I had the pleasure a year ago of viewing the "Back to Eden" documentary on the work of Paul Gautschi's carbon-centric gardening methods in the northwest. While Gautschi is essentially a vegetarian and I may not agree with every little thing he says, I think he's onto something revolutionary in gardening.
In many ways, it's a permutation of the Ruth Stout "No Work Garden Book," which rocked the organic gardening world 50 years ago. Essentially, this method uses year-round mulch rather than tillage to keep and prepare the garden. It eliminates soil moisture fluctuations and suppresses weeds. But in Gautschi's idea, the mulch is wood chips rather than leaves and grasses like Ruth Stout used. When I was in Australia recently, I spent a morning with a handful of young produce farmers who were using his methods and the plants looked spectacular.
Gautschi's story is compelling, simple, and practical. I was mesmerized by this documentary. I don't watch films much--of any stripe. So to watch it and not turn it off was truly remarkable. I encourage anyone currently gardening or contemplating having one to watch this documentary. You won't forget it.
Featuring 34 presentations from individuals leading the food growing movement, the Grow Your Own Food Summit featured Paul Gautschi as one of the main presenters! Paul's presentation, "Grow Your Own Healthy Food Easily by Modeling Mother Nature," was voted one of the top 5 presentations! Paul's presentation will teach you how growing your own food can change your life. Here are a few highlights of Paul's interview:
Did you miss the summit? That's okay! You can own all 34 presentations about the common challenges and necessities of growing your own food. You'll learn why this is the #1 thing you can do to improve the world!
Film Review by Eric Vinje; Planet Natural
In the battle over what constitutes healthy food, it’s no longer surprising to see the documentary film as an effective weapon, most often deployed on the side against corporate agriculture and for public health and well-being. Films including Food Inc (watch it here), 2004′s Supersize Me, a month of nothing but McDonald’s, and most recently Fed Up which implicates a government-corporate collaboration to promote and reward refined sugar, are all convincing, visual arguments of the dangers of the commercial food culture.
Broadly about food, these films are specifically about processed foods, organic and locally raised farming, the health consequences of certain refined foods and fast-food diets. Related films include GMO/OMG , a study of the corporate takeover of farming through seed production, GMOs, and related pesticides. Now even documentaries championing organic gardening are getting into the act.
One of the better gardening films is 2011′s Back To Eden from producers/directors Dana Richardson & Sarah Zentz. It’s the first film that I know of that makes mulch a superstar.
Back To Eden is about Paul Gautschi, called a “garden evangelists” by one person in the film, a man whose enthusiasm is as great as any you might have seen even though its directed at such a non-enthusiasm generating subject as garden mulch. God is the real co-star in this film, the designer of the original sustainable landscape whose secrets are there for those looking to find them. “God is a good guy,” Gautschi states at one point. “He gave us a sweet tooth.”
That secrets revealed to Gautschi start in a visit to the forest. There he discovers trees growing from a wonderful carpet of compost and organic matter. He decides to recreate those conditions in his garden. Followup lessons from on high include how deeply and in which layer to plant seed (in the soil, not the mulch on top) and that big wood chips will exhaust the soil of nitrogen as they slowly break down.
What Gautschi does is keep his soil protected under a layer of composted chips, shavings, and saw dust. And this results in something of a Xeric miracle. He never waters either his fruit trees or his vegetables. And he gets superb harvests. The general idea is similar to the technique of sheet composting, otherwise called the “no-dig” method. Gautschi claims to use nothing but a rake — not a spade, not a fork, not a hoe — in his garden.
Gautschi is also expert at composting. He includes nitrogen-providing greens to his wood chip browns and adds some manure, just as he did with his dad’s garden when a kid. He shows why adding a bunch of organic material to soil results in hard-pack at the end of the season. Hint: the answer has to do with having a variety of different-sized material in your compost to help hold oxygen and moisture.
Now it’s true that Gautschi has some regional advantages working for him. He lives on a homestead above Sequim, Washington on the state’s Olympic Peninsula. There’s plenty of wood chips and saw dust available because of the area’s abundant forests. A timber mill brings it in by the truckload and even though its in the “rain shadow” caused by the mountains wringing moisture from the clouds passing over them on the way to Sequim, it still gets some 16 inches a year. The cool, often cloudy climate helps keep evaporation down.
Yet his garden truly is a miracle and his method above reproach. We’d do some things differently. He keeps wide rows between his plants so that he can run the roto-tiller through. We’d mulch narrow paths between our vegetables and hope that kept the weeds down. And we’re curious about any pH adjustment he might do. He mentions pH balance among his principles at the beginning of the film but doesn’t address it later. Knowing soil conditions in the Great Northwest with its abundance of cedar and fir needles, we’d guess he’s throwing a lot of lime into his compost to keep the acid down.
Still, in a garden -specific way, this is a very charming and inspiring film. Mulches are important but there is a proper (and simple) way to use them. Gautschi himself is the most entertaining component of the film. His enthusiasm is contagious — “it’s like over-the-top-awesome,” he describes the taste of one vegetable — and his spiritual connection to his garden becomes something of a metaphor. The filmmakers have given us a fascinating look at this curious personality, a look you can enjoy even if you’re not of the same persuasion.
The film is available for free viewing online at the Back To Eden website above. Let us know what you think. I’m especially interested in people’s experience with mulch, what you use and where you get it. Water savings? Now that’s something we’d really like to hear about.
FULL ARTICLE: http://www.planetnatural.com/back-to-eden-film/
By Dr. Mercola
The featured documentary, Back to Eden, reveals a simple organic gardening method that can not only transform your personal garden, but may even be part of the food solution needed on a global scale as well.
Far from being life sustaining, our modern, large-scale, chemical-dependent farming methods strip soil of nutrients, destroy critical soil microbes, contribute to the creation of deserts where nothing will grow, and saturate farmlands with toxic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers that then migrate into ground water, rivers, lakes, and oceans.
This video really inspired me and after watching it I called my local tree cutting service and was able to get two truckloads of wood-chips dropped on my driveway for free and wheel barreled them on my landscape. The great thing about the wood chips is that they are waste and most companies will give you all you want. I plan on adding more three or four times a year.
I am convinced that Paul makes load of sense and that this is a crucial part of the equation for creating healthy soil to produce healthy plants. Wood chips seem to eliminate the need for any fertilizer or mineral supplements, reduce watering and make weeding a snap.
I hope you will overlook the religious overtones of this film if that doesn't appeal to you, because regardless of your religious beliefs (or lack thereof), the information shared still has tremendous value, and is sure to be of interest to anyone concerned with sustainable agriculture.
Featuring 34 presentations from individuals leading the food growing movement, the Grow Your Own Food Summit is featuring Paul Gautschi as one of the main presenters! Paul's presentation, "Grow Your Own Healthy Food Easily by Modeling Mother Nature," will teach you how growing your own food can change your life. Here are a few highlights of Paul's interview:
The Grow Your Own Food Summit will teach food growing people, both novices and experts, how to improve the world more than any other event in the last decade. Learn step-by-step instructions for what you can do today to put healthy, trusted food on your table in the future! Plus, it’s ONLINE and FREE from July 7-14, 2014.
This event is truly for everyone… because growing your own food contributes to improved health and connected community. It’s also an activity for the whole family that builds friendships in your neighborhood as you share each other’s skills and interests.
Register for FREE now!
Don’t let anyone else decide what’s in the food you eat! Change your life. Gain access to the information you need RIGHT NOW to optimize your health, connect with nature and those you love. It’s that simple.
Here are a few other incredible presenters:
Why Our Current Food System “Just Ain’t Normal” and How to Change It, by Joel Salatin, Sustainable, Maverick Farmer; Lecturer; Author
Saving Seeds, Growing Food and Ending GMOs Can Save the World, by Vandana Shiva, World-renowned Indian Activist
The Food Revolution and How GMOs are Disrupting It, by Ocean Robbins, Co-founder, Food Revolution Network; Author, Speaker, Educator
With over 34 total presenters sharing their wealth of knowledge, this invaluable (and FREE) resource is intended for you, whether you live in a city or on a farm! Better yet, if you register today, you’ll have access to the following FREE GIFTS as soon as you register!
Register for FREE by clicking the button today:
Back to Eden Documentary: Free Online Streaming
by Organic Gardens Network
Since the online premier of Back to Eden in 2011, the film has garnered the interest of over 2 million viewers in 210 countries! When filming Paul Gautschi at his garden on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, we never imagined such a global response! To us, this is proof that people are hungry for sustainable organic gardening methods that are capable of being implemented in diverse climates around the world.
According to the book, "Garden to Table: A 5-Year Look at Food Gardening in America," in the past five years there's been a 17 percent increase in food gardening. Our belief is that Back to Eden has played a significant role in the increase of food gardening!
Streaming online for free 24/7, the film is a gardening resource that teaches how to eliminate all of the work associated with growing food!
Following in the footsteps of Ruth Stout (No Work Garden Book) and Masanobu Fukuoka (One Straw Revolution), Paul Gautschi is leading a new revolutionary movement in the organic gardening community.
Endorsed by the National Gardening Association, Organic Consumers Association and featured in magazines such as Mother Earth News and Organic Gardening NZ, the film is continuing to impact the way food is grown around the world.
Our hope is that people are being connected with what Paul calls "live food." Simply put, fruits and vegetables that are full of nutrients because they are growing in the richest compost with a protective covering.
The health benefits and disease prevention from eating live food is undeniable. So please, watch the film, implement a Back to Eden garden, and get connected to nature and optimal health!
Back To Eden Film takes 3RD PLACE as the second runner-up to the most viewed film in the Green Unplugged Online Film Festival. We reached 33,000 VIEWERS of our film through this festival! Thanks to everyone who helped us spread the message of Back to Eden!
The full film will remain online for free streaming at www.backtoedenfilm.com
Learn How to Prune Your Fruit Trees From a Master Aborist Garden
Garden tours are closed for the season but the good news is, Paul is offering a one day pruning workshop. You are invited to join Paul at his home orchard where he will give thorough and lively demonstrations on how to prune your fruit trees!Watching the pruning Bonus Features on Back to Eden Film’s DVD is great, but it hardly compares to the experience of viewing Paul’s pruning techniques in person! Paul is a professional, master arborist. In addition to pruning all the trees in his local community, he prunes all the trees on his property every Winter! If you would like to learn how to prune fruit trees (apple, plum, fig and more) then you don’t want to miss this amazing opportunity!
Want to attend the pruning workshop? Visit our website where you can find Paul’s contact information and home address. Please be courteous, call in advance to find out the workshop date and to notify Paul that you will be attending! We request that you bless Paul with a donation if you attend his pruning workshop!
"One of the most beneficial things you can have for a garden are chickens." - Paul Gautschi
Why chickens? They deal with all your waste AND the eggs are great! Paul even call his chickens his "soil manufacturers."
Paul feeds his chickens all of his expired produce from the garden, grass clippings, and weeds. Whatever they leave behind turns into compost that “almost approaches top soil.” At any time of the year, you can add this compost to your garden to improve your soil.
1. Build a screen. *Make a frame that is big enough to fit on your wheel barrel. *Use a screen that’s size is 1/2”-1” should be perfect!
2. Place the screen on top of your wheel barrel.
3. Shovel your compost or composted manure on top of the screen.
4. Shake the screen back and forth, until only the coarse material remains on top.
5. Discard coarse material onto ground to continue breaking down. *Take note of the beautiful compost in your wheel barrel!
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until your wheel barrel is full of compost.
7. Unload the screened compost onto your garden.
8. Rake the compost as a layer on top of your existing soil. *Any thickness will do wonders in your garden!