Alan Chadwick Website…



E.F. Schumacher, author of Small is Beautiful, called Alan Chadwick “the greatest horticulturist of the 20th century.” Using the Biodynamic French Intensive Method, which he developed, Alan led the movement that pioneered organic gardening and farming in North America. 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.”

“It is all a mystery. The grass is grass. It’s a secret. It’s a mystery. You can’t know it. You can’t understand it, and you mustn’t try. Because the moment you try you can’t perceive it. When you stop trying to understand it in words, you will begin to perceive it. You do begin to perceive it.”

“There is one rule in the garden that is above all others. You must give to nature more than you take. Obey it, and the earth will provide you in glorious abundance.”

“We are the living links in a life force that moves and plays around and through us, binding the deepest soils with the farthest stars.”

One Comment

I recall visiting his biodynamic Covelo operation once, back in the 70s, and observing the great man in an intense instructional conversation with one of his acolytes. His passion was as immediately evident as it was overwhelming, and poured forth. And if Alan Chadwick is the 20th century’s greatest horticulturist, then certainly Luther Burbank was his predecessor. That’s an impressive local record. Both apparently had a mystical edge to their approach. Maybe it’s in the water?

“We must return to nature and nature’s god.”
– Luther Burbank