Classic sheet mulching as taught by Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton at the Melbourne PDC this week:
1) Area of grass, weeds, soil or whatever
2) Throw on some vegetable scraps or manure, enough to attract worms; doesn't need to be much; this step is optional but recommended.
3) Apply a layer of WELL SOAKED newspaper, cardboard, old carpet or similar. Should be fairly thick - eg 2 layers cardboard or a whole newspaper (the whole thing, not just a sheet). Must be well soaked, to the point of being waterlogged.
4) Apply mulch 1 foot thick; one straw bale will cover 1.3 square meters or 10-12 square feet. Thick mulch.
Planting then proceeds in pockets of compost in the mulch.
There may be pros and cons to the method, but the method is as described above, with too little moisture and too little mulch resulting in dryness and the inability of the layers to become bedding for worms.