Back to Eden (BTE) Gardening After Four Years

Gautschi_PeachBACK TO EDEN (BTE) GARDENING. I wanted to throw in my two cents on the Back to Eden Gardening method because I’ve been using it for about 4 years now with good success. I have also flown to Washington State and taken a personal tour of Paul Gautschi’s garden (See pic below). I do agree with some critics of the system that the need for animals manures early on was not emphasized enough in the film, but I do really like the system for the following reasons … (1) NO TILLING … the earthworms take care of that – I used to till my garden every year and what a pain!! (2) NO MEDIA MIXING – I’ve grown stuff in all kinds of media from perlite in bags to elaborate mixes (Lasagna Method) (3) NATURAL LOOKING – I personally do not like “the look” of rectangular garden boxes. I prefer flowing curves which to me look more like Nature’s patterns. (4) MOISTURE – I’ve had problems in the past with raised beds drying out but with BTE I never have moisture problems. I never have to water at all even in drought conditions. (5) WEEDING is very easy with BTE – much easier than with other methods I’ve tried (6) TREE BASED MEDIA. BTE Gardens are made from chipped up TREE branches and leaves. This to me is so important because it means that my vegetables will have much better trace mineral content (and perhaps other micro-goodies) than vegetables grown in non-tree based media due to centuries of land abuse by broad acre farming. Trees are the great “miners” of the plant world because their roots go so deep into the ground. I get all the free wood chips I want from my local electric utility company. (7) Last but not least, I just like Paul Gautschi … he’s really a great guy and it was wonderful to meet him in person. I do love his application of Jesus words “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” to gardening. I have come to believe that God’s Way is indeed the easiest, lightest way in whatever we are doing, gardening or otherwise. Note Proverbs 13:15 – “The way of the transgressor is hard.” Indeed it is.

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