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!
*All scripture taken from the New King James Version
1. Get Connected to the Creator
Allow God to reveal himself to you through His creation and His Word.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.” - Psalm 19:1-3
Allow God to reveal himself to you through nature.
"Go out to where nature has not been disturbed, look at what it is doing and copy it!” - Paul Gautschi
2. Get “The Covering”
Ask God questions you may have about His creation and His Word.
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” - Jeremiah 33:3
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” - Proverbs 3:5-6
Find a source of “covering” that is local and readily available to you. Note: *If you are using raw wood chips, allow time for them to break down (at least Fall - Winter). You will experience more work fertilizing if you wait until the Spring to apply raw wood chips.
“The ground is a living organism. As all living organisms, God has designed and made it so it is always covered with something. It's all about the covering!”
- If you have local tree service companies, call them and ask for a delivery of wood chips.
- If you have access to a chipper, chip yard waste on site.
- If you have access to a tub grinder, it will save you a lot of time chipping.
- If you have a lawn, collect your grass clippings.
- If you have trees, gather its leaves.
- If you have rocks, they will retain moisture and slowly release nutrients.
- If you have weed free hay or straw, assemble a pile together.
- If you receive or purchase a newspaper, save it.
- Grow plants that can help provide an onsite resource for a “covering.”
- Paul Gautschi
3. Apply “The Covering.”
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image
from glory to glory just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
- 2 Corinthians 3:18
“Anything that comes in contact with God gets changed.”
- Paul Gautschi
If you are starting a new orchard or garden plot:
- Dig out any tenacious weeds.
- Call local resources such as Recycling Centers, Rescue Missions, businesses or neighbors and ask for their expired newspapers.
- Apply at least 3 sheets of damp newspaper over your garden plot to suffocate any other grasses and weeds.
- Resist the temptation to work, mix, prepare or till your soil!
- Cover it! Simply add a layer!
- How thick you apply the cover depends on the material, soil type and weather. For wood chips, if you apply 4-6 inches in the Fall, it will be ready to plant in by Spring.
- Note: *The thicker you apply the cover, the longer it takes to break down.
- When you apply the covering is up to you! If you look at creation, nature drops its needles and leaves in the Fall.
- Note: *If you are using raw wood chips, allow time for them to break down (at least Fall - Winter). You will experience more work fertilizing if you wait until the Spring to apply raw wood chips.
- Note: *If you are using composted wood chips that have had time to decay, you may apply and plant in them immediately.
- Note: *If you are using composted wood chips that have been screened, you may apply and plant in them immediately (Paul prefers this method for his home garden).
If you already have an orchard or garden in place:
“No matter where you live, if you apply a covering to your garden, God will do the rest, and you will be blessed!”
- Resist the temptation to till your soil!
- If you have weeds or grasses, see instructions on starting a new orchard or garden (above).
- Cover it!
- Paul Gautschi originally applied 3-4 inches of wood chips to his garden plot.
- Paul Gautschi initially applied 12-16 inches of wood chips to his established orchard.
- In an orchard, if you apply 12 inches deep of wood chips, they will suffocate grasses and weeds.
4. Plant Seeds
“Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yield fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth;” and it was so.
” - Genesis 1:11
“And God said, “See, have given you every herb that yield seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.” - Genesis 1:29
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” - Genesis 8:22
"Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness," - 2 Corinthians 9:10
Where you plant in the wood chips depends on how much they have broken down.
- For those starting a new garden or orchard plot with wood chips:
- If you are using raw wood chips, pull them back and plant in the soil (ground below the wood chips). Allow the seeds to come up before pulling the wood chips back around the base of the plant.
- If you are using composted and/or screened wood chips, you can plant directly into the composted material.
- Note: After many years of applying a “covering” to your garden and/or orchard, you will notice your covering break down and transform the soil beneath. After your first year of using wood chips, you will want to plant just below the surface of your wood chips in this fine grained, slightly compacted, aerated, dark compost that will continue to develop over time.
Order Heirloom or open-pollinated seeds.
“I love Genesis, the first chapter, and I love the way it starts.. And God said, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts; this is what I made for your food.” - Paul Gautschi
Heirloom Seed Companies:
- Pinetree Garden Seeds
- Johnny's Selected Seeds
- J.W. Jung Seed Company
- Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Save your seeds!
“Right in the beginning, in Genesis, God talks about how He created plants, vegetables and fruits that bear seed after their own kind... What that says to you is that once you have this plant or vegetable, you have its future generations in seed form. And it’s all free!”
- Paul Gautschi
5. Nourish Your New Growth
"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."
- Joshua 1:8 "You visit the earth and water it, You greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; You provide their grain, for so You have prepared it. You water its ridges abundantly, You settle its furrows; You make it soft with showers, You bless its growth. You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance."
- Psalm 65:9-11
- Every time you water or it rains, compost tea is being deposited into the soil.
- If you have chickens, feed them scraps, give them your yard waste, and their manure will accumulate into a wonderful compost.
- If you have any farm animal, give them organic weed free feed, mix their manure with sawdust or straw, and apply as much compost as you can as a layer over your garden or orchard.
- Initially you may need to use an organic fertilizer as a supplement for the nitrogen used in breaking down the wood chips. Organic blood meal (dried blood) is a good source of nitrogen and organic fish emulsion is also a beneficial organic fertilizer.
- Note: If you use chemical fertilizers, you may see immediate results but your need for fertilizers will increase and your natural soil's nutrients will decrease in time. On the contrary, the use of organic fertilizer will provide sustaining nourishment for your soil and you will need less fertilizer as time goes on.
Note: *Do not till or mix. Just add a layer.
"He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper." - Psalms 1:3
Water to germinate your seeds and as needed.
“Here is the incredible thing about God and His design, when there is too much water the wood chips displace it and when there is not enough, the wood chips retain it.” - Paul Gautschi
7. Reap a Bountiful Harvest
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” - 2 Chronicles 16:9
" Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they.” - Matthew 6:26
Eat your food when it is fresh and in season.
“The advantage of harvesting when things are fresh and in season is that you are getting the ultimate food value.”
- Paul Gautschi
8. Reapply “The Covering”
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." - John 14:26
At the end of the growing season, reapply a new layer as needed.
“Overtime, you are getting a higher and higher yield with less and less input.” - Paul Gautschi