Lyman Wood - Garden Way visionary

Lyman Wood - Gardens for All - Charlotte VT

BACG History Post #1

Lyman Wood (1910-1996) was a consummate entrepreneur. Born in Mt. Vernon, NY, his family purchased a summer camp at Cedar Beach in Charlotte in 1920. With three friends, he formed his first company at age 13, buying candy and other goods in Burlington and selling them to the enclave of summer camp residents at Cedar Beach. After early schooling in New York and Connecticut, he graduated from the University of Vermont in 1932 with a degree in physics. 

Wood worked for an advertising agency in New York City from 1936 through the WWII years. In 1944, he and a friend, Jack Robinson, published the "Have More Plan," a 70-page booklet which became the bible for the postwar back to the land movement. 

In the late 1940s, Wood put his advertising skills to work for Rototiller, Inc. The company became Watco, Inc in 1961. Wood served as a consultant to Watco. 

Wood moved to Vermont permanently in 1951. He set up an advertising agency, Precision Marketing Associates. Wood launched several entrepreneurial adventures, including a company that built garden carts. The Garden Way Publishing Company was established in 1966 in Charlotte, VT by Wood and three partners.

In 1967, Wood and his partners purchased Watco Inc. through their company, Precision Marketing Associates. Watco became the Garden Way Manufacturing Company in 1968. During the 1970s, Precision Marketing Associates became Garden Way Associates. 

Wood worked with Garden Way Manufacturing to develop a profitable business manufacturing Troy Bilt® roto-tillers from a factory in Troy, New York. The rear-end tillers were sold by mail order.

During the 1970s, Wood developed the Garden Way complex on Ferry Road in Charlotte. The Vermont operations included a manufacturing facility producing Garden Way carts, together with the headquarters for Garden Way Publishing and Garden Way Research. Garden Way Associates promoted Wood's vision of the “Garden Way of Life.” A Burlington Free Press article published on March 30, 1973 describes the emerging home and community garden movement.