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The Quest for a Simpler Life in 1970s Morgan Hill

by Marlene Anne Bumgarner (2020)

In the 1970s, the “back-to-the-land” movement was reborn on the outskirts of Silicon Valley.

The historic Valley of Heart’s Delight felt the burgeoning high tech boom nipping at its heels.

Four people took on a 10-acre parcel of undeveloped land in Morgan Hill, eager to trade urban living for a simpler, more

sustainable life closer to nature.

One of them was Marlene Bumgarner, wife and mother, journalist/author, Gavilan College instructor, and founder of the Morgan Hill Trading Post. Bumgarner and her husband lived “off the grid” above Chesbro Reservoir where they

raised their two children, along with some rabbits, chickens, goats and vegetables.

Bumgarner chronicled her experiences in a memoir, “Back to the Land in Silicon Valley

(2020). Meet Bumgarner and hear about her colorful and wide-ranging experiences of

four decades in Morgan Hill. Purchase an autographed copy of her book at the event.

Learn more about the author online:



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