Quincy John Workman's Return to Eden

Some saw the barren hillside on the San Diego State University campus as useless land. Quincy John Workman saw potential, a return to Eden.

| September/October 1979

  • 059-return-to-eden-1.jpg
    Quincy John Workman, founder of the New World Builders, and the author at the entrance to San Diego State University's "Garden of Eden."
  • 059-return-to-eden-04.jpg
    Quincy John is rightly proud of the more than 40 productive fruit trees that cover the formerly "useless" rocky hillside overlooking the San Diego Freeway,
  • 059-return-to-eden-02.jpg
    Quincy's students learn organic gardening by "doing it" rather than through theories. Here, plants undergo a daily bug inspection by dedicated volunteers.
  • 059-return-to-eden-03.jpg
    Though he's 83 years old, Mr. Workman?a ""volcano ""of energy?still rides his ""clunker"" bicycle 15 to 20 miles a day!

  • 059-return-to-eden-1.jpg
  • 059-return-to-eden-04.jpg
  • 059-return-to-eden-02.jpg
  • 059-return-to-eden-03.jpg

The "Garden of Eden" lies just below the chemistry building on San Diego State University's campus. Less than 10 years ago, the spot was simply a barren and rocky hillside overlooking the freeway. Since then that "useless" plot of land has been terraced into a beautiful, one-acre paradise by 83-year-old Quincy John Workman, who welcomes curious visitors with a sign that announces: "Working for survival of mankind, nonpollution, ecology action, natural living, organic gardening, full production, no destruction, free distribution. "

Workman, who founded the "New World Builders" to promote such goals, began his "return to Eden" as a symbol of hope for a healthier, more productive world. Today the organic "Elysian Field" contains over 40 fruit trees, as well as numerous perennial herbs such as comfrey and mint.

"There's a unique study program going on here," says Quincy John of the student volunteers who come to him to learn about organic gardening. "I demonstrate how to grow things ... rather than merely teach theory. My pupils plant, water, and learn how to deal with parasites and other garden pests. I see work in the garden as a step toward self-sufficiency and survival. "

This remarkable man was once a toy manufacturer in Birmingham, Alabama. After his business went bankrupt during the depression, Quincy spent over 40 years working at various engineering jobs before devoting himself to the "Garden of Eden".

A critic of the American economy and the banking system (which he says is run by a "den of thieves") and an active champion of Proposition 13, Quincy John had to look long and hard before he found a place to nourish his dream of a "New World".

After finally gaining permission from reluctant university administration, the octogenarian removed eucalyptus trees, terraced the rocky land, planted orchards and some castor beans (poison black-leaved plants "which are certain to keep them gophers out") ... and, to satisfy the university, built a trailer/office "so it could be easily—and quickly—moved".


Fermentation Frenzy!

September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pa

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me