Biodynamics Now! Investigative Farming and Restorative Nutrition Podcast
BDNow! 010 Craig Siska and The Alan Chadwick Archive

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

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
Direct download: 10_BDNowPodcastEpisode010CraigSiska.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 8:23pm EST

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

experienced fermentos.

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,

Direct download: 09_BDNowPodcastEpisode009SandorKatz.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:30pm EST

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

Direct download: MichaelPhillips.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 9:23pm EST

BDnow_007 Dr Rob Dunn evolutionary biologist and author of The Wild Life of Our Bodies

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.
from the publisher:
A biologist shows the influence of wild species on our well-being and the world and how nature still clings to us—and always will.

We evolved in a wilderness of parasites, mutualists, and pathogens, but we no longer see ourselves as being part of nature and the broader community of life. In the name of progress and clean living, we scrub much of nature off our bodies and try to remove whole kinds of life—parasites, bacteria, mutualists, and predators—to allow ourselves to live free of wild danger. Nature, in this new world, is the landscape outside, a kind of living painting that is pleasant to contemplate but nice to have escaped.

The truth, though, according to biologist Rob Dunn, is that while “clean living” has benefited us in some ways, it has also made us sicker in others. We are trapped in bodies that evolved to deal with the dependable presence of hundreds of other species. As Dunn reveals, our modern disconnect from the web of life has resulted in unprecedented effects that immunologists, evolutionary biologists, psychologists, and other scientists are only beginning to understand. Diabetes, autism, allergies, many anxiety disorders, autoimmune diseases, and even tooth, jaw, and vision problems are increasingly plaguing bodies that have been removed from the ecological context in which they existed for millennia.

In this eye-opening, thoroughly researched, and well-reasoned book, Dunn considers the crossroads at which we find ourselves. Through the stories of visionaries, Dunn argues that we can create a richer nature, one in which we choose to surround ourselves with species that benefit us, not just those that, despite us, survive.

Rob Dunn is an assistant professor in the department of zoology at the North Carolina State University, as well as an up-and-coming science popularizer. His work appears in Natural History, Scientific American, BBC Wildlife, and Seed magazines. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Direct download: 07_BDNow_007_Rob_Dun_author_of__The_Wild_Life_of_our_Bodies_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:47am EST

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.

Her film The Future of Food premiered at Film Forum in New York City. It continues to play widely all over the world in theaters and at film, food and farming festivals and conferences and at thousands of community-organized screenings. Garcia has personally taken her film to innovative venues such as Google headquarters, Burning Man arts festival in the desert of Nevada, and shown it to inmates in the gardening program at San Quentin prison.

Filmography: Deborah Koons Garcia
All About Babies, 1987, 5 Part series narrated by Jane Alexander 150 minutes
Poco Loco, 1995, 103 minutes
Grateful Dawg, 2000, 81 minutes (chief creative consultant/participant)
The Future of Food, 2004, 88 minutes|
Soil In Good Heart, 2008, 13 minutes
The Promise of Biochar, 2008, 12 minutes
Portrait of a Winemaker: John Williams of Frog’s Leap, 2011, 15 minutes
Sekem Vision, 2011, 14 minutes
Transition Town Totnes, 2011, 13 minutes
Symphony of the Soil, 2012, 103 minutes

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.
Dr. Cowan has served as vice president of the Physicians Association for Anthroposophical Medicine and is a founding board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation. He is the principal author of the book, The Fourfold Path to Healing, which was published in 2004 by New Trends Publishing. He writes the “Ask the Doctor” column in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the Foundation’s™ quarterly magazine, and has lectured throughout the United States and Canada. He has three grown children and currently practices medicine in San Francisco where he resides with his wife, Lynda Smith Cowan. <bio provided by Dr Cowan’s office>
What is “The Fourfold Path to Healing” ?
Considered a companion to Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, The Fourfold Path of Healing is a unique, comprehensive view of medicine, a holistic approach to healing that integrates the four aspects of our bodies: the Physical, the Life-Force, the Emotional and the Mental.
Its principles are simple: right diet for healing the physical body; beneficial medicines or therapies for the life-force body; healing movement and exercise for the emotional body, and effective thinking activity for the mental body.
Dr. Cowan merges the wisdom of traditional societies, the most modern findings of western medicine and the esoteric teachings of the ancients as he works to answer this most important question: How do we obtain true health?
The Fourfold Path integrates proper nutrition, appropriate therapeutics, movement exercises and focused meditation. <from Dr Cowan’s website>

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.

the following is  from

Steven McFadden

Chiron Communications is essentially a conceptual umbrella to unify my diverse work as a writer, speaker, counselor, healer, and also a partner in Good Medicine Consulting.

I'm the author of twelve non-fiction books, including: Legend of the Rainbow Warriors; Profiles in Wisdom; The Little Book of Native American Wisdom; Teach Us To Number Our Days; Farms of Tomorrow; and Farms of Tomorrow Revisited; Tales of the Whirling Rainbow: Authentic Myths & Mysteries for 2012.

I'm also the author of an epic, nonfiction saga of North America: Odyssey of the 8th Fire.

As of 2012 my most active blog is The Call of the Land: An Agrarian Primer for the 21st Century, to support the book of the same title, now in a greatly expanded second edition.

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.
A Reiki Master of long standing, I have taught the Reiki healing techniques to hundreds of students across North and Central America. It was my privilege to help John Harvey Gray and Lourdes Gray, Ph.D. write Hand to Hand: The Longest Practicing Reiki Master Tells His Story.
I maintain an active interest in farming and gardening in general, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in particular; I've reported on the growth and development of CSA in America since its inception in 1986.

BDNow! 003 Dr Alan Kapuler, Public Domain Plant Breeder

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

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.

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Direct download: BDNow_episode_002.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:12pm EST

Biodynamics Now! Podcast Episode 1: Joel Salatin

Biodynamics Now! interviews Joel Salatin at his Shenandoah Valley farm.

Direct download: episode1.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:16pm EST