Back To Eden


  1.  Paradise
  2. The garden where according to the  account in Genesis Adam and Eve first lived
  3.   A place of pristine or abundant natural beauty.


The scent of  freshly ground wood chips is still on my fingers.

I stumbled across an hour and forty-three minute video called “Back To Eden” earlier this week. It’s a documentary  about Paul Gautschi’s  experiments and experiences using wood chips as a heavy mulch in his gardens.  The information on that video needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Seriously.

Here’s a link:

If you’ve read any of the earlier posts on this somewhat dormant blog, you know I am a big fan of the “Ruth Stout” heavy mulch, gardening method.

I believe it is hands down,  an easier, smarter,  and more time effective way to garden (speaking just for myself) than the traditional method of gardening I learned growing up.

The Back to Eden video  takes Ruth Stout’s method to another level.

The biggest problem I had  with Ruth’s method, was trying to find enough old hay, or grass clippings, each season.  Mulching with old hay and or grass clippings  really does create a rich soil, with hundreds of earthworms, but it also disappears pretty quickly.

In my case, having three different  good-sized garden plots I wanted to grow in, meant I  could not stay ahead of the mulch demand….

Until now.

This past Tuesday, after watching that movie,  I did some calling around.

I got a hold of our local utility company, asking if they would put me on the list for wood chips. The lady couldn’t promise me anything, but said she would relay the message to the guys in maintenance.

Thursday afternoon, just after I got home from work, a straight truck, with a covered dump box, full of wood chips pulled into our driveway.  I showed him where I wanted it.  He asked me if I wanted another one?

“Absolutely!”  I said.

It was the first of four loads.

As I wheeled the wood chips back and forth from the pile this morning to the pumpkin patch, I couldn’t help but think of the literal Garden of Eden.   The temperature was perfect. There was a light breeze.  I could hear wrens chattering, a robin, and a couple of crows in the distance.

Saturday morning sunrise

Early morning picture from last season. (When I still had an old hay bale)


This entry was posted in Back To Eden, christianity, enjoying life, faith, farming, gardening, life in the country, orchard, personal, ruth stout, self sufficient, spirituality, wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Back To Eden

  1. shoreacres says:

    It’s great that you could get the wood chips. Not being very smart about such things, I did wonder what kind of chips they are. I vaguely remember hearing that oak leaves aren’t good mulch, because of the tannins, or something. Are there some woods that are better than others?

    • DM says:

      I’ve heard walnut wood and tomatoes are not compatible ..the driver of the truck made a point to tell me there wasn’t any walnut on that load.

      • Liz says:

        Paul from Back to Eden says all wood is good except Eucalyptus. The key is that it’s green and not dried old wood, but fresh. Thank you for this post.

  2. We watched that last year – turns out Paul Gautschi is from around here.
    We have been using heavy alder mulch under our fruit and nut trees and it is great stuff. We just can’t keep up with the chipping to do it on a larger scale and although I’ve signed up for the arborist woodchippings – we have yet to receive any… I think that is because the “words out” around here…
    We also scout for spoiled hay bales/silage and use that for mulch. Our best luck is with Organic Valley dairy farmers – the standards are high so we get some really great “spoiled” straw from them for next to nothing – plus it’s certified organic! The last batch just had gotten a little wet on the ends that were near the barn opening but they couldn’t use it for their cows – even for bedding or they would jeapordize their organic certification.

    • DM says:

      I could see if you live in his area, getting your hands on chips might be a problem. 🙂 I toyed around investing in a chipper..problem is, the good ones cost a lot of $, the rental store one I rented last time was not big enough…plus it is hard work. I don’t mind physical work…love it actually, but work all morning for a little pile of chips was disheartening…so to have 4 truck loads…free..really rocked my world!~

      • That was an AWESOME score! I would be THRILLED!
        We have a pretty decent chipper and once all of the limbs have been dragged out of the woods chipping is a pretty much a breeze. It’s the gathering that takes so much time/effort.

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