There are soils, then there are barren ledges of death!
I am blessed with a nice sandy sandbox to play in and abundant rain and snow with few big rocks. Seems the glaciers did their thing and deposited my town with a bounty of play sand. Very nice!
In my area I have a bunch of mature pines and mixed other woods. I would like to pump the
wonderfully clear stream waters into my growing beds through a simple sump pump and hose combo...maybe when I get rid of my snow and ice pack I’ll double dig the sandy beds and do a photojournal for your enjoyment. The hydram pump was a bust...so I am going hi-tech with an extension cord and an electric pump. Why stress my well pump, right?
I have heard the critique of Grow Biointensive and I think there have been thoughtful rebuttals by John Jeavons & Co. that satisfy me. Some soils are bad news with rock, shale, what have you. I haven’t found GB or the prsctitioners of the same dogmatic or rigid in its prescription. Jeavons has said if you can’t or don’t want to dig that deep that is up to you...but for maximizing food quickly this can be effective in the smallest of spaces.
Some folks can’t physically dig or would simply rather not do it. That’s ok, too. The no-till approaches work well. I would ask the question: which is more labor: using a garden spade to lever out soil to 12” then a garden fork to loosen another 12”, a little sprinkle of compost, voila! or cartage of tons of mulch, spreading it, repeat. The double dig is one and done while the mulch degrades and requires lots of additional mulch. I have tried both and from my perspective the mulch was ok but I had a lot of slugs, mice, and voles that lived under the mulch and ate up all my crops. Also GB is supposed to be a whole system and no only the double dig. I really like digging and sweat equity.
Whatever works for you and your lifestyle
is probably best.