Wendy Krupnick: Pioneering UCSC Farm and Garden Apprentice, Educator, Horticulturalist

Cultivating a Movement

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Read the full text transcript (PDF) of the oral history with Wendy Krupnick.

266 Wendy Krupnick. Photo by Peter Lippman.

Wendy Krupnick was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1953, and grew up in Crestwood Hills, a progressive, cooperative community in the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past thirty-five years she has been involved in nearly every aspect of sustainable agriculture. Her oral history, conducted over the telephone by Ellen Farmer on August 15, 2007, provides a broad perspective on the evolution of this movement.

Krupnick came to UC Santa Cruz as a transfer student from UC Santa Barbara in 1973 and majored in biology. She volunteered in the Chadwick Garden (under Steve Kaffka) as a student, and then returned in 1976-77 as an apprentice at the UC Santa Cruz Farm and Garden. Later she served as the garden coordinator for the Farallones Institute’s Integral Urban House in Berkeley and the Institute’s Rural Center in Sonoma County. At the same time, she worked with pioneering organic farmer Warren Weber at Star Route Farm in Bolinas, California. Through Weber, Krupnick joined the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and was the first secretary of that organization.

Krupnick cultivated farm-restaurant connections in the Bay Area, collaborating with Rosalind Creasy on the book Cooking from the Garden, tending a restaurant garden where she grew produce for Jessie Ziff Cool’s Flea Street Cafe and Late for the Train restaurants on the San Francisco Peninsula, and helping organize the Tasting of Summer Produce festival at the Oakland Museum. Still later, Krupnick managed the trial garden and did outreach and marketing at Shepherd’s Garden Seeds in Felton, California. At the time this interview was conducted, she was coordinating the  four-acre educational market garden for the Santa Rosa Junior College Sustainable Agriculture Program.

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