Gardening at the Dragon's Gate (Paperback)

At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World

By Wendy Johnson

Bantam, 9780553378030, 464pp.

Publication Date: February 26, 2008

List Price: 25.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate is fundamental work that permeates your entire life. It demands your energy and heart, and it gives you back great treasures as well, like a fortified sense of humor, an appreciation for paradox, and a huge harvest of Dinosaur kale and tiny red potatoes.

For more than thirty years, Wendy Johnson has been meditating and gardening at the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in northern California, where the fields curve like an enormous green dragon between the hills and the ocean. Renowned for its pioneering role in California’s food revolution, Green Gulch provides choice produce to farmers’ markets and to San Francisco’s Greens restaurant. Now Johnson has distilled her lifetime of experience into this extraordinary celebration of inner and outer growth, showing how the garden cultivates the gardener even as she digs beds, heaps up compost, plants flowers and fruit trees, and harvests bushels of organic vegetables.

Johnson is a hands-on, on-her-knees gardener, and she shares with the reader a wealth of practical knowledge and fascinating garden lore. But she is also a lover of the untamed and weedy, and she evokes through her exquisite prose an abiding appreciation for the earth—both cultivated and forever wild—in a book sure to earn a place in the great tradition of American nature writing.


About the Author

Wendy Johnson is one of the founders of the organic Farm and Garden Program at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Marin County and now lives with her family in nearby Muir Beach. A Buddhist meditation teacher who is deeply engaged in environmental work nationally, she is an advisEr to the Edible Schoolyard program of the Chez Panisse Foundation and has helped to establish many garden programs in public schools and local communities throughout the Bay Area. Her column, “On Gardening,” has appeared in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review for more than ten years. This is her first book.


Praise For Gardening at the Dragon's Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World

“Wendy Johnson shows how the garden and the shared table reconnect us in a profound and visceral way to the earth. A beautiful book and an invaluable resource.”—Alice Waters, founder, Chez Panisse

“Wendy Johnson follows in the footsteps of Thoreau . . . Her book is succulent, full of surprises, wise, tender, tough, and delicious to read. It is for everyone who wants to live a rich, deep, life.”—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry

“A glorious book . . . deep philosophy with dirt beneath its fingernails.” —Bill McKibben, author of The Bill McKibben Reader: Pieces from an Active Life and The End of Nature

“Truly magnificent, a treasure--one of those rare books that you hope, without knowing, will appear in your life. It will keep you in good company for years and years.”—Deborah Madison, author of The Greens Cookbook and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

“A bountiful harvest of wisdom, humor and passion by a master gardener who has spent a lifetime cultivating the soil and the spirit.” —Will Rogers, President, The Trust for Public Land

“This book is a long memory of a relationship with earth.  I am in utter awe of the gusto with which Johnson tells her story.  Read one paragraph and you'll long to hold dirt in your hand.”  —Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind

“Part Zen Koan, part love poem to the land, part master’s manual in the art and craft of gardening, Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate satisfies body, mind, and soul like a really good meal.—Michael Ableman, farmer; author of Fields of Plenty

“Flower and fruit of a lifetime’s horticultural experience, this master work goes far beyond the practical gardening advice it offers in abundance. Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate is full of profound meditations on the chemistry and poetry of botany, geology, and natural history, all rendered in Wendy’s unmistakably rich voice. An instant classic.”—Norman Fischer, teacher and founder, Everyday Zen Foundation; author of Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up

"If Earth took a human voice, it would be Wendy's: wry, fierce, passionately attentive to detail, and so startling in its wild freedom it's almost scary. . . . This book is a tonic to the soul. I dare anyone to read it and not be shaken into a fuller, gladder life.” —Joanna Macy, author World as Lover, World as Self