Vital Roots

In this video, I, Paul Lee, discuss the history and philosophy of herbs and herbal medicine at the Homeless Garden Project, in Santa Cruz, CA, Fall 0f 2009. This video was taken by my dear friend and videographer, Eric Thiermann.

Class, Who Killed Cock Robin?, at Cowell College

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Join me, Dr. Paul Lee, this Spring 2014 Quarter at  Cowell College to the history of California Organic Movement that began here at UCSC.

Paul Lee Speaks at the Mechanic’s Library Author Series

This movie is a presentation and conversation I had at the Mechanic’s Library in San Francisco, May 2013 about my book, There is a Garden in the Mind, with Nada Miljkovic.

Back in the EcoTopia Saddle


Santa Cruz High School drawn by architect, William H. Weeks.

Back in the saddle after three months at our retreat–Cisco Point–in Phelps, Wisconsin where I kept myself busy by writing drafts of two books.

How To Become A Spiritual Millionaire When Money Is No Object tells the story of nonprofit corporations in this country, their historical background, as I see it, in the radical reformation of the sectarian movements in Europe which established the principle of voluntary association. The nonprofit corporation is the legal form of a voluntary association. I develop the theme of an economy of gift which I learned from Alan Chadwick who gave everything he grew away, freely and gladly, and there was always more to give, i.e., the principle of plenitude which confirms an economy of gift. I had already learned the gift theme from Erik Erikson who once told me that his definition of identity was “you have it to give it away”. Paul Ricoeur introduced me to the concept of an economy of gift and develops this theme in his essay on “The Golden Rule”.

The other book is an effort to deliver myself of my knowledge of herbal health care based on my period as Executive Director of the Herb Trade Association, in the late ’70′s, with responsibilities for organizing the national industry. It is a cookbook: Being and Thyme. Both efforts are just over a hundred pages. Not bad for a left hander.

Our Garden in the Mind Team is hard at work on grants and planning for the Circle Trail and the anticipated move of the Homeless Garden Project to Pogonip.

I am going to be speaking at the Homeless Forum on Oct. 8th at 7:00 pm at the Santa Cruz High School Auditorium. Hope to see you there.

Upcoming event at Filoli

Filoli Botanic Garden in Woodside California is a beautiful formal garden and a manor house. They also have a lecture series where well–known authors, curators and historians share their knowledge and experience. Each lecture presentation is followed by a reception where guests mingle with each other as well as the presenter. In some cases, a book signing and sale will immediately follow.

Spend an afternoon experiencing something new at Filoli.

Screen shot 2013-06-21 at 1.10.20 PMI am presentating there Friday, September 20, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm. This will be a memorable lecture that presents an engaging look at the work and life of pioneering organic farmer Alan Chadwick and his profound influence on the organic farming movement. Based on my book, There is a Garden in the Mind is a wide–ranging and philosophical memoir starting with my first serendipitous meeting with Chadwick in Santa Cruz in 1967 and our subsequent founding of Chadwick Garden at UC Santa Cruz, the first organic and biointensive garden at a U.S. university. Filoli embraces organic practices whenever possible through such things as selecting disease and pest resistant plants to minimizing the use of pesticides and our composting program – nothing green ever leaves the property!

There is a book sale and signing immediately following the presentation.
Fee for series: $25 members; $35 non–members.