing with is fantastic and it rings very true to what I absorbed and experienced so long ago. I am interviewing for a teaching job at an alternative charter school based around facilitating parents in home education. The school is out in the country and gardening is a focus of theirs, perhaps at last I'll revive something that has been restricted to my efforts on my very small lot in Visalia, California, south of Fresno!

In the spring of 1979 I helped to organize a May day celebration at  Saratoga filled with music, Maypole dancing, food and flowers, did you attend by any chance? I tried to invite as many Chadwick gardeners as possible. It is a sweet magical memory of mine.

Best wishes

Jeff Alexander (Nichols)"

[Jeff can be reached by former friends and coworkers at the following contact: jeffalexander555{at)gmail{dot)com]




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