Back to Eden Gardening:
The Natural, No-Till, Beyond
Lasagna Gardening Method
Back to Eden gardening (B2E) is all about natural farming methods using biblical principles. This method of growing food while not new, had a rebirth with the release of the film of the same name. The principle is to allow God to open your eyes to nature, his creation and for you to get closer to God.
One Bible verse that supports this way of farming is, “Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yield fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth;” and it was so.” - Genesis 1:11.
Back to Eden Gardening Preparation
Apart from having a plot, the next most important item for this method of gardening is wood chips. Getting wood chips depends on where you live. For people living in areas where there are a lot of trees or a wood mill, it is fairly easily. Otherwise, you will need to buy what you need and have the seller send it to you. One way to go no-till B2E gardening is:
- Select an area to use as the garden. This area should ideally get a good amount of sunshine
- As with lasagna gardening, covering the ground with cardboard or newspaper is the first step. Three or four sheets thick should be ideal
- Put approximately 6 inches of wood chips or mulch on top of the newspapers without tilling or turning the soil. If wood chips are not readily available, other materials can be just as good as a covering such as grass cuttings or leaves
- The type of material, soil and weather will determine how long you leave all of this to break down. Green wood chip will be ready in the spring if at least 4-inches are used as covering during fall. Using nature as a guide as to when to start placing your covering over the soil is the way most Back to Eden method of gardening enthusiasts approach this. For some, the time of year when covering is easily available is the right time to start. Some gardeners prefer to start during the fall while others do it later in the year when grass cuttings are easily available. The gardener in the Back to Eden Gardening film, Paul Gautschi believes that, “No matter where you live, if you apply a covering to your garden, God will do the rest, and you will be blessed!”
- Once the covering shows that it is breaking down, you can plant your seeds or seedlings. Depending on the level of breakdown, you can push aside the covering and plant directly in the soil. You can dig into the covering and plant the seed if it is sufficiently broken down.
- Watering is still important, whether this is from rainfall or other sources
- Once the crops come in and you reap them, it is time to start over by putting in a new cover to start the process over. This new cover should be in the same area as each season will see the previous covering disintegrate and become more fertile over time.
Once the food, whether fruits or vegetables are ready for picking you should harvest them. Gautschi believes consuming foods right from the field or as fresh as possible is the best way.
The Back to Eden gardening method may not be for everyone, but for those who want a more natural approach to growing their food, this is more than a fad. Some people use organic fertilizers to help provide growing nutrients such as nitrogen. For many practitioners of this method, Bible verses mean a lot and they take them as a guide to farming and caring for the earth. The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. (Genesis 2:15); many followers of this farming technique use Bible verses like these to help produce the best yields possible.
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