What is Back to Eden Gardening?

I was blessed in the midst of health crisis back in 2012 to encounter the “back to basics” trend. Because I wasn’t alone in my prescription birth control instigated health issues, (infertility, low estrogen, high testosterone, intestinal permeability, malnutrition, anaphylactic food allergies, food sensitivity, hair loss, weight loss, tooth decay, etc.) There was a bit of a movement that launched from the gen X and millennial generations to get back to whole organic foods, growing your own food, abandoning western medicine, and pursuing holistic health through a variety of ways, beginning with diet. There were a lot of diet fads in this new “back to basics” vein: Paleo, whole30, SCD (Simple Carbohydrate Diet), GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) , Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, just to name a few.

What really woke me up was realizing how my body was responding to what was virtually two decades of abuse. It took 3 years to fully detox. After 2 years eating fresh-in-season fruit and veggies, organic meats, and eliminating grains, processed sugar, and cutting out all pharmaceuticals and OTC NSAIDs, I was able to find healing and regain my fertility after being told that I would likely not conceive because my body was failing to produce estrogen on it’s own.

In 2015, I gave birth to my first son. 19 months later In 2016, I gave birth to my first daughter. And my 2nd son followed in 2018, and my 2nd daughter in 2019. Yes, my kids are close. The only one we planned was our 4th, I do know how this keeps happening, and it is a beautiful gift to me, despite the sometimes difficult struggle of raising 4 immortal souls all under the age of 7.

To have walked the road I walked, wearing a happy mask, and pretending like the weight loss was just because I’m a runner, crying in pain after nearly every meal, and grieving the loss of fertility and my dreams for a family, I see every single day, every single moment as a blessed gift from God; Especially on days when I screw up and I cling to my Heavenly Father’s grace and mercy.

The Lord delivered me. He literally renewed my life. He set me free from spiritual bondage and the lies of feminist propaganda and the baggage of my past. He released me from the chains of pride that dictated my use of damaging hormonal contraceptives. He opened my eyes to the beauty of feminine submission to my husband, the glory in being a wife and mother, and the honor of raising children to be disciples for Christ. He showed me the goodness and beauty of His creation, that remains in spite of the fall.

The more I pursued health through “clean” eating and overall lifestyle, (and I say that more in terms of organic/non-GMO than levitical ritual purity laws) the more I realized that the Enemy is at work distorting and destroying the good, the true, and the beautiful; taking what God intended for our good and rendering it devoid of nutrients, full of slowly lethal poisons, and with altered protein structures which led to autoimmune disorders and disease on a worldwide scale. When the food we need to eat in order to survive is slowly killing us rather than nourishing and sustaining life, one need only look to Scripture to see the Truth.

29And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is[i]life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. 

Genesis 1:29-31, NKJV

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

John 10:10, NKJV

And that’s when I encountered the Back to Eden (B2E in my shorthand) gardening method. If you are unaware, I implore you to go to backtoedenfilm.com, watch the film, sign up for the free online summit, and glean all the knowledge and wisdom you can from Paul Gautschi and the other like-minded gardeners. To summarize, Back to Eden Gardening is nothing more than copying the growing methods of our Creator. In the fall, God causes the trees to drop their needles and leaves, and dead branches, forming a covering on the soil. The winter snows/rains provide water which allow the organic covering to decompose and create this marvelous, rich layer of compost. In the spring, the new plants burst forth, not lacking water, not lacking nutrients, simply thriving. By covering the soil with a layer of composting, whole-tree wood chips (leaves and branches are important, as the green leaves provide the nitrogen to burn up and decompose the wood) the soil is renewed, restored, and revived in a way that provides nutrients for plants as food, which in turn provide nutrients to us.

You can check out our soil samples from our “back yard pH test” note in the video clip, I said “acidic” and my husband rightly corrected me by saying “alkaline” our clay is extremely alkaline. Cucumbers do well, but not tomatoes or blueberries. So we worked to bring the pH down to neutral (7.0) from about 8 or 9.

The Back to Eden film, or David Devine’s book, Growing Food God’s Way (which I’ve waited 3 years for it to come back in print and finally got a copy!) will answer many common questions people have about the B2E method. Isn’t it just the same as no-till? What about termites? (That’s a big concern here in Tennessee, and I have to say, I’ve not seen a single evidence of termites in my composting wood chips. Ever.) pH, crop rotation, weeds, irrigation- none of those issues exist to the extent they do in tilled earth gardens. The caveat is that our world is fallen. Creation IS in fact groaning, and weeds, drought, pests, disease are all evidences of the fall. But I will say that when I am diligent about tending the gardens, I do not have those issues. My issues become that I don’t have enough people to help me pick all the strawberries and green beans and my tomatoes snap the vines, they’re so prolific!

I share a lot about our back to Eden gardens and how growing food in this way provides Cadillac nutrition to me and my family while allowing us to live not only comfortably, but well on less income from outside jobs. While we haven’t yet grown to producing a reliable and/or sizeable income from our little homestead yet, I am so thankful for every year the Lord blesses out harvests to sustain our family through another year. I look forward to seeing God’s faithfulness displayed in the gardens every year, but especially this year as we head into autumn. “To God be the glory, great things He has done.”

2 thoughts on “What is Back to Eden Gardening?

    1. Thanks Matthew! There really is so much overlap when it comes to every aspect of our lives that touches our relationships to our food and creation. So glad to hear you’re diving in to the B2E garden! You won’t be sorry.

      Liked by 1 person

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