About the designer of this website:

BEGINNINGS / INFLUENCES:
I am a 63 year old man born and raised in the good ole U.S.A., in Michigan, in 1952. My interest in the Garden Of Eden Project probably originally began in 3rd grade Religion class at the Catholic school I then attended. It was initially sparked by some things I heard about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden the conventional Garden of Eden story told to children. I felt like I had some kind of simple vision way back then, although it wasn’t precise. Throughout my Catholic school education of 12 years, I never heard a lot more about the Garden of Eden.

Part of my Garden of Eden influence was growing up near my grandfather's farm in Michigan (partially organic), where I gained much knowledge and experience helping my grandfather and uncles to harvest and plant fruit and vegetables such as: carrots, potatoes, beans, corn, apples, peaches, cherries, pears, plums, etcetera.

Growing up in Michigan I was impressed by a rather unique vegetarian religious organization called the House of David Israelites, as well as the Christian 7th Day Adventists who also advocated vegetarianism. I soon began to connect vegetarianism with the Garden of Eden concept.

I was also very much influenced by the music of the 1960s, including the influences that British rock-n-roll had on America. Certainly The Beatles, The Moody Blues, Led Zepplin, as well as many other American and British musicians definitely had a very great influence on my life in those days (and still do). The 1960s era was most definitely a time of great upheaval of the somewhat stagnant American antiquated religious values prior to that. Although many people went too far in the other direction (heavy drug use, extreme sexual promiscuity, violence, etcetera), most people benefitted from the refreshing energy that it brought to America and the world.

I also started smoking a little pot now and then in the 1970s and no doubt the affect of the herb did help to inspire my creative thoughts. I could never understand why marijuana should be illegal. After all, God did say in the Bible (Genesis 1:29): Behold I have given you EVERY plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you...... So if God said He gave us all plants, how can man legally make it illegal? We obviously have corruption in government!

At around the age of 22, I moved to California and I became vegetarian. In California I was influenced by the Hare Krishnas, Buddhists, 7th Day Adventists, as well as people I met while living in San Francisco. I also read some very good books about health and vegetarianism. One of the best was called The Mucusless Diet Healing System by Arnold Ehret.

MY EXPERIENCE:
My direct experience in this Garden of Eden Project originated in 1990, from living and working in another Garden of Eden Project initiated by some people living in Oroville, California. We felt that the term "Garden of Eden" had no copyright on it, as God would have it. I spent nine months living in community with them, helping them plant approximately 100 (out of their 400) fruit and nut trees of about 30 to 40 varieties on their 8-1/2 acre piece of ex-horse ranch land. We planted 1 year old bare-root fruit tree saplings. We used aged horse manure, organic composted soil, rock dust fertilizer, hay and dead leaves, as we planted. We installed drip-line irrigation for all the trees and they did tremendously well, doubling and tripling their thickness in six months. I also built a small A-frame cabin from recycled lumber and assisted in building a geodesic dome and other small structures.

I also lived in a small informal community in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I had a work-trade situation there. The owner had many different fruit trees planted among the relatively wild surroundings there. I helped tend to the trees, harvest, dry fruits, etcetera. We all enjoyed the surrounding (rather pristine) wilderness there, as well as spring-fed hot tubs and drinking water. The panoramic views there were incredibly awesome!

MORE RECENTLY:
I lived in Santa Cruz, CA. From 1991 to present. I was homeless from about 1991 to 1999. Why was I homeless? Because I knew this would be the only way I would have enough time to work on The Garden of Eden Project. Between taking part-time jobs and sleeping in the redwoods, I was able to spend hours every day in the public library doing my research for this Garden of Eden Project website.

While being homeless, eventually I joined Food Not Bombs in Santa Cruz, where I became one the main volunteer cooks. I was especially pleased with FNB because they were vegan. Every week, several local supermarkets donated large quantities of produce to us. I made a lot of friends and had a lot of good times while in FNB. Also around this time I began to learn how to use computers.

I was fortunate enough to eventually acquire a part-time job with the Interfaith Satellite Shelter Program (ISSP), which is a program that works in cooperation with many local churches in Santa Cruz County to temporarily give homeless people a place to sleep for the night and a hot meal. I worked 4 hours a day at $6.00 per hour and received free room and board. During my free time in the day I did most of my research for the materials on this website. I was able to spend my money for using a computer at Kinko’s, printing up materials, etcetera.

MY STATUS TODAY:
I have been a vegetarian for almost 40 years now. Since I became vegetarian in 1975 I have been generally quite healthy. However, when I became homeless in 1991, my health did generally, albeit very slowly, start to go downhill, mostly due to the oftentimes poor quality and variety of food offered by the various homeless organizations, especially for those of us wanting to maintain a vegetarian diet. This is not to put down homeless programs in general. On the contrary, I feel that they are generally doing a good service for homeless people. However, if one wants to remain a vegetarian, it presents a lot more of a challenge.

So, eventually, I found that I had to get off of the streets for my health and sanity. For the last 15 years I have been working full-time (as I have for most of my adult life) in order to maintain my own computer and to maintain this website. However, working full-time has severely limited my time for creativity and has also consumed a very large part of my energy that would otherwise have gone into promoting this Garden of Eden Project.

I would dearly love to find some wealthy supporter who would willingly pay me enough to quit my full-time job, so I could spend the time and money necessary to restore my ailing health and devote all my working time on building The Garden of Eden Project. However, until some wealthy person steps forward to provide me with this I am only going to promote the Garden of Eden vision via my website. I am NOT going to attempt to actively try to create or build a Garden of Eden community. I can only hope that my website will inspire others to put it all together and actually build one of these communities. Best of luck to all of you!

Comments? Offerings? Suggestions? E-mail me at: rick@gardensofeden.org