Alan Chadwick a Gardener of Souls

Lecture by Alan Chadwick in Saratoga, May 16, 1972


Lecture 3, Part 3.1

An Introduction to Alan Chadwick's Lectures and a Glossary of Terms

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Contents of this Segment:

Repetition of the introductory quotes by Graves and Robb; Environmental side-effects to introductions of plants and animals in new locations; Weeds and pests; Misguided use of chemicals to poison weeds; Weeds are the great soil builders; Birth defects traced to use of herbicides; Fear is not an adequate approach to ecology; Must be based upon respect for all of nature.


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Villa Montalvo Lecture Series

Saratoga, California, 1972, Lecture 3,

Fertilization, Part 1


The questions, at our last time which made one stop in one’s tracks. May I please read to you the two matters which I opened this series of talks with? Simply because it brings us right down to a factual matter of why biodynamic, organic procedures are what they are. This is Robert Graves, speaking at the Massachusetts Institute:

“The decline of a true taste for food, is the beginning of a decline in national culture as a whole. When people have lost their authentic personal taste, they lose their personality, and become the instruments of other people’s wills.”

It was called The Defense of Human Culture. And then from Lindsay Robb in Altius Citius Longius, he quotes:

“We have lost that essential unity with the soil. The break in this relationship is first indicated in the disregard for spiritual values, and sense of obligation and obedience to the creative powers of the universe.”

If I may say so, it rather puts us where we should be in our attitudes to creation and nature and production.

Tonight is a total discussion on fertilization. May one assess this matter. Where man has endeavored, in goodness to what he calls [ ] conservation and ecology by changing areas, removing animals, insects, birds, plant life, water, mountains, he has invariably discovered that he has propitiated something that he set out to do, and has brought about a calumny that he did not set about to do. It has been assessed scientifically, recently, that this is a pretty total matter. That where he has brought in animals or birds or insects, probably for food, in an area where they were not, it has caused enormous other problems.

I am leading up to the important view regarding the word “weeds.” There are, of course no such things as the attribute we place upon the word of “weeds.” There are plants. All vegetables, flowers and fruit are plants, whether they be of nature or man’s culture, they’re just all plants. So if you like to say the garden is full of weeds, you can. Or if you like to say that the woods are full of cultured plants, you can. And one must accept this matter.

Now, partly because of commercial agriculture, and partly because of a false approach into methods of growing, all plants in the areas of what I am talking about, commercial and approach areas of production, all plants that were not fitting to man’s thinking in that area, have been decided as pest. And, because of the cost of man’s existence in the world today financially, he can’t afford to remove them by hand. He has taken an attitude of liquidating them by force, by poison.

The nomination of weeds has entered, as a universal statement of almost a vision of something pestilential, like a caterpillar or an ant, or even a bee, becoming pestilential. You will see, that in our discussion, further as we go, that weeds, of course, are almost the entire manufacture of our soil, and of fertilization. And that the more weeds that we could possibly propel into the world, we could but applaud. And that every leaf, every green leaf that we could possibly grow is of the utmost value.

A member of this meeting last time made a statement that there could not be enough organic matter to be able to grow what the multitudes needed to eat. How then, how then does the vision of this enormous destruction of weeds throughout the farming areas of the world with poisons come into such a view? We shall deal with the whole of this and circumvent it, and look at it as it truthfully stands. What I am assessing right at the moment, as a suggestion to you, is that the destruction of weeds by poison, turning them into an utter waste, is ridiculous, obscene, and not in line with the spiritual approach to living.

In New Zealand recently... New Zealand has gone in for farming in a very big way. They’ve always been one of the big sheep producing countries of the world, as you know. They have the most beautiful climate with wonderful rains and beautiful areas of pasture for sheep. And not being satisfied with satisfactory profits, if you like to call it... Not being satisfied is the answer. They had to produce more grass and more sheep to produce bank balances. So they used herbicides and DDT galore. So much so that, as a matter of fact as you probably know, the Queen and Prince Phillip actually had to go to New Zealand and say: “Now look, my dear people, shut up.” And they really had to speak in those terms. And that’s quite a lot for a very gentle sovereign to have to do.

They didn’t obey very well. They continued to use these things inordinately. And recently, a case was published in New Zealand where two very beautiful young lady mothers both had babies, and an extraordinary matter happened in the clinic. That the doctor found, that the skin in both the babies did not meet on the spine, and the babies both perished. Nothing could have been done about it. It was so extraordinary in the fact that it had never been known before, that of course, it was delved into scientifically. And it was entirely found to be due to the fact that the mothers had been walking in the area where herbicides had been used on the ground. That matter alone is the scientific proof of what happened to their babies.

It’s got to a pitch. The people of today are talking publicly about conservation, ecology, good food, pure food and good living. If these approaches are a matter of self-fear, they are not genuine approaches. They are warnings of misbehaviors, perhaps, but they’re not genuine approaches. And the approach of the organic, of the biodynamic attitude is a totally different one. It’s the aspect of the devotion and the obedience to creation, to life: the respect to a butterfly, the respect due to the huge law of the bee, of the spider, of all, all of God’s creations. And they are all fertilizers of man’s garden. It is as well to encompass what the view of organic, biodynamic is. It is not man divorced from nature in a realm where he thinks he will boss and say: “I. Will. Have. This. Regardless.”



[Text transcription 2015 by M. Crawford and G. Haynes]




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