We went back to Eden!

A year or two ago (we have four kids so time is a little fuzzy at times), Paul and I watched a documentary Back To Eden. It is about Paul Gautsci and his method of vegetable gardening. He uses wood chips everywhere as mulch and is known to be the man who doesn’t water his garden, in Sequim Washington.  That’s pretty significant, as Sequim is known to be the driest part of western Washington State!

From June to October, it’s possible to get a tour of his farm and ask him questions. As part of Paul’s birthday present, he and I went to Sequim. Some babysitting fell through at the last moment, so the boys came with us. The trip was fun but kids weren’t allowed on the farm/homestead, so we had to take turns while the boys played in the van.

Paul got to listen to fruit tree pruning and some gardening and I was there for the vegetable gardening and some chicken talk. Overall, the trip was a success and we had fun learning from someone we admired.

Here are some pics of his amazing garden. Everything is so lush and beautiful.  We visited the farm in July 2017 and I am just writing this up.  Better late than never! Looking at these pictures now when its gloomy and rainy really makes me nostalgic for spring. This week, I will start testing the seeds we preserved. In February, we will dust off the grow lights and get the soil blockers out and begin the growing season.

There are so many strawberries in his garden, that he and his family can not possibly eat all of them…his chickens get a good portion of them–no wonder they looked so happy!
It was 92 degrees outside and the lettuces were out in full sun…NOT bolting. I was in awe!
Paul doesn’t supplement his chickens with chicken feed, he grows Holland greens for them. They are super hardy and grow well into the winter.
This picture was taken late July in 92 degrees heat–this is asparagus. Usually this is known to be an early late spring-early summer vegetable. Ever since we implemented Paul’s mulch theory in our garden, we too get asparagus late into June and even in August.
Holland greens for the chickens
Rows of luscious lettuce and kale–this is also chicken feed when its past its prime. I would love to be a chicken on Paul Gautci’s homestead.
Paul’s wife is a local midwife and uses a lot of herbs from the garden in her practice.
A little shed with mason bee housing.
He made a comment, that he gets so many apples (no way he can consume all) that he actually asks God for a smaller bounty–everyone who was there, all agreed, we wished we were in his apple bounty shoes.
Full picture of the fig tree is below, but all the branches looked like this–covered in fruit!
All the extra produce, garden clippings and food scraps get fed to the chickens and in return, they produce amazing rich compost-soil for the garden. They definitely have a happy healthy symbiotic relationship.
Paul prunes all of his trees in this unusual way. He says after the first couple of years of training, they are extremely easy to keep in this manner. He demonstrated maintenance pruning, by rubbing off a new bud that was going to send of a shoot, using only his fingers. Harvesting is even easier, because all the fruit is about waist level.

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