“Back to Eden,” is a quaint farm in Sequim, owned by Paul and Carol Gautschi. The name truly represents the sustainable gardening style Paul utilizes with superior results while he conserves water. Paul gives personal tours from June through October. In August, 2011, the film, “Back to Eden,” was released. Here is the link to the official site:
Everything Paul is growing, using his methods, is healthy, nutritious and mouth watering! The leafy greens and the Asparagus were delicious, succulent, and full of moisture, that is the surprising reality! He is achieving superior results without watering! This tour was being filmed and Lori was asked to express her reaction to eating fresh greens a few times. It is likely she will show up on the film.
The process is rather simple after the bed is prepared (newspaper first, layers of compost, wood chips, and then topped with manure).
Here is an excerpt from the site:
HOW TO COVER A BACK TO EDEN GARDEN:
- For an ideal Back to Eden garden, apply 3-4 sheets of newspaper.
- Then apply 3-4 inches of organic compost or composted manure.
- Then an additional 2-4 inches of wood chips or alternative covering on top (should be aged & composted)
- If you are implementing the methods in the Spring or Summer, additionally apply a dusting of composted manure for organic fertilizer.
This can be planted in, right after you have prepared it! Lori has done this, with blooming perennial bushes, and had tremendous results. For existing gardening spaces, you just “cover” with composted/aged wood chips. In the Fall, Paul recommends “covering” again. When asked, he did tell us, after a few years, a longer span between covering is fine. He goes 3 or 4 years sometimes. He adds his “aged chicken compost mix” every spring, before he plants. That is what comes out of the chicken yard, after it is sifted, to remove the larger materials. He explained, it wasn’t necessary to age it after removing/sifting, due to the ratio of manure vs compost. For those concerned about possible ecoli risk, it is recommended aging for at least 6 months (hot composting) or otherwise a year. It would be pretty easy to plan that, just make a pile of it in the Fall, cover it up, then sift & use it in the Spring. Then, do the same thing in the Spring, to age it for Fall use.
Paul’s orchard initially was covered with 12″ to 16″ of wood chips, right up to the trunks of the fruit trees. This went against all he was told at the time. Even now, there are plenty of sources who advice against this practice. The results speak for themselves!
Lori highly encourages you to tour Back to Eden in Sequim!