Adam Purple Podcast
The Garden of Eden

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The Garden of Eden, September 23, 1979Adam Purple (rev. les ego) is a social activist, philosopher, and urban gardener/revolutionary.  He created the world-famous eARThWORK, The Garden of Eden, which flourished on Manhattan’s Lower East Side from 1975-1986.  He is also the author-inventor of of ZENtences!, an exponential (non-linear) book.  A unique copy of this work may be studied in the Miniature Collection, Rare Books Division, New York Public Library.  His social activism continues online today with the ‘speciesurvivalibrary’ Yahoo! Group, which can be joined by visiting

Adam Purple talks about his life, work, and the future of huWOmankind (species survival) in this 40-minute interview.  By the early 1970’s, much of Manhattans’s Lower East Side had become a desolate, crime-ridden place. In the midst of this, Adam Purple started a garden in the backyard of his tenement building at 184 Forsyth Street. In time, the surrounding tenements were torn down and Purple’s world-famous eARThWORK, The Garden of Eden, grew to 15,000 square feet and included 45 fruit and nut trees. He carted off tons of refuse and created virgin topsoil with horse manure from Central Park as well as his own “night soil.”  To create the Garden, he used simple tools and raw muscle power. Adam “zenvisioned” the Garden expanding until it replaced the asphalt and skyscrapers of New York. Though the city was presented with numerous alternatives that would have spared it or incorporated it into the new structure, The Garden of Eden was bulldozed in 1986 to make way for a federally funded housing project, which did not include an apartment for Adam or space for a new garden.  To view a gallery of photographs of the Garden, visit: