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 Wendy 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.
Wendy 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.
Wendy Johnson is a Buddhist meditation teacher and organic gardening mentor who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Wendy has been practicing Zen meditation for thirty-five years and has led meditation retreats nationwide since 1992 as an ordained lay dharma teacher in the traditions of Vietnamese teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and the San Francisco Zen Center. Wendy is one of the founders of the organic Farm and Garden Program at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Marin County, where she lived with her family from 1975 to 2000. She has been teaching gardening and environmental education to the public since the early 1980s.
In 2000 Wendy and her husband, Peter Rudnick, received the annual Sustainable Agriculture Award from the National Ecological Farming Association. Since 1995 Wendy has written a quarterly column, “On Gardening,” for Tricycle Magazine, a Buddhist Review. She was honored in The Best Science and Nature Writing 2000, published by Houghton Mifflin. Wendy is a mentor and advisor to the Edible Schoolyard program of the Chez Panisse Foundation, a project that she has been involved in since in its inception in 1995. She is a founding instructor of the College of Marin's innovative Organic Farm and Gardening Program established in 2009.
Gardening at the Dragon's Gate is Wendy's first book.
Davis Te Selle holds an MFA in printmaking from San Francisco Art Institute and received the 2003 James. D. Phelan Award for printmaking in California. He has shown his work in group and solo exhibitions on both East and West Coasts. His illustrations have been published in Wild Earth, Orion, Turning Wheel, Inquiring Mind, and Wild Duck Review; his lithographs also appeared in The Attentive Heart: Conversations with Trees, by Stephanie Kaza. He teaches nature drawing with the Environmental Program at University of Vermont and maintains a printmaking studio in Burlington, Vermont.