Back when the Press was first being established in Ashuelot, New Hampshire, probably our first year here, I stumbled across a reference to Alan Chadwick and French Intensive gardening. This property was pretty bleak when we arrived, with nettles and burdock waist high in the back yard. I wanted to garden so Dan and I double dug and planted raised beds in the back of the property. We acquired bins of chicken manure and filled our Vega hatchback, weighing down the vehicle to the axels. We had an amazing harvest that year. That fall we even left in some carrots to harvest in the winter, but when the winter came, our elderly neighbor Mr Napierkowski, had his man plow the driveway as usual, which entailed plowing across our backyard to get rid of the excess snow. Well that took the tops off our raised beds and we felt quite down about that loss of effort. The Press has kept its gardens going despite that setback.
Part of the cross disciplinary, whole-world approach of the Press incorporates the outside world with its wonder and mystery of plant life, integrated into the inside world of art and typographic creativity. The French Intensive Biodynamic gardens of the great, late, Alan Chadwick continues to be an inspiration here, and has been for the last 30 years. His approach to life strikes a note that infuses us with energy and vitality for the life of the creative human— active and responsive to our surroundings. Students will be exposed to work in the vegetable and flower gardens as part of their training to be in touch with their own inner life, as they explore the physical world of letterpress, typography, design, & art on paper.