There Is a Garden in the Mind
A Memoir of Alan Chadwick and the Organic Movement in California
By Paul A. Lee
(North Atlantic Books, Paperback, 9781583945599, 248pp.)
Publication Date: March 12, 2013
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There Is a Garden in the Mind presents an engaging look at the work and life of pioneering organic gardener Alan Chadwick and his profound influence on the organic farming movement. In this wide-ranging and philosophical memoir, author Paul Lee recounts his first serendipitous meeting with Chadwick in Santa Cruz, California, in 1967, and their subsequent founding of the Chadwick Garden at UC Santa Cruz, the first organic and biointensive garden at a U.S. university.
Today, there are few who would dispute the ecological and health benefits of organically produced food, and the student garden project founded by Chadwick and Lee has evolved into a world-renowned research center that helps third-world farmers obtain high yields using organic gardening. But when Chadwick and Lee first broke ground in the 1960s, the term "organic" belonged to the university's chemists, and the Chadwick Garden spurred a heated battle against the whole system of industrial existence. Lee's memoir contextualizes this struggle by examining the centuries-old history of the conflict between industrial science and organic nature, the roots of the modern environmental movement and the slow food movement, and the origin of the term "organic." His account of Chadwick's work fills in a gap in the history of the sustainable agriculture movement and proposes that Chadwick's groundwork continues to bear fruit in today's burgeoning urban garden, locavore, and self-sufficiency movements.
Table of contents:
Chapter one The English Gardener Arrives
Chapter two The English Gardener Goes to Work
Chapter three The Garden Plot
Chapter four Goethe the Vitalist contra Newton the Physicalist
Chapter five Urea! I Found It!
Chapter six USA and Earth Day
Chapter seven The Method
Chapter eight Chadwick Departs
Chapter nine A Moral Equivalent of War
Chapter ten The Death of Chadwick
Chapter eleven California Cuisine and the Homeless Garden Project
Chapter twelve A Biodynamic Garden on Long Island
Chapter thirteen Chadwick's Legacy
PAUL LEE studied philosophy at St. Olaf College and received his divinity degree and PhD from Harvard. He has taught at Harvard, MIT, and UC Santa Cruz, where he founded the UCSC Chadwick Garden with Alan Chadwick in 1967. In 1985 he founded the organization that became Santa Cruz's Homeless Services Center. His works include a book on homelessness, The Quality of Mercy, and a play, A Lullaby for Wittgenstein. The author lives in Santa Cruz, CA.
“[There is a Garden in the Mind] is part philosophy, part personal meditation, and part tribute to a man who was a transformational figure in the organic movement that began from small seeds in California and has now reached a global community.”
“As a gardener, teacher, aesthete, and philosopher, Alan Chadwick was critically important to our understanding of organic and biodynamic farming in this country. No one can tell his story better than Paul Lee, who captures his spirit, and the birth of the California organic movement, with warmth, eloquence, and urgency.”
—Alice Waters, chef, restaurateur, owner of Chez Panisse, and founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project
“There Is a Garden in the Mind is a masterpiece—a garden of rich soils, flowering plants, changing seasons. This is a powerful, compassionate story of Alan Chadwick’s and Paul Lee’s struggle to restore the integrity of organic nature into the hearts, minds, and hands of a culture that has forgotten that Garden Earth is the only home we have.”
—Sim Van der Ryn, professor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley; California State Architect emeritus; author of eight books, including Design for Life and Ecological Design
“If you think of Alan Chadwick as the man who taught us to double-dig our raised bed gardens, this remarkable account will take you back to the early days of what we now think of as the organic movement. A remarkable man, with a remarkable backstory!”
—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
“Paul Lee’s story of Alan Chadwick captures the wisdom and foibles of a genius. In Lee’s telling of the tremendous influence Chadwick had on the organic gardening and the environmental movement, he also lays out the profound philosophical implications of Chadwick’s work. Forty years in the making and well worth the wait.”
—Michael Stusser, Cowell College class of ’69, founder of Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, Freestone, California