Tue, 4 March 2014
Steve Crimi is the publisher of Logosophia Books in Asheville, NC, and one of the keepers of the Alan Chadwick Archive. He and his wife Krys ran Philosophy Farm, an biodynamic/permaculture farm in the mountain of Western NC for over a decade. He has given talks internationally on Biodynamics, Sacred Geometry and the Sacred Origins of Western Civilization, and can be reached through www.logosophiabooks.com. A blog containing some of his writings is found at http://open.salon.com/blog/stevecrimi.
The English born Alan Chadwick came into the world on July 27, 1909. Born into the upper class of Edwardian society, Alan was exposed at a young age to a variety of aesthetic pursuits, gardening being chief among them. As a youth the mystic Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner heavily influenced him. Steiner's theories, though largely disregarded by the wider academic community, found a stronghold in the mind of young Alan. Later in his life Chadwick would combine what he learned from Steiner with French gardening techniques to develop his own brand of biodynamic horticulture. Chadwick's passion for the arts led him to the Shakespearean theater where he performed professionally for thirty two years. However his life pursuit of beauty was violently interrupted by the Second World War, which he described as having "capsized my attitude to civilization." After the war he moved to South Africa where he continued to act and to garden. In 1967, Chadwick was persuaded by his friend Countess Freye von Moltke to take a position at the burgeoning UC Santa Cruz. During his time at the University, Chadwick labored to construct a showcase garden employing his biodynamic techniques. While working the soil, he taught the students his philosophy based on a clear understanding of the rhythms of nature in creating a thriving botanical environment, as well as about the role of the garden in human culture. Chadwick was an extremely magnetic individual who attracted a large following to his lectures and a large number of devoted volunteers, whom he worked hard in the garden. Though a charming person, Chadwick was also quick to anger and notoriously difficult to get along with at times. This aspect of his personality, along with disputes over the direction of his ambitious farm project, led to his leaving the University in 1973. In the final seven years of his life, Alan continued to work in his signature style helping to create several gardens around America. He died on May 25, 1980.
Alan Chadwick remains highly regarded by the agricultural community and is seen as the forerunner to the Center for Agro-ecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) that exists today at UC Santa Cruz. The original garden remains an island of peace within the bustling University and is now named in his honor.
from :UCSC OAC Unit
The University Library
Special Collections and Archives
University of California, Santa Cru
Direct download: BD_Now_Podcast_018_Stephen_Crimi_Publisher_of_the_Alan_Chadwick_Archive.mp3
Category:Conversation -- posted at: 8:05pm EST