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It was in the late '70s that I, like many people, heard about the 40-pound cabbages and gargantuan tomatoes grown in arid soil by a bunch of hippies in Scotland. And when I graduated from my own hippie phase and decided to have a nice home with houseplants, I went looking for the book about it: The Findhorn Garden: Pioneering a New Vision of Man and Nature in Cooperation. I was alone in the downstairs garden-and-crafts section of a large New York City bookstore when a voice startled me. "What are you looking for?" he demanded. I turned to see a little man, oddly dressed in an ill-fitting wool jacket - it was 80 degrees out. "I'm looking for a book on the Findhorn Garden," I replied. "Oh!" he scoffed. "You're in the wrong section." Then he steered me upstairs to the religious-books section, where we searched together . . . in vain. "This is terrible!" he declared, beckoning a manager, whom he sternly lectured on the unacceptability of not carrying such an important book. At the end of his tirade, baffled but charmed, I thanked him for his assistance and assured him that I would find the book elsewhere. Then I touched his sleeve. Why? I wanted to make sure he was real. "Almost everyone who comes to Findhorn has a story like that," says Thierry Bogliolo, the publisher of an updated version of the spiritual classic. This June, Findhorn Press ( rereleased The Findhorn Garden Story with color photographs and a new final chapter by Trees for Life founder Alan Watson Featherstone, who is reforesting Scotland with knowledge gleaned from Findhorn. Why reissue this classic now? "What happened at Findhorn in 1962 is relevant today to the whole ecological movement, to the whole sustainability movement," says Bogliolo. "Today, people flock to Findhorn for conferences, workshops, etc., and this is a direct result of the garden experiment that took place 50 years ago." The garden still exists, but it no longer produces the giant vegetables that are believed to have been made (with the help of nature spirits) to attract a spiritual community. And over the years, the retreat has evolved from growing vegetables to growing people. But the magic still exists for Featherstone, who arrived in 1975 after the book fell off a shelf in a store. Betsy Robinson
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Title Annotation:The Findhorn Garden: Pioneering a New Vision of Man and Nature in Cooperation
Author:Robinson, Betsy
Publication:Spirituality & Health Magazine
Geographic Code:4EUUS
Date:Sep 1, 2008
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