Alan Chadwick and Joseline Stauffacher in Santa Cruz

Alan Chadwick a Gardener of Souls

Mardi Sicular Remembers Alan Chadwick



Mardi Sicular


Mardi Sicular arrived in Santa Cruz in 1969. She had been involved as an activist in the "Peoples Park" demonstrations in Berkeley and was looking for a more peaceful environment to pursue her university studies. That tranquility was interupted when Nixon bombed Cambodia, and students at UCSC went on strike. Since classes were suspended, Mardi decided to work full-time at the Student Garden Project. In this video interview with Greg Haynes, conducted at her home in Berkeley on October 7, 2017, Mardi shares her thoughts on the man, Alan Chadwick, and on the garden that he created at Santa Cruz.



Mardi Sicular in 1972



Mardi's talents as a musician especially endeared her to Alan, who was himself an accomplished violinist and pianist. She used to play her alto recorder in the garden from time to time, and the old piano that was in the garden chalet. She never allowed her musical talents to wane, continuing to refine her technique during the intervening decades. After her apprenticeship with Chadwick, Mardi became a high school teacher, leading classes in chemistry and environmental science. Her students practiced gardening using the methods that she had learned from Alan in Santa Cruz. Even now she maintains an extensive native-plant garden around her home, which was teeming with wild birds on the day we recorded this interview.



An Interview with Mardi Sicular about her experiences with Alan Chadwick







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