Memories of Alan Chadwick by Greg Haynes
Part 1: Audio Recordings
These memories by Greg Haynes comprise 25 audio recordings describing experiences with Alan Chadwick at four of the five gardens where he worked in North America between 1967 and 1979. The recordings include vignettes from Santa Cruz, Green Gulch, Saratoga, and Covelo. Permission to reproduce the photograph of Alan Chadwick and Greg Haynes in the Saratoga Community Garden (ca. 1972) is courtesy of Betty Peck.
Greg Haynes, 1977
How Alan Chadwick was warned of the presence of cats preying on wild birds in the main garden at Santa Cruz by the cries of those birds heard from the nursery-area some distance away. 8:18
Topics in this audio recording include: Alan's early training as a gardener, his leaving home to study theater in London, experiences during World War II, a trip to Tibet, Life in South Africa. 19:28
Events in the life of the Countess Freya von Moltke, her marriage to Helmuth von Moltke, Helmuth's work and involvement in the movement against Adolf Hitler, his arrest and trial, Freya's move to South Africa, her friendship with Alan Chadwick there, her relation to Oegain Rosenstock-Huessy, and her role in bringing Alan Chadwick to Santa Cruz. 14:49
How two vagabonds, Greg Haynes and his friend Allen Kalpin, arrive in Santa Cruz, California. Circumstances lead them to the Garden Project and to an encounter with Alan Chadwick. 10:54
Alan Chadwick permits flower cutting late in the day, which ordinarily was not allowed. The two new-arrivals decide to apprentice themselves to Alan Chadwick and begin to work in the garden on a regular basis. Problems arise so that Alan fires the staff and closes the garden. The two new apprentices defy the ban and continue working in the garden with Alan. He invites them to tea and a discussion of the yearly cycles. 34;46
The rare book librarian at the university, Eva Fosselius, allows a valuable book to circulate among members of the Garden Project. All hell breaks loose when Alan discovers that the book has gone missing. But when the same thing happens again, a surprising turn of events is the result. 29:40
An apprentice sows cineraria seeds and is then faced with the need to cover the seed-flat with some kind of shading material. Since nothing is readily available, he makes a decision that has repercussions when Alan Chadwick discovers what has happened. 16:11
What happens when an apprentice disobeys protocol, removing a beneficial wild plant from a carnation bed in the main garden at Santa Cruz. Alan Chadwick deals with the situation in an uncharacteristically diplomatic way. 11:10
How Alan Chadwick reprimands an apprentice for failing to observe the presence of dormant plants, invisible beneath the soil, and how this affects the apprentice in both the short and long term. 10:37
A typical evening of food, poetry, and music when Alan Chadwick issues an invitation to some apprentices to come for dinner. 9:43
Alan Chadwick is invited to Los Angeles to deliver a lecture to the annual meeting of the Anthroposophical Society. A number of apprentices accompany him on the journey, and this is their first introduction to Rudolf Steiner, the Waldorf Schools, and other anthroposophical activities. 22:37
Events that lead to Alan Chadwick being evicted from his apartment at the Cowell College faculty housing. How his apprentices help him to find another place to live in Santa Cruz. 9:33
What happens when Alan Chadwick and two apprentices make an unauthorized campfire on land owned by the University of California at Santa Cruz. 10:17
An overworked apprentice is given a task that proves his undoing. Alan Chadwick takes pity and gives him some good advice rather than reprimanding him. Alan then confides a secret that explains many things previously not understood. 13:41
After having collected seed from last year's anemones, the time has come to sow it. Alan instructs an apprentice in the proper method. The sowing is partially successful, but Alan doesn't know the whole story. 14:53
The nature of criticism and why some have criticized Alan Chadwick. The eccentric side of genius. The method to Alan's madness. 12:49
The personal story of one apprentice's journey to work with Alan Chadwick at Green Gulch Farm, owned by the San Francisco Zen Center. Some of the perils of working with Alan, but also many of the benefits. How this apprentice eventually solves a difficult problem there. 26:13
How an apprentice defies Alan's orders and waters certain plants that were supposed to remain dry. What happens as a result, and how Alan responds. 16:04
What happens when Alan Chadwick proposes purchasing machinery for cultivating a large area of land at Green Gulch. Is he really serious, or is this a test? 21:32
How the staff, apprentices, and Zen students celebrate Alan Chadwick's birthday at Green Gulch in 1972: a hike, a swim in the ocean, and a feast. Not everyone is pleased by the childish behavior by some of the participants. 36:10
Two ladies from Santa Cruz visit Alan Chadwick at Green Gulch Farm. Alan is enamored with one, while an apprentice is smitten by the other. How nothing comes of it. A nasty practical joke causes laughter at the expense of one member. 43:45
How Alan's playful prank backfires on him. He is injured, but fortunately, not seriously. 8:02
It comes about that Alan Chadwick is offered a gardening position in Saratoga, California. Because of an earlier commitment, he cannot accept, so he considers sending one of his trusty followers down to undertake the project. 23:14
How the trusty follower prepares himself for the task. A harrowing journey that ends well. Beginning the job at Saratoga. Alan Chadwick's arrival and eventual departure from the garden. A new beginning in Covelo. 29:55
Sickness and death finally overtake Alan Chadwick. He lives on the Zen Center property at Green Gulch during his final days, cared for by Kathleen Acacia Downs. He receives fitting honors from his former friends and students. 34:48
Greg Haynes, ca. 1983
Part 2: Written Accounts
Alan asks an apprentice, "What is the most beautiful thing in the world?" When the apprentice hesitates, Alan reveals the answer.
A portion of this written narrative appears above in audio format, with a few minor variations due to the great lapse of time. The description of the morning meeting, however, is unique to this written account.
This is a transcription of the audio recording that appears above. It is included here for those who lack the equipment or inclination to listen to the poor sound quality of the audio version, and is very lightly edited.
How merely engaging the will, committing to a course of action, even when all the details of the problem are not fully understood, can make the difference between success and failure in any enterprise. A description of Alan Chadwick's concept of "Emanation."
An audio version of this episode appears above. The written account located here was written down in 2003 and describes what happened when one of Alan's pranks had unintended consequences.
Greg Haynes in Mexico, 1969 (self-portrait)
An account of how, under the leadership of Alan Chadwick, the apprentices began work on the new farm project at UCSC in the summer of 1971. One of the first tasks was to drill a well that would provide pure water for irrigation on the farm. Things don't turn out entirely as hoped.
A practical, how-to description of the tricky buisness of catching pesky skunks that can sometimes threaten livestock. Alan Chadwick instructs an apprentice at Green Gulch where we raised some three hundred laying hens from day-old chicks.
An essay on the character traits, both positive and negative, that made up Alan's uncommonly creative personality. Despite being an inspiring example for his many students, Alan also had a tempestuous side that alienated those who were unable to tolerate his outbursts. What were some of the factors that could explain these opposing trends in Alan's soul?
An exploration of Alan's pedagogical methods, which often took the form of direct challenges to the accepted opinions―about themselves and about the world―that were held by his apprentices. The intended result of this schooling was the attainment of a "Classic Stance" where nothing Alan could do would be able to upset the students' equanimity.
These are a few of the stories that Alan Chadwick would sometimes tell about his childhood and apprenticeship days in England. Some practical advice about how to keep honeybees from drowning in the barrel of water used in the glasshouse is also included.
From time to time Alan's temper would flair up, either in a controlled way -- because he was trying to teach you something important and make sure he got it through your thick skull, or somewhat uncontrolably as a result of his tempramental personality. It definitely behooved you to handle him in a way that reduced the latter kind of interaction, and this was not especially difficult. We here present a few tricks that generally proved successful in sidesteping Alan's ire.
How it was that despite the best of our efforts, the project at Green Gulch could not succeed. Natural and social difficulties conspired to foil Alan's highest hopes for a horticultural project that would avoid the kind of political issues that had developed at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Although Alan Chadwick grew up in a wealthy family, toward the end of his life he renounced all possessions. "I will not own." he told his biographer, Bernard Taper. This also meant that he would not charge money for his work, nor sell the produce from his gardens. His philosophy became such that everything he created was freely given to those who wanted and needed it.