Back to Eden Gardening has provided epic results after our first year garden. In the Fall of 2019, we added a layer of newspaper, 4 inches of composted horse manure, and 6-12 inches of wood chip mulch onto a yard covered in tenacious grass and weeds. One year later, we are growing an organic garden that is overflowing with vegetables and fruits. Our first year garden was a success because we were able to get several FREE deliveries of wood chips after signing up for FREE to the Chip Drop App.
Fall is the perfect season to start using the Back to Eden Gardening method. Adding wood chips to your new or old garden plot will act as a slow release fertilizer, enriching the soil with rain and snow during the winter month for better gardening in the Spring. Make sure to read our Fall Back to Eden Gardening To Do List for tips on preparing your garden. Please remember that Back to Eden Gardening is a no-till gardening method. Not tilling the soil preserves and prevents the loss of topsoil and allows living microbes in the soil to cycle nutrients and maintain fertility.
As you can see in the photos, the transformation above ground is amazing but what is happening below the surface (in your soil) is key to epic gardening results! The soil before adding wood chip mulch was anaerobic hardpan clay and sand. One year later, the soil is full of life including worms and beneficial microorganisms. These results are possible when you add wood chips to your garden. You can see that the wood chip mulch begins to decompose quickly breaking down into beautiful soil.
We have tested out several wood chip delivery apps and by far the quickest and largest delivery came by using the Chip Drop App! This free app helps gardeners connect with local arborists to get a giant pile of wood chips delivered to your address for FREE. It is super quick and easy to use so hurry and sign up today!
It was 10 years ago that Mark McOmber installed a wood chip demonstration garden for the documentary BACK TO EDEN. During the last decade, Mark has grown his own vegetables and fruits while practicing the Back to Eden Gardening method. Today, Mark is launching his own YouTube channel where he will be uploading videos about "Living Life" and resting with God in the home and garden!
Watch the first video uploaded by Mark that shows how the soil has completely transformed in the last 10 years. Personally, I got goosebumps! Trust me, you have to see this! In this 25-minute video Mark also shares a plethora of gardening tips that he has learned over the years -- from DIY planting tools to teaching what wood chips are best to use in your garden.
If you have any questions, contact Mark McOmber who will answer any questions you may have!
Garlic is now back in stock and shipping just in time for Fall planting! There are so many benefits of growing garlic in your garden. During this time especially, the antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic are one of the top benefits. The antibacterial properties of garlic can reduce the number of colds you get and help in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections, asthma and shortness of breath. Garlic helps with bacterial, fungal, worm, yeast, viral infections, and can help prevent food poisoning when it kills bacteria, like E. coli and salmonella.
In your garden, garlic deters pests including aphids, spider mites, Japanese beetles, snails, fruit tree borers, and so much more! Moles, voles, rabbits, deer, and mice are even deterred by the smell of garlic!
What variety should I grow?
First, decide if you should grow hardneck or softneck garlic. The "neck" refers to the stalk that grows up from the center of the bulb. Hardnecks are rigid while softnecks can be braided at maturity. Hardnecks are recommended if you live in Northeastern US and Canada. Softnecks are recommended if you live in milder climates. Then you will want to decide on flavor whether you like mild, complex, or spicy garlic. It is up to your personal preference! Garlic is so easy to grow we promise you will want to grow it every year!
How do I plant garlic?
Planting garlic is simple. You break off all of the cloves from the garlic bulb. You then place them with the roots (hard bottom) facing down towards the ground and pointy top towards the surface. You will want to plant them in a hole about 2 inches deep and about 4-6 inches apart in rows. Make sure to plant them in the compost/soil below the wood chips. The wood chip mulch (about 4-6 inches thick) will aid in retaining moisture and keep the ground insulated during winter.
Watermelons might be the most challenging plant when it comes to knowing when to harvest. The best practice is to keep track of the date you planted and the days to maturity based on the variety of seeds. This way you can mark on your calendar a date to know when to start looking for the following clues:
On the East Coast, Mark McOmber who was featured in the documentary Back to Eden is growing the most epic watermelons. Mark's favorite heirloom varieties of watermelon is Crimson Sweet. After 10 years of Back to Eden gardening with wood chips, Mark harvested a 56 pound Crimson Sweet watermelon! Watch Mark's video to learn how to harvest watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydew.
As an organic gardener you will find that one of the top benefits of raising backyard chickens is their manure. Yes, that's right, the chicken's poop! Of course the eggs are great too! However, composted chicken manure is one of the best natural fertilizers you can add to your Back to Eden Garden. Paul calls his chicken run his "soil manufacturing plant." That is because he collects and screens his composted chicken manure to add to his garden. Chicken manure amends your soil by adding nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You can experience all of the benefits of raising backyard chickens too!
There are a handful of excellent chicken hatcheries throughout the US. Paul told us he recommends Murray McMurray Hatchery. Since they were sold out of chickens, we researched to find a local farm that sold chickens. Thankfully we discovered Dare 2 Dream Farms based in California. They offered free delivery to a local pet shop. From most hatcheries you can purchased baby chicks, coop-ready, pullets, laying hens, or roosters. Depending on the breed, some chickens will begin laying around 6 months of age. We got 9 week old coop ready chickens.
You definitely want to build a chicken run that is safe from predators. Predators for chickens include but aren't limited to raccoons, coyotes, foxes, hawks, owls, eagles, etc. Although many people use chicken wire to secure the chicken run, we recommend using 1/4" Hardware Cloth. It is more expensive but it really helps keep out rodents and predators way better than any other material. We also placed a "skirt" around the run where we buried at least 1 foot of wire to keep any animals from digging under the run.
Lavender smells incredible but it is also an insect repellent and stress reliever.
Mint naturally lowers body temperatures, which can be helpful in keeping your flock cool in the summer. Mint is an excellent fly, spider and rodent repellant.
Rosemary is responsible for assisting with pain relief and enhancing respiratory health. It's also great for repelling insects that hang around your coop.
Thyme repels insects. It’s anti-parasitic, antibacterial and rich in antioxidants. Place it in nest boxes of chickens suffering from respiratory ailments to help them breathe.
Sage is full of antioxidants and vitamins and is believed to combat salmonella and other diseases.
Water is probably one of the most essential nutrients for growth, egg production, health, and life. Chickens consume at least twice as much water as they do feed. So it is important that they always have a clean supply of water.
Compost Bin & Sieve
Lastly, you will find yourself cleaning out chicken manure from the coop daily and the chicken run weekly (remember this stuff will turn your soil into gold). You will add the chicken manure to your compost bin. We like to add some pine shavings from the nesting box and wood chips to help the manure break down. It also reduces the odor! After your chicken manure has composted for at least 6 months, you can sift it through a sieve and add it in your organic garden!
Automatic Chicken Coop Door
One of the biggest reasons people give up on raising backyard chickens is the responsibility to open the coop at sunrise and close the coop at sunset. Our recommended solution to this problem is the Omlet Automatic Chicken Coop Door. This is a universal automatic chicken coop door that is easy to install on any coop or run. You can set the time for the door to open in the mornings and close in the evenings. Chickens are very routine oriented so they will appreciate being so well taken care of. Also, you can sleep soundly knowing they have one of the most secure automatic doors in the world. Use this coupon code to get 10% OFF your order: BACKTOEDENCHICKENS
Chicken Coop Cleaning Supplies
Once you have all of the supplies, have built a safe coop and run, and purchased chickens, you are officially prepared to raise backyard chickens! Before you know it you will be eating fresh eggs for breakfast and amending your garden so that it flourishes for years to come!
Now that mid-August is here it's time to start planning your fall garden! Although the timing to plant fall crops varies depending on your climate, now is the time to start preparing your fall starters and gathering your fall crop seeds to plant for an abundant fall harvest. In late summer while filming Back to Eden, Paul Gautschi showed us how he plants his potatoes, garlic, cilantro, spinach, beets, carrots, lettuces, kale, and other fall crops. Paul allows many of these crops to "overwinter" meaning to plant them in the fall and harvest them in the spring. Specifically, he taught us that beets and carrots get sweeter with the cold weather and potatoes and garlic love staying put during the long winter growing season in Back to Eden Gardens.
Where should I get my seeds to plant for my fall garden? This year, many of our trusted heirloom seed suppliers are running completely out of stock of seed for many crop varieties. Shortages in some food and seed supplies are expected to continue this coming year. Fortunately, the Back to Eden Organic Farmers that founded ARK Heirloom Seeds has got us all covered! ARK Heirloom Seeds has worked tirelessly all summer to maintain a high-quality supply of heirloom seeds to provide for the Back to Eden Gardening community. Their kits were specially designed to sustain your food supply in times of food scarcity and disaster, lasting for 10+ years. We have been keeping busy planting their seeds and enjoying their abundant harvest all summer with incredible results! The ARK ALL-IN-ONE SEED KIT includes a wide assortment of seeds for all growing seasons. Growing your own food from seed saves the an average of $3,000 per year in grocery bills!
The seed varieties that are highlighted in green below are good seeds to plant now for your fall garden:
THE ALL-IN-ONE HEIRLOOM SEED KIT INCLUDES: 1200 4‐7 Dry Bean Varieties, 300 Field Corn, 100 Sweet Corn *, 200 Snap Peas, 200 Dry Peas, 100 Butternut Squash, 50 Hubbard Squash, 50 Zucchini Squash, 50 Sugar Pie Pumpkin, 200 Sugar Baby Watermelon, 50 Cantaloupe, 50 Honey Dew Melon, 50 Bell Pepper, 50 Habanero Pepper, 50 Cheyenne Pepper, 1000 Parsnips, 300 Beets, 500 Yellow Onions, 200 Red Onions, 400 Spinach, 500 Radish, 1350 Turnips, 1000 Mustard, 200 Pickling Cucumbers, 50 Eggplant, 900 Curled Kale, 100 Dinosaur Kale, 5000 4 Lettuce Varieties, 500 Arugula, 1000 Broccoli, 1350 Cabbage, 2500 Carrots, 200 Swiss Chard, 200 Brussel Sprouts, 500 Rutabaga, 200 Leeks, 600-800 8 Tomato Varieties, 30,000 16 Varieties of Culinary & Medicinal Herbs
50,000 TOTAL SEEDS!
ARK Heirloom Seeds is offering a $20 discount code for their All-in-One Heirloom Seed Kits to Back to Eden subscribers. Click the button below. Add the kit to your cart. At checkout, enter the coupon code "woodchips" to redeem the offer of a $20 discount!
Happy fall gardening Back to Eden Gardeners! Share this article with your friends and family to bless them with the gift of learning to grow their own food today!
Mix the yeast in with the warm water. Add in the mashed potatoes. Add the salt to the flour. Slowly stir in the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Gentle knead together until the dough forms a ball. Do not over knead. Place in a large bowl and cover with a cloth. It should double in size in 30 minutes. Turn it onto a flat floured baking pan and press it into an oval shape about 8 inches long. Decorate however you please. Sprinkle a little salt and pour the oil over the top.
Growing cucumbers in your vegetable garden can be super beneficial to your health. Since they are 95% water, they keep your body hydrated and help regulate the body's inner temperature during those hot summers! They are high in potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. They love the warm summer weather and rich soil so plant accordingly based on your location.
Should you trellis your cucumber plants? Some gardeners swear by using a trellis and others arenât worried about saving space. We are trying both ways this year and donât think there is a right or wrong way! However, it is very important to make sure you donât miss picking a cucumber because your plant wonât continue to produce if one is left on the vine past its due date!
How do you grow a straight cucumber? It is important that your cucumbers are properly pollinated. If they are improperly pollinated they will curl instead of growing straight. Make sure to water the base of the plant, do not water from above! This will keep water out of your blossoms. If you don't have a lot of pollinators, we recommend pollinated by hand. There is both a male and female flower that grows on a cucumber plant. It is easy to take a male flower and pollinate the female flower to insure proper pollination!
How do you harvest a cucumber? Check on your plant daily for your cucumber to grow to the size recommend for its variety. We recommend using a Felco pruning shears to harvest cucumbers. Cucumber plants do not like when you pull on them so the Felco pruning shears is a gentle way to get a clean cut. Make sure to cut the stem, not the vine!
How do you know when an heirloom tomato is ripe? First, you want a deep color and shiny skin. Second, it should be easy to remove from the vine. I always gently tug it from where there is a natural line showing a break in the vine. If it hangs on, it isnât ready. Lastly the smell and taste should be strong of tomato!
Are your tomatoes still green? If you are feeling impatient, do not remove leaves to expose the tomato to the sunlight because that is not how tomatoes ripen. Tomatoes ripen form the inside out. They ripen when lycopene, carotene, and pigments responsible for giving the fruit their typical orange to red appearance is released. This occurs when the temperature is approximately 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenfeit. When temperatures exceed 85 degrees to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the ripening process slows significantly or even stops. The best thing you can do is be patient and wait for optimal temperatures for ripening! It is hard to be patient but it was worth the wait!
Do all tomatoes ripen at the same rate? No! Cherry tomatoes and early varieties ripen at a much quicker rate than larger varieties. So just keep checking on your tomato plants daily to see which tomatoes are ripe!
Once your tomatoes are ripe consider purchasing a GLOBAL Chef Knife so that your sharp knife cuts through your tomatoes skin like butter! Enjoy!
Learn how to preserve your homegrown garden harvest by canning vegetables and fruits at home! Canning is a method to preserve food in jars at high temperatures for a long period of time, killing microorganisms and inactivates enzymes. The heating process removes air from the jar, creating a vacuum seal as food cools. Before getting started, you will need some basic canning tools to make your canning process easy. *Please note: Canning supplies are in high demand right now. Many products keeping running low on stock or are out of stock temporarily.
1. Ball Canning Jars
2. Ball Jar Lifter
3. Canner 20-Quart Stock Pot
5. Best Canning Book
6. Magnetic Lid Wand
7. Canning Weights
8. Easy Fermentation Jar Lids