Nearly every muscle in my body is sore as I type this because today we started Back To Eden, gardening with mulch. The process is described in depth in the documentary film, “Back To Eden,” produced and directed by Dana Richardson and Sarah Zentz. Paul Gautschi takes his land that proved impossible for him to grow a garden in his dry conditions and mulched his way to a successful bountiful garden providing him with more food than he could ever eat.
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We watched this film two years ago and were so excited to start our Back To Eden garden that it hurt. Then the realization of our teeny tiny rental property land sunk in and the idea diminished like a deflating balloon. We live on an acre of land but 90% of that goes strait up the back, fully forested, hill giving us minimal property to garden and raise chickens. Then three weeks ago the power line company was trimming the trees across the street and my 11-year-old said, “Hey Mom, you should ask them to dump the truck in the yard to we can do that garden thing.”
My eyeballs shot a look at him that nearly gave me whiplash – duh!!! This kid comes up with the best ideas! He smacked me in the head with a heavy dose of obvious!
I ran outside and asked the guys and they were thrilled to have a place to dump the wood chips from the branches they were trimming for the power lines. I ran off to my day and when I returned they were gone and there no chips in my yard.
The next day there was nothing also.
The same for the next.
Smoking brown gold!
Without a wheelbarrel or a pitchfork I went to work spreading mulch around the garden. At first I used a cardboard box as my wheelbarrel but I realized how old I am and gave up quickly. Bending over and shuffling across the yard is only fun for so long. A garbage can and rake carried the torch of victory like champions! At this point half the pile is distributed. I stopped because the sun is getting high but more importantly because my husband would pout for days if he found out I finished the pile and didn’t save any of the fun for him.
At the beginning of this past spring we spread pine bark around our vegetable plants an inch or so deep and the weeding this year was dreamy! In fact, it was kind of non-existant for the most part – that’s the goal! At this point I can’t wait for the winter sprout plot to get high enough so we can transplant the starters into the mulched ground.
I’m sore. I’m tired. I’m jumping inside for this stuff to rot and make the soil the way it’s meant to be. Here’s the mulch around the base of ocra and green beans. They look so much happier. I even spread the mulch right over top of some weeds.
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