Thanks to Organic Gardens Today, there is a movie review in their Fall 2013 magazine!
Visit page 21 to read the full article on Back to Eden Film! Don't forget to share it with your friends!
See ‘Back to Eden’ Film to Learn About Using Wood Chip Mulch
By Barbara Pleasant
As a big fan of wood chip mulch, I watched with great interest the popular documentary film Back to Eden, the first-ever feature-length movie on mulch. The Back to Eden film profiles the wood-chip-mulched garden of Paul Gautschi, a devout Christian who grows vegetables and fruits on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The film’s producer, evangelist Michael Barrett, wisely enlisted the help of Dana Richardson and Sarah Zentz of ProVisions Productions to make the film, which can be viewed free at backtoedenfilm.com.
The result is an interesting 103-minute film that balances Gautschi’s religious interpretation of wood chip mulch with comments by soil experts, organic farmers, and the stable owner where Gautschi gets his horse manure.
Mentioning horse manure up front gives away part of the plot, but experienced organic gardeners may find Gautschi’s opening claims that his garden needs no fertilizer too off-putting to continue. A Bible whiz, Gautschi considers wood chip mulch a gift from God that is being released at the perfect time in history, no fertilizer required. Relax. Thirty minutes into the film we meet the chickens — perhaps 30 of them — and watch our hero composting their manure. Pardon the correction, but for several thousand years people have called this substance fertilizer. Ditto for the horse manure previously mentioned.
Back to Eden is worth staying with because of the astute observations made by the many people involved in Gautschi’s circle of mulch. Speaking from a mountain of wood chips, organic farmer Justin Riddle uses the phrase “passive tillage” to explain how the combination of root crops and deep wood chip mulch is opening up his compacted soil. In an area that receives less than 20 inches of rain each year, Riddle notes that wood chip mulch radically reduces the need to water many crops. Nurseryman Ji Douglas appears several times in the film, eloquently explaining how wood chip mulch increases the oxygen supply in the soil, which in turn attracts microbes and earthworms, and other fundamental aspects of wood chip mulch ecology.
The film moves on to the next logical question — How will this work in other places? — when a family from Pennsylvania starts a wood mulch garden with similar missionary zeal. Here things get gritty as we learn there is more involved in going “back to Eden” than spreading wood chips.
To read my feature-length article on using wood chip mulch in your garden, see Use Wood Chip Mulch to Build Better Garden Soil.
Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/back-to-eden-film-wood-chip-mulch-zb0z1306zsto.aspx#ixzz2XYdLI5PG
Film review by Philippa Jamieson
Volume 71; page 56
This US documentary focuses on the organic growing practices of Paul Gautschi, who asked God and looked to the Bible for guidance in how to grow food, and found that
nature has all the answers. He realized that the forest ﬂoor with its layers of duff or mulch provided the most wonderfully rich soil that was continually being added to. He replicated that to some extent in his vegetable garden and orchard. Paul advocates no digging, and using cover (mulch) of various kinds; fairly ﬁne wood chips (and compost) being his preference. He and several others expound on the beneﬁts of this in terms of water-holding capacity, soil structure, mineral uptake, higher nutritional quality and no problems with weeds, pests and diseases. Surprisingly he reports that plants supposedly requiring different pH levels all do well with the same mulch.