Preserving a Legacy: Wendy Tucker’s Vision for Shulgin Farm

Ann Shulgin's daughter discusses the future of the site where Ann and her husband Sasha advanced psychedelic research.
Wendy Tucker, daughter of Ann Shulgin and chair of the Shulgin Farm board of directors.

The Shulgin Farm, located in Lafayette, California, holds a revered place in psychedelic history. Here, Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin and his wife Ann conducted groundbreaking research, synthesizing over 200 psychedelic compounds, including MDMA. Now, a fundraising campaign called Seed Crystal  aims to raise $3 million to transform the Farm into an educational and community center. Led by Ann’s daughter, Wendy Tucker, the initiative seeks to preserve the Farm’s legacy and provide a space for seminars, weddings and events.

Ann married Sasha in 1981, bringing Wendy into close proximity to his work. Tucker began assisting Sasha with his publications and research in 1991, managing his publishing house, Transform Press, which Sasha created after he and Ann wrote their famed book, PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story.

Tucker, who serves as chair of the Shulgin Farm board of directors, took over as owner of Transform Press after Sasha died in 2014 (Ann died in 2022). PMN recently caught up with Tucker to discuss her latest efforts to preserve the Farm’s historical significance and her involvement with the effort.

The following is her email responses to our questions.

What type of educational opportunities will be available at the farm?

We envision Shulgin Farm as a vibrant hub for learning about psychedelics from a variety of angles. We plan to host workshops, lectures and conferences that explore the scientific, therapeutic, historical and cultural dimensions of these substances. Imagine taking a chemistry class in Sasha’s lab, learning about the latest research on MDMA-assisted therapy or participating in a seminar on the role of psychedelics in creativity and spirituality. We want to create a space where people can dive deep into this fascinating field, learn from experts and each other and be inspired to carry the work forward.

What can people expect to see when they visit the farm? Will there be historical documents, artifacts related to your mother’s research and Sasha’s?

Visitors to Shulgin Farm will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich history of psychedelic research that unfolded here. We are carefully preserving Sasha’s lab, where he conducted his groundbreaking chemistry work, as well as his office and library, which hold his notebooks, correspondence and extensive collection of books and papers. We are also preserving the spaces where the research group met so many times to try out Sasha’s new compounds and where Ann conducted so many psychedelic therapy sessions. Alongside these historic spaces, we’ll have exhibits showcasing key documents, photos and artifacts that tell the story of the Shulgins’ lives and work. Visitors will come away with a deeper appreciation for the dedication, curiosity and spirit of love and healing that animated everything Sasha and Ann did.

Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin and his wife Ann.

What type of improvements/additions are planned for the property?

To bring the Farm fully to life as a center for education and community, we’re planning some key improvements and additions. We’ll be upgrading the lab facilities to enable new research projects, while carefully preserving the original space. We’re also creating a new library and archive room to house the Shulgins’ collection and make it accessible to scholars and the public. The property has ample room for gardens, walking trails and quiet spaces for reflection, which we intend to cultivate. We also plan to make improvements on an existing structure we call the Barn to accommodate workshops, retreats and special events. It’s about enhancing the Farm’s capacity to support learning, healing and connection, all while preserving the history there.

What role will the farm play in the future of psychedelic research amid this renaissance in the field?

Shulgin Farm has the potential to be a vital node in the expanding network of people and institutions carrying psychedelic research forward. By providing a dedicated space for learning, experimentation and collaboration, grounded in the Shulgins’ pioneering work, we can help nurture the next generation of scientists, therapists, artists and visionaries working with these substances. We want to build bridges between the research community, students and the public, sparking new insights and partnerships. At the same time, the Farm will stand as an enduring reminder of how far the field has come since the days when Sasha and Ann were among the few holding space for this work. It’s about honoring the past while investing in the future.

Who is involved in this effort besides yourself?

Bringing the vision for Shulgin Farm to life is truly a community effort. We’ve assembled an incredible team of advisers including many of Sasha and Ann’s longtime friends and colleagues—chemists, psychiatrists, authors, artists and activists who deeply understand the significance of this place and share our commitment to preserving and extending its legacy. I’m also grateful to have the support of my family, including my husband Jason who is helping with the design and build-out of the new spaces. And of course, none of this would be possible without the generosity of our donors and the enthusiasm of the wider psychedelic community. It’s beautiful to see so many people coming together around this vision.

What was it like growing up in this environment of such groundbreaking research? Can you share maybe your fondest memories(s) related to the research at the farm?

Growing up around the Farm was an extraordinary experience. Mom and Sasha met when I was a teenager, and I was aware that they were involved in something unique and important. There was such an atmosphere of curiosity, caring and reverence for the power of these compounds to heal and awaken.

One of my fondest memories is being with them, trying one of Sasha’s new compounds, talking with them about the research group and the important work they had been participating in for so long, sharing insights and experiences. I remember the warmth, the laughter, the deep conversations that would stretch late into the night. It instilled in me a profound appreciation for the value of this work and the people called to do it.

Also, working with Sasha in the lab is a memory that I hold dear. He was an amazing and fun teacher, as I had no chemistry experience. Even simply working in the office with him, helping him with his research and working on the books they published, was a wonderful experience. They were both fun to be around; there was always laughter.

Sasha Shulgin working in his lab during the early years.

Why do you feel it’s important to preserve the history of psychedelic research today?

We’re at such a pivotal moment in the story of psychedelics. After decades of stigma and suppression, these substances are finally being recognized for their immense potential to alleviate suffering and enrich lives. But this progress didn’t come from nowhere — it’s built on the work of pioneers like Sasha and Ann who had the courage to keep exploring, even when it meant pushing against the tide and putting themselves at some risk. By preserving the history of their research, we honor their legacy and remind ourselves that the path to healing and insight is often paved with challenges. We have so much still to learn from their example of dedication, integrity and open-minded inquiry. Engaging with this history can inspire us to bring the same spirit to the work that lies ahead.

How do you intend to raise funding to make this possible?

Our primary vehicle for fundraising is the Seed Crystal Campaign, which invites supporters to become foundational donors at the $10,000 level and above. The name of the campaign reflects the idea that these early investments are like the seed crystals that catalyze growth and transformation, enabling something beautiful to take shape. We’re reaching out to visionary philanthropists, leaders in the psychedelic field and all those who appreciate the unique opportunity of this moment to create a lasting center for research and community around the Shulgins’ work. It’s a chance to invest not only in preserving an important piece of history but in nurturing the future of the psychedelic movement. Every contribution, large or small, helps us lay the groundwork for the thriving, vital institution we know the Farm can become.

Can you explain the meaning of the name Seed Crystal?

In chemistry, a seed crystal is a small piece of crystalline material that can be added to a solution to catalyze the growth of larger crystals. It provides a structure and foundation that allows something beautiful and complex to emerge. For us, that’s the perfect metaphor for what we’re trying to create with Shulgin Farm and what our donors are enabling with their support. Each contribution is like a seed crystal helping to manifest the larger vision. And on a deeper level, the work that happened at the farm — the insights, the healing experiences, the knowledge gained — all of that acts as a kind of seed crystal too, providing the foundation for new waves of discovery and transformation. Sasha and Ann planted those seeds and now it’s our turn to water them and help them grow.

Lab bottles at Shulgin Farm.

Anything else you would like to add?

I just want to express my deep gratitude to everyone who has been part of this journey so far — the friends, colleagues and supporters who have stood with us to help make the dream of Shulgin Farm a reality. This is a labor of love, a commitment to honoring the past and nurturing the future of psychedelic exploration. We still have a long way to go, but every day I’m inspired by the outpouring of energy and enthusiasm for this project. It’s a testament to the profound impact that Sasha and Ann had and the enduring power of their vision. I invite anyone who feels called to this work, whether as a donor, a volunteer or simply a supporter helping to spread the word, to join us in bringing Shulgin Farm forward as a beacon and a resource for generations to come.

All photos courtesy Shulgin Farm/Integration Communications