Tue, 30 October 2012
Alan Chadwick was a brilliant master gardener, a visionary, and an extraordinary source of inspiration for many horticulture students and professional gardeners, past and present. Through those who worked with him, and the constant stream of luminaries, writers, practitioners, and students who visited his magical gardens, Chadwick influenced an entire generation of American gardeners, whether directly or indirectly. In his fertile, productive gardens, Chadwick proved that by following his methods, yields of four to six times the U.S. commercial average for fruits, vegetables, and grains could be achieved, using one-eighth of the water, a quarter of the fertilizer, and one-hundredth of the energy per pound of food produced.
To Chadwick, gardening was in part a spiritual endeavor: an element in the quest for the inner sense of man, a means of shedding light on a vision of creation and nature. He was fascinated by the mystery of nature and the power of its cycles; he saw nature essentially as a giver and forgiver, and he battled constantly to defend it against man's predilection for dominating it. Chadwick saw the garden as our true home and as the ultimate teacher of human culture, and he strove to make his gardens as beautiful, functional, and sustainable as possible. (from www.seedsofchange.com/cutting_edge/alan_chadwick.aspx)
But Alan Chadwick was far more than an accomplished horticulturist. He taught, prodded, cajoled, and berated his many students until they became competent, authentic, and creative human beings; or at least that was his goal for them, as he would settle for nothing less. As Allen Kalpin, a long-time Chadwick apprentice, once said, "He was a gardener of souls."
Biodynamic viticulture consultant Alan York, a student of Chadwick's, said this about him, ""Alan Chadwick's gift, I believe, was not so much as a gardener as a storyteller. His storytelling was so skillful that he could create magic with words. This magic allowed those who worked with him to experience things that were still in the future, such as the building of a garden. Weaving his spell, Chadwick created vivid pictures that empowered us to visualize just what a garden could be. He always told us that it is the garden that makes the gardener, and not the other way around. It should be a place of reflection, he would say, where we can once again know that feeling of Paradise and recreate a modern Garden of Eden."
"For those who were fortunate enough to know him," concludes York, "his legacy will always live on because he captured our imaginations and gave us practical skills to turn our dreams into the reality of our lives." <from Seeds of Change article>
Alan Chadwick lectured to his students frequently. Hundreds of tapes of his presentations exist but no one was making a serious effort to organize and preserve these priceless recording for posterity until landscape architecht Craig Siska stepped forward to do it.
Craig is our special guest for this episode of The Biodynamics Now! Podcast.
Craig apprenticed with Alan Chadwick in Virginia in 1978-79, and is now working very closely with Stephen Crimi("Performance in the Garden") and others, in the Asheville, NC area - 32 years after Alan's passing - create the Alan Chadwick Archive.
Craig's immediate goal is to contact as many former apprentices and those interested in the work, vision & legacy of Alan Chadwick, to gather any and all materials regarding Alan and his work that might still be available:
*/1) Audio tapes of Alan's public talks and lectures to apprentices./* */2) Photographs of Alan and the gardens he brought to fruition./* */3) Apprentices' notes of lectures and demonstrations in the garden./* */4) Letters to and from Alan./* */5) Drawings or plans of gardens that either Alan or others made./* */6) Seed lists/plant lists/ or planting design plans of Alan's garden work./* */7) Garden logs/ Forcing House Logs/ Garden Journals./* */8) Pocket notes taken by apprentices when Alan did garden demonstrations/* */9) Any other material germane to Alan, his work, vision and legacy./* Craig and those collaborating with him will create a public website, where anyone can log in, and experience Alan's legacy. This will take much time, effort, money and TLC. Your contributions are encouraged!
That website, which is still in its formative stages, is at www.alan-chadwick.org
Wed, 18 April 2012
The Art of Fermentation
An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes From Around the World
By Sandor Ellix Katz
Foreword by Michael Pollan
Pub Date: June 12, 2012
With practical information on fermenting vegetables,
fruits, grains, milk, beans, meats, and more…
Fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz has inspired countless
thousands to rediscover the ancient art of fermentation, and with
The Art of Fermentation he offers the most comprehensive and
definitive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever
Katz presents the history, concepts, and processes behind
fermentation in ways simple enough to guide a reader through
their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, yet in-depth
enough to provide greater understanding and insight for
Readers will find detailed information on fermenting vegetables;
sugars into alcohol (meads, wines, and ciders); sour tonic
beverages; milk; grains and starchy tubers; beers (and other
grain-based alcoholic beverages); beans; seeds; fish; meat;
and eggs, as well as growing mold cultures, and using fermentation in agriculture, art, and energy
production, and commerce.
The first-ever guide of its kind, Katz has written what will undoubtedly become a foundational book
in food literature.
“The Art of Fermentation is much more than a cookbook…Sure, it tells you how to
do it, but much more important, it tells you what it means, and why an act as
quotidian and practical as making your own sauerkraut represents nothing less
than a way of engaging with the world. Or rather, with several different worlds, each
nested inside the other: the invisible world of fungi and bacteria; the community in
which you live; and the industrial food system that is undermining the health of our
bodies and the land. This might seem like a large claim for a crock of sauerkraut,
Mon, 16 April 2012
Michael Philliips is the author of "The Holistic Orchard." Michael Phillips is a farmer, writer, carpenter, orchard consultant, and speaker who lives with his wife, Nancy, and daughter, Grace, on Heartsong Farm in northern new Hampshire, where they grow apples and a variety of medicinal herbs. Michael authoredThe Apple Grower (Chelsea Green 2005) and teamed up with Nancy to write The Herbalist’s Way (Chelsea Green 2005). His Lost Nation Orchard is part of a diversified mountain farm in northern New Hampshire, and he also leads the community orchard movement at www.GrowOrganicApples.com
Fri, 30 March 2012
We came to Rob Dunn and his astounding book through Dr Al Kapuler’s (See BDNow! Podcast episode 3) enthusiastic recommendations. Dr Dunn makes it pretty clear that our bodies are ‘who we are’ and our minds are ‘who we think we are.’ While our minds have evolved to live in the 21st century, our bodies are pretty much stuck at the point they were in evolution before the neolithic, before civilization. Our mind’s recent requirement for ‘cleanliness’ is denying our old fashion bodies of many of the synergies we co-evolved with. Dr. Kapuler was very impressed by how Dr Dunn explains that our ancestors’ experiences with saber-toothed tigers still colors our psyche and explains much of our current foreign policy. Dr Dunn’s explanations on how a host of modern ailments, such as Chrone’s disease and many allergies, are probably due to the absence of parasites in our bowels. More to the point, he encourages us to “re-Wild” our insides for better health and performance here in the sterilized and monocropped 21st century.
Direct download: 07_BDNow_007_Rob_Dun_author_of__The_Wild_Life_of_our_Bodies_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:47am EST
Mon, 19 March 2012
Deborah Koons Garcia has a Master of Fine Arts from The San Francisco Art Institute. She has made fiction, educational and documentary films. Her film production company, Lily Films, is located in Mill Valley, California. For the last ten years, she has focused primarily on films about agriculture and the food system.
Direct download: 06_BDnow_006_Deborah_Koons_Garcia_filmmaker_creator_of__The_Future_of_Food__and__Symphony_of_the_Soil_.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 9:53pm EST
Fri, 9 March 2012
Dr. Tom Cowan discovered the work of the two men who would have the most influence on his career while teaching gardening as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, South Africa. He read Nutrition and Physical Degenerationby Weston Price, and a fellow volunteer explained the arcane principles of Rudolf Steiner’s™ biodynamic agriculture. These events inspired him to pursue a medical degree. Tom graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 1984. After his residency in Family Practice at Johnson City Hospital in Johnson City, New York, he set up an anthroposophical medical practice in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Dr. Cowan relocated to San Francisco in 2003.
Direct download: 05_BDNow_005_Dr_Thomas_Cowan_Anthroposophic_Physician_Author_of__Four_Fold_Path_Of_Healing_.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 6:55am EST
Mon, 5 March 2012
BDNow! 004 Steven McFadden CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Historian, Author of "The Call of the Land: An Agrarian Primer for the 21st Century" and Reiki Master
We talk to author Steven McFadden about the Community Supported Agriculture Movement.
I founded Chiron Communications in the 1980s, but rested the enterprise in the 1990s to serve as National Coordinator for the annual Earth Day Celebration (1993) and later as director of The Wisdom Conservancy at Merriam Hill Education Center in Greenville, New Hampshire.
Direct download: 04_BDNow_004_Steven_McFadden_CSA_Historian_Author_of__The_Call_of_the_Land__An_Agrarian_Primer_for_the_21st_Century__and_Reiki_Master.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:32pm EST
Tue, 7 February 2012
An interview with Public Domain Plant Breeder Dr Alan Kapuler. Dr Kapuler is the founder of Seeds of Change and the founder/proprieter of Peace Seeds.
Direct download: 03_BDNow_003_Dr_Alan_Kapuler_Public_Domain_Plant_Breeder.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53pm EST
Tue, 24 January 2012
BDNow! 002 Sally Fallon Morell, author of "Nourishing Traditions," founder of The Weston A Price Foundation
We talk with advocate, activist, teacher, Sally Fallon Morell, a leading eductoar in Wellness through the adoption of traditional foods appropraitely prepared. We discuss the Morell's new farm, The Paleo Diet, Loren Cordain's new book, Cod liver oil, vitamin D and other topics.
More information at www.bdnow.org.
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Wed, 11 January 2012
Biodynamics Now! interviews Joel Salatin at his Shenandoah Valley farm.