Memories of Alan Chadwick by Richard Wilson
Richard Wilson was born in Los Angeles and educated at Dartmouth, where he met Oegain (sometimes spelled "Eugen") Rosenstock-Huessey, the philosopher who envisioned the U.S. Peace Corps. Eugen's life-companion was Freya von Moltke, Alan Chadwick's muse, who was instrumental in bringing Alan to his life's work teaching organic gardening in the United States. Richard's biography is a fascinating story in itself, and can be found in great detail here. A brief summary of his conservation work in California can be found here. After the project at Green Gulch reached its conclusion in late 1973, Alan moved down to Saratoga while he was looking around for his next project. It was then that Richard Wilson invited him to visit Covelo and to consider creating a garden project there. For five years he assisted in the land acquision and fund raising necessary to maintain the Covelo project. After Alan left Covelo, Richard facilitated Steve and Gloria Decater in their efforts to establish a biodynamic farm and one of the first CSA's in the country.
An interview with Richard Wilson conducted in Covelo on August 9, 2012, with Peter Jorris and Greg Haynes, Richard speaks about his first hearing about Alan Chadwick's work at UCSC through the publication, Cry California. Huey Johnson of the Nature Conservancy mentions that Alan has been cast out of the university and is looking for a new location to begin his work again. Richard invites Alan to visit Covelo. Some of the difficulties working with Alan. Praise for the work of Steven Decater.
The second part of an interview with Richard Wilson, conducted in Covelo on August 9, 2012, with Peter Jorris and Greg Haynes, Richard speaks about the work ethic and generally positive characteristics of Alan's apprentices in Covelo. Alan was an exacting taskmaster, but he left a lasting impression on his students. He describes finding Alan in Virginia, terminally ill, and how he made arrangements to get Alan back to Green Gulch for his final days.
How it was that Alan Chadwick came to Covelo. Wilson's impression of UCSC politics, including the rift between Kenneth Thimann and his wife over Alan Chadwick's message and philosophy. Culture shock in Round Valley as Alan and his apprentices arrive and begin work. Problems dealing with Alan's volatile temperament. Alan's genius, and the fruits of his work. Some former apprentices have continued the tradition, notably Steve and Gloria Decater in Covelo. What happened when executives from Standard Oil heard with alarm that Alan was advocating biological controls in agriculture instead of pesticides, and their subsequent visit to meet with Alan in Covelo.
These are video clips of portions of Richard Wilson's interviews with the Bancroft Library's Regional Oral History Office. Not necessarily Chadwick related, but they give a clear impresson of Richard's character and his many accomplishments in the field of environmental conservation in California.
A collection of photographs from Reagan's visit to Alan Chadwick's Covelo garden on August 22, 1974, under the guidance of Richard Wilson. Includes Richard's description of the day.