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Return to Eden - free online film  RSS feed

 
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Just came across this today, watched it all the way through, has tons of permaculture stuff in it. copied the text of the review where I found it. Pretty well produced film IMHO I might add! Enjoy!


Back To Eden Film

by Tom Alexander on September 15, 2011 · 0 comments

Organic Consumer’s Association’s review of the documentary film Back To Eden:

    Back to Eden is a new feature documentary that follows one man’s revolutionary approach to organic gardening. “It’s all about the covering!” is how Paul Gautschi enthusiastically describes his gardening method that mimics the self sustaining design of nature. The film shows how gardeners and farmers worldwide can easily transform their agricultural practice into a simple and productive process of growing food. Revealing critical issues such as soil preparation, fertilization, irrigation, weed and pest control, crop rotation, and pH issues, the documentary focuses on proactive solutions, leaving the delving into the background politics to preceding documentary films such as Food, Inc. and Dirt! Back to Eden offers not only a fresh perspective on critical environmental issues but digs deeper into true stories of experiencing faith, seeking relationship and the power of forming community. Highlighted interviews include specialists in human ecology, nutrition, horticulture, and agriculture.

http://www.growingedge.com/back-to-eden-film
 
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I was very excited to watch this video because of the review and started to watch - "true stories of experiencing faith" should have made me suspicious though. I skipped the first song. I don't like women singing about their fathers. And after the first bible quote "Genesis numbers,numbers" I quit.

God-stuff is just not my sort of thing.
 
gardener
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i liked the video because of the biblical references
i sent it to a number of religious family and friends who are also religious about plowing, weeding and spraying
permie isn't just the ramblings of that old hippie relative of theirs

my comment to them "agrue with this "
 
pollinator
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duane, here's another you might like to send them:  http://creationcare.org/ ;    
 
Casey Halone
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Duane, what you mentioned is something someone popular in these parts, Joel Salatin brought up on a podcast I catch from time to time.

http://www.offthegridnews.com/2011/07/29/what-can-a-lunatic-farmer-teach-us-episode-059/

The view I have heard from some folks who many thumb there nose at the concept of creation care is, "Well its all gonna burn up anyway, right?" ..Which to me, comes off as extremely disrespectful, not to mention poor stewardship, right?


Sometimes people react in a sort of pendulum swing way and feel they Must Disagree as a Knee-jerk reaction because a certain topic comes up... not realizing the wisdom or truth it may contain if it were thoughtfully considered.
 
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I watched this film with my kids and we all loved it!  I have been studying the Torah looking for Gods ways of caring for the earth and it is amazing how much is in there!  Thank you for this thread, it is nice to see others that liked the film. 
 
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I just watched this yesterday.  I'm not a Christian, but I found it very informative, nonetheless.
 
pollinator
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I'm *not at all* religious, but I liked this film. I did not feel proselytized, and I don't care why he's motivated to pay attention to nature, I'm glad he's doing it, and I'm glad that he took the trouble to make such a technically proficient film and put it up on the web for free. The more people hear about growing food in a way that builds soil, the better. The sincerity of his intention comes through loud and clear.

 
Marcella Rose
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jacque greenleaf wrote:
I'm *not at all* religious, but I liked this film. I did not feel proselytized, and I don't care why he's motivated to pay attention to nature, I'm glad he's doing it, and I'm glad that he took the trouble to make such a technically proficient film and put it up on the web for free. The more people hear about growing food in a way that builds soil, the better. The sincerity of his intention comes through loud and clear.




This forum needs a "like" button.
 
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jacque greenleaf wrote:I'm *not at all* religious, but I liked this film. I did not feel proselytized, and I don't care why he's motivated to pay attention to nature, I'm glad he's doing it, and I'm glad that he took the trouble to make such a technically proficient film and put it up on the web for free. The more people hear about growing food in a way that builds soil, the better. The sincerity of his intention comes through loud and clear.



My sentiments exactly. I watched the film a few months back. Twice. It's fascinating.
 
pollinator
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I have an old book I've had for ages called Back to Eden, just was rereading parts of it yesterday..wonder if they are they same background? (can't really see videos well on here )
 
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Thanks for posting this video. I really enjoyed it and found a lot of useful concepts to take away from it. I was also pleasantly surprised that the one demonstration garden in PA is practically in my back yard!
 
steward
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Rarely will I make it through a film, but this one I did. Well done.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I have tried several times to watch this film, but I can't get it to play.

 
Julie Helms
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Tyler, I had difficultly too. It would play for about 5 minute and then start hitching. So I would drag it back a few seconds and then it would play for awhile, and we did this over and over.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Ugh, I'm glad I'm not the only one. But I don't know if I can get through the entire film that way....
 
Fred Morgan
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Did you click off the HD as it suggests?
 
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I found the basic premise of the film to be "Cover your garden area in wood chips". Not really any permaculture as he was still growing row based crops. His garden and orchard, etc is still pretty cool IMO. His animal husbandry seems to be lacking though as far as being sustainable, he may feed his chickens scraps, etc but he by no means is growing enough food for them without having to supplement feed.
 
Ute Chook
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Jesus Martinez wrote:I found the basic premise of the film to be "Cover your garden area in wood chips". Not really any permaculture as he was still growing row based crops.



Toby Hemenway wrote:[in another thread].... One thing to remember is that complex polycultures are not the only valid technique in permaculture. You have nicely pointed out the challenges in mixing potatoes into an otherwise no-dig system, and that suggests that (as you also noted) they might be better off in their own beds, where you can dig with abandon.

Permaculture's co-originator, David Holmgren, has shocked many by growing his veggies in rectangular raised beds, and in that area they are largely annuals. And his fruit trees are not really in guilds, but in a more orchard-like design (though laid out on contour). This was all done for ease of harvest and maintenance, at the cost of "naturalness" and maybe even some habitat. So we all need to remember to be flexible and let the crops and conditions, and our needs, dictate the design, instead of getting locked into "it always has to look like this."



Couldn't say it any better.
 
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I'm new to posting on this forum (been lurking for a while) and my first post was recommending this film in another thread. I thought this thread was a more appropriate place for a fleshed-out mention of the Back-to-Eden approach.

As someone who has been to Paul Gautschi's garden, tasted his produce and received his generosity, I can say this is the real deal. I agree with the above poster who quoted Toby Hemenway regarding different approaches to permaculture, as there are some aspects of Paul's gardening that look more like 'conventional' gardening. But he does say openly, and I believe it is mentioned in the film, that this isn't a farm or self-sufficient homestead, but a garden and orchard he planted to both feed his family good, nutritious food and to share with others.

Upon our visit (my wife and I) we were shown his 'altar' - his pile of rocks cleared from the land before he learned the covering method, then taken into the garden. Right away he picked a spinach leaf for each of us and told us to start at the stem. Just dripping with water and full of flavor - the stem! By the time I got to the end of the leaf it was sweet! Literally, sweet tasting. The best spinach I'd ever tasted. In fact, I'd have to say everything I tried that day far surpassed anything I'd ever eaten or grown. We loaded the trunk of our car with beets, broccoli, carrots and kale. BIG beets! Paul was most generous with all that he had to share.

Paul might say the reason is the nutrients. Because the plants grow with so little stress, they are able to grow quickly and are tender and sweet. The moisture they receive is a crucial part of the equation in that it carries the flavor (solubulized minerals) to your body in a better way so that not only are you reaping the benefit of the nutrition, but it tastes better too.

I showed this film at my church and we're putting in a garden using this method, as a place to grow food to share and to teach a more earth-friendly approach to gardening. Just this morning I layed down 4-6 inches of chipped wood on a brand new 'landscaping' bed in the front yard. We live in an HOA controlled neighborhood so appearance is a consideration we want to honor as part of our covenant with our neighbors. But edibles look really nice and will taste good too!

Anyway, I'm still digesting all that I learned from that visit to Paul's garden, and I continue, as a Christian, to 'ask my mentor' all kinds of questions about gardening just as Paul does. I won't proselytize or preach here on the forum, don't worry, but I can certainly promote this gardening method to anyone serious about better quality vegetables grown with no pesticides, no herbicides, very little inputs (mulch and occasionally manure) and almost no watering. It really works and it works very well.

Galen
 
Jesus Martinez
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The sweetness of his food comes from proper mineralization of his soil. I grew spinach in soil amended with compost and rock dust last year and it too was sweet.
 
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Hi there guys, this is my first post. I thought I would comment on this thread as the subject is close to my heart. I was raised in a very conservative religious home where I was told to reject anything politically left leaning because it was all an attempt to brain wash people into a political ideology. I rejected anything that suggested at environmentalism as I saw it as an all or nothing agenda. My folks are wonderful people but they have their preconceived notions like most everybody.
Over the years I have tried to shed any ideals based on man made religion and look at each issue on it's own merit. I kept my relationship with my creator and my belief in the Bible. As you can tell from my username, I am all about "stewardship". I don't buy into environmentalism as a political ideology, but I do by into sustainable and healthy practices that demonstrate wise stewardship over the land we depend on. My wife and I are on this journey together to become better stewards in all areas of our life; living, eating, energy consumption, relationships, finances, ect.. "I believe" that we were placed on this planet and given the command to be good stewards over what God created. He entrusted this world to man, to rule it and to take care of it. I don't worship the land, I worship the one who created it. That's a pretty tall task, and mankind has done a fairly poor job at it. We have followed our sinful selfish and destructive desires and it has wrought damage on the earth. I don't believe it is as bad as some might suggest, but I do know that we need to start taking better care of it. We also need to find better ways to sustain the ever increasing population without destroying this planet.
My wife and I want to get back more to the basics. To be more 'off the grid' and more sustainable. We are starting small but we are starting. We also are encouraging others we know to join us in this endeavor. It takes having the courage to step away from what everyone else is doing to do what is right. Before long you look around and others are joining your lead.
Regardless of whether you are religious or not, democrat, independent, or republican, white, black, asian, or other, sustainable living is our common ground and a necessary step for mankind. Videos like this help to pull in a lot of evangelical Christians with a phobia of the "e" word. Having someone demonstrate why it is important for Christians to join in with these practices is long over due. I would encourage you that even if you aren't Christian, support videos like this as it helps to further 'the cause'.
......... and thanks to all for participating in forums like these that share your passion and knowledge. This has been a wonderful resource for many.
 
Galen Gallimore
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Jesus Martinez wrote:The sweetness of his food comes from proper mineralization of his soil. I grew spinach in soil amended with compost and rock dust last year and it too was sweet.



Yes, this is what I was trying to get at (late last night, half awake). It's the minerals, made more available through healthier, more vigorous plants grown without stress from lack of water, competition from weeds, etc. He has not heavily amended his soil, only added the woodchips and the occasional load of compost/manure from the chicken yard. Once the covering is down, the transformation begins thanks to the soil life.

@ Neal - 'brainwash'...what a funny word, if you think about it. We who are Christians may talk about having our hearts washed clean, being forgiven, etc. as a cleansing, so why not our minds too? Being 'brainwashed' has become a negative when in reality having a clean slate without presumption is an ideal place to begin learning something new.

I say this because Paul's garden certainly challenges conventional wisdom and 'traditional' practice on so many levels. He is aware of Ruth Stout, Fukuoka, etc. and knows of their methods, but this is the one that works for him. I wonder if he knows about hugelkulture, and if so, what he thinks about it?

Galen
 
Jesus Martinez
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I guess when you think about it, he is in a way doing hugelkulture, as his main amendment is wood.
 
Galen Gallimore
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Jesus Martinez wrote:I guess when you think about it, he is in a way doing hugelkulture, as his main amendment is wood.



Maybe so, but my understanding of hugelkulture is limited to what little I've read and seen here so I can't claim to be an expert on it. The main difference I'd see is in Paul's method the chips are on the surface and the point of interaction between chips and soil is when rain washes the nutrients from the covering down into the soil below, or earthworms, fungi, bacteria, etc. bridge the gap and travel between soil and chips. The woodchips are slowly breaking down thanks to that soil life and what the soil life makes available from the chips is carried gently into the soil below for plant use.

The chips are also protecting the soil from erosion and compaction wherease in hugelkulture what is there to protect the soil on top of the wood? In either case there is no tilling and very little, if any, watering. I love what Paul has to say about the water holding capacity of the chips - when there is too much rain they displace it, and when there's not enough they retain it. Very cool.

Galen
 
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Brenda Groth wrote:I have an old book I've had for ages called Back to Eden, just was rereading parts of it yesterday..wonder if they are they same background? (can't really see videos well on here )



Brenda, I get the impression that a number of people have trouble watching the video on line. Apparently need a fairly fast internet system. I'll share what I have gleaned.

Jethro Kloss is known for his herbal “Back to Eden” a “classic text first published in 1935 and a second edition in 1939. With more than 4 million copies sold, the book helped create the natural foods industry. It remains today one of the major texts on herbs, natural diet and lifestyle and holistic health.” The book became quite popular in the 1960’s and was one of the first herbals for many of that generation.

Beside his work in natural healing methods that included hydrotherapy, herbs, and a healthful vegetarian diet, Kloss and his family grew gardens and ran a market selling fruits and vegetables. He worked a lot with soy beans experimenting and developing products. http://www.soyinfocenter.com/HSS/jethro_kloss_and_back_to_eden.php

Back to Eden chapter II, “Soil,” what he calls “my back to the farm message”, he describes his method for improving the soil to “virgin conditions” using soybeans, green crops etc. . . . cow peas, buckwheat, rye and alfalfa. Starting on (pg. 30) can be read at this site. Jethro Kloss stated that his way of preparing the soil “holds the moisture and keeps the water from running off.”

http://books.google.com/books?id=blIQgUVUy_8C&pg=PA57&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false

The film “Back to Eden” has had over 3 million viewers in over 200 countries it is directed and co-produced by Sarah Zentz and Dana Richardson. The film producer is Michael Barrett. Paul Gautschi is the major contributor, his method is the main feature of the film.

“The film encourages the viewers to experience planting their own gardens. Furthermore, it challenges the viewer not to ‘lean on their own understanding,’ but instead to ask God questions and trust that God’s character will be revealed.”

“It became clear toward the beginning of the project that the involvement of demonstration gardens in different locations with varying soil conditions and climates was critical to validate Paul’s claim that ‘no matter where you are in the world, if you put a cover down, God will do the rest and you will be blessed,” Richardson said.

In the film, Gautschi said he believes that God didn’t put Adam and Eve in the garden just for their health’s sake, but rather to have a relationship with God. He has experienced that getting connected to the creation results in getting connected to the Creator.

The quickest and easiest way to start a “Back to Eden” garden is to apply at least three layers of damp newspaper over your garden plot to kill the weeds. Next, add three to four inches of wood chips, and lastly, add a light dusting of organic animal manure on top, as it would be beneficial for the garden.

“If you already have a garden or orchard established, just add a layer of wood chips on top of the existing soil in the fall; for a garden, add three to four inches, and for an orchard, add 12 to 16 inches,” Zentz said. “Do not till in the wood chips, just add them as a layer on top. With this method, you will not need to irrigate, fertilize, spray for weeds or pests, rotate crops or balance pH.”
http://www.pvnews.com/articles/2011/10/27/local_news/news4.txt

“How to get BACK TO EDEN
The following steps are suggestions, not instructions, based on Paul Gautschi's experiences with creation and the Creator. We encourage people everywhere to spend time in the garden! Feel free to experiment, follow your intuition, learn from your mistakes, adapt to your local environment, and ultimately let God direct you on your journey back to Eden!”

"It's all about the covering." Spiritual and Physical
1. Get Connected
2. Get "The Covering"
3. Apply "The Covering"
4. Plant Seeds
5. Nourish Your New Growth
6. Water
7. Reap a Bountiful Harvest
8. Reapply "The Covering"

(see the “how” on this website.)
http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/how_to/index.html

Paul Gautschi did an interview I think it was just this past Sunday with Donna Miller on Preparedness Radio Network. They covered some things that I don’t recall being on the film. I written a few of the highlights.

Gautschi has had his orchard for 32 years, and after major foundation (mulch) has been laid, he hasn’t for the past 11 years added anything to orchard.

When man was sent out of the garden (Eden), man began to till the soil and the cover of ground was removed by man, weeds began to show up. He compared weeds to the ground, as scabs to the skin, the soil then becomes vulnerable.

In the fall leaves fall for creating the food for the next year, this would be the time of year to add fertilize and mulch.

American agribusiness system is about greed, everything about God is free and sets free.

For liberty Christ came to set us free and everything about him is free and sets free.

I think Gautschi said that he plants nearly year around. The only time he waters is when he first plants and stops watering as soon as plants are up . No weeds germinate in the summer as not watering.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/doctorprepper/2012/02/05/your-preparation-station

Brenda as I see it the common thread between the book, “Back to Eden” and the film “Back to Eden” for both Kloss and Gautschi is a belief and relationship with the Creator. This Creator planted a garden in Eden. Another thing that that they have in common is they grew up in families that raised most of their own food.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Linda Davis wrote:
Gautschi has had his orchard for 32 years, and after major foundation (mulch) has been laid, he hasn’t for the past 11 years added anything to orchard.



Can you clarify - are you saying that he hasn't mulched the orchard for the past 11 years, or are you saying that he hasn't added anything besides mulch to the orchard for the past 11 years?

Thank you.

 
Jesus Martinez
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It looks like he adds the wood chips every few years as needed, I didn't pick up exactly how often, but he says after every application, it's longer and longer between reapplications, so it could be 11 years since he last applied the wood chips.
 
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That was a great video. I am not christian but I can respect his view and the passion it has given him towards gardening and life in general. That being said I believe that there are two main things up for discussion here, (1) gardening without watering can increase the flavor and quality of fruits and vegetables, (2) Hugelkultur maybe unnecessary. Why dig a hole/bury wood when you can just place chips on the soil surface? Simply placing wood chips on your soil seems a superior option to Hugelkultur and making biochar, though you may be able to use the biochar along with this method. What do you guys think... Is this all that is needed... are we working to hard with Hugelkultur or even an initial till of fresh land?
 
Linda Davis
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Tyler Ludens wrote:

Linda Davis wrote:
Gautschi has had his orchard for 32 years, and after major foundation (mulch) has been laid, he hasn’t for the past 11 years added anything to orchard.



Can you clarify - are you saying that he hasn't mulched the orchard for the past 11 years, or are you saying that he hasn't added anything besides mulch to the orchard for the past 11 years?

Thank you.

What I understood from the interview is that he hasn't added anything including mulch for the past 11 years to his orchard. So for 21 years he has been adding wood chips? At an inch a year that would just be 3 inches short of 2 feet of mulch.
 
Jesus Martinez
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James Colbert wrote:Simply placing wood chips on your soil seems a superior option to Hugelkultur and making biochar, though you may be able to use the biochar along with this method. What do you guys think... Is this all that is needed... are we working to hard with Hugelkultur or even an initial till of fresh land?



You have to look at the resources it takes to produce those wood chips if you do not have an easy/free source of them. A chipper that will chip the size of wood required for long term hugelkulture is not cheap, with hugelkulture, you just need manual labor to move the ingredients into place so there is something to be said for that.
 
Julie Helms
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Jesus Martinez wrote:

James Colbert wrote:Simply placing wood chips on your soil seems a superior option to Hugelkultur and making biochar, though you may be able to use the biochar along with this method. What do you guys think... Is this all that is needed... are we working to hard with Hugelkultur or even an initial till of fresh land?



You have to look at the resources it takes to produce those wood chips if you do not have an easy/free source of them. A chipper that will chip the size of wood required for long term hugelkulture is not cheap, with hugelkulture, you just need manual labor to move the ingredients into place so there is something to be said for that.




I agree--wood chips are going to require an input of petroleum at some point to make them, whereas the hugelkulture can go as is.
However, hugelkulture wasn't intended to be a mulch for blocking weeds.
 
James Colbert
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You guys are right. But if the you live near a city the wood chips are already made and the petrol already spent. That being said I can see the benefit of hugulkultur in more rural areas. What about the no or little watering increasing flavor? That seems huge to me.
 
Linda Davis
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I can see the benefit of wood chips or other mulch to improve an existing orchard / food forest.
 
Neal Hines
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Julie Helms wrote:

Jesus Martinez wrote:

James Colbert wrote:Simply placing wood chips on your soil seems a superior option to Hugelkultur and making biochar, though you may be able to use the biochar along with this method. What do you guys think... Is this all that is needed... are we working to hard with Hugelkultur or even an initial till of fresh land?



You have to look at the resources it takes to produce those wood chips if you do not have an easy/free source of them. A chipper that will chip the size of wood required for long term hugelkulture is not cheap, with hugelkulture, you just need manual labor to move the ingredients into place so there is something to be said for that.




I agree--wood chips are going to require an input of petroleum at some point to make them, whereas the hugelkulture can go as is.
However, hugelkulture wasn't intended to be a mulch for blocking weeds.


I'm not so phobic of fossil fuels that I see them as being completely evil. If a small amount of petro were consumed in order to process woodchips that would benefit environment long beyond the negative impact of that petro burned to process it, then I'm ok with that. Better yet, if one could find an alternative energy source to run a wood chipper, that would be even better. To me there is a difference between moderation and dependence. But those are my personal views and I don't pretend to be right about everything.
 
Galen Gallimore
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@ Julie - I don't see hugelkulture going as is without any fossil fuel inputs unless you dig the trench, saw/gather and haul the logs all by hand. Most of what I've read on hugelkulture now, including on this site, seems to show use of either a digger or a hauler or both powered by petroleum when creating the trench, filling the trench, etc. And keyline permaculture is the same. Unless you're really willing and able to dig swales and make berms by hand, it's going to take some fossil fuel. I suppose these methods are similar in that respect.

I like what Paul G. says in the film - we really work hard to fail, when if we would look at how the creator designed the creation to work and copy that, we'd be so much better off. There's an element of that in many permaculture systems.

Galen
 
Tyler Ludens
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From my own experience, I find using a chipper to be unpleasant and really hard work. It takes a lot of effort to cut the branches, haul them to the chipper and put them in there. If you're renting a chipper it's hard to get enough done to justify the expense. So we only tried it a couple times. Our present chips were made by a tree crew clearing the power easement, and dumped on our land from whence we have to haul them in a small pickup truck to the garden. So it's still a good amount of labor and some petroleum. I did about 500 square feet of buried wood beds with partly hand labor (all digging with hand tools) and partly petroleum (some wood cut with chainsaw and most hauled with a pickup). Our current buried wood bed project is partly petroleum-fueled; my husband rented a small excavator to dig out the rocks where I plan to do the remaining 500 square feet of kitchen garden buried wood beds. It was fairly noisy and quite expensive, and I'll still have to do a lot of digging with hand tools to actually sift the rocks from the excavated soil. But it only needs to be done once; after I build the buried wood beds I'll top them with mulch each year. I think the huge pile of chips we got from the clearing crew will last a few years, but when they run out, I doubt we'll rent a chipper to make our own, it is just too exhausting to do! Perhaps we'll be able to flag down a tree crew and get them to dump more chips on our place. I think one can do hugelkultur all with hand tools, but it requires equipment most likely petroleum-powered to make wood chips. I think there are wood-gas powered chippers, but I've never seen one or met anyone who had or made one. One is pictured in the Designer's Manual, I think, but I'm not totally sure...
 
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I thought the film itself was of good quality and well produced (the stuttering stopped once I let it fully load/buffer before watching), but I didn't see much that was novel in it.

Organic techniques are pretty straightforward and use of mulch to feed the soil and conserve water is a basic practice.

I thought it was interesting that in spite of how much "better" the quality of his soil looked after years of mulching, it still didn't look as good as the shot of the forest loam

With regard to the wood chip issue, I agree that chipping material may not be the best use of fuel, but if it is already being done and he is taking advantage of a waste stream, it's a good way to go. I'd be more enthused if the material all came from his or his neighbor's land, though.

Nature doesn't need wood chippers, right? Natural wood chips are the leaves, branches and trunks. No reason not to use them as is for the orchard. Humans just like to speed things up...or interfere because "we know better". Around my area, I am required to keep the dead wood material cleared from areas around buildings for fire control. Most people just pile their branches and burn it in the wet season and end up smudging the valley Keeping the wood moist under the canopy and letting it rot into forest loam makes more sense to me.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Kay Bee wrote: Most people just pile their branches and burn it in the wet season and end up smudging the valley



People do that here too. Every time it rains folks run out to set their piles on fire....
 
Galen Gallimore
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I thought it was interesting that in spite of how much "better" the quality of his soil looked after years of mulching, it still didn't look as good as the shot of the forest loam



Actually, that may be an artifact of the camera work. Having been there and seen, touched, walked-on and smelled his soil, it really is fantastic stuff.

Nature doesn't need wood chippers, right? Natural wood chips are the leaves, branches and trunks. No reason not to use them as is for the orchard. Humans just like to speed things up...or interfere because "we know better".



Are you suggesting/implying we should all be "forest gardening" or foraging, or wandering herdsmen, like our pre-agriculture ancestors? I view permaculture, including Paul's mulching method (novel or not) as a step forward away from chemically dependant 'modern' agriculture and at the same time back to a means of working with the earth to produce food that more closely resembles what nature already does.

Personally I'm not ready to step back THAT far into full forest gardening as some are doing. But that may be the eventual destination we (society) reaches when most of us figure out what we're doing isn't working and there is a better option like Paul's methods (or Ruth Stouts, Fukuoka's, Geoff Lawton's, etc.) I think more people would be willing to take that initial step away from fertilizer and herbicide and pesticide but how far away will they step? Forest Gardening, I think, is a few steps removed from where folks start out. I thought going organic was the way to go until I found out about the covering methods. That's one thing I really like about Paul G., is that he doesn't condemn anyone for where they're at, he only offers a simple, beautiful alternative.

Galen
 
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