Paul Gautschi

Back to Eden: Growing Food God’s Way

Paul Gautschi has been a gardener for over 55 years and is known locally as a master arborist. In 1979 Paul and his family moved to the Northern Peninsula of Washington from California. As a father to 7 children, he has primarily raised food for his family and friends – never to sell. Paul has given lively tours of his orchards and gardens to international groups from 1 to 450 who also have enjoyed the fruits of his labor.

Paul Gautschi

 Show highlights:

-This is Paul’s fourth time as a ORN guest.  See prior shows for more details on his wood chip method of gardening.

-The earth requires a covering.  Paul’s method of gardening features covering the ground with wood chips . 3-4″ deep in the garden. 1.5 foot deep in the fruit trees.

-Wood chips have fungi.  Grass and leaves don’t.  Mushrooms grow freely in his garden due to the wood chips.

-When he first started his garden 38 years ago, the wood chips broke down quickly because the soil was so hungry.  Now he hardly has to add any more wood chips.

-There is abundance in nature.  No shortage ever, that occurs only when people show up.  People have had wrong influences, are motivated by greed, and it’s destroying the universe

-In October, his potatoes are still green and blooming, his arugula is a foot wide.

-200 years ago, when we took the land from the Native Americans, who had tended it,  there was 8-12 feet of topsoil.  Now there’s not even 8 inches of topsoil and the ground looks cracked and brown when looking down on it.   It takes 100 years to build 1 inch of topsoil.

-What we’re doing today is insanity.  Exposed, compacted soil is dead.  Soil gets compacted when you take the covering off.

-In the forest, soil is not compacted.  But no one gets that.

-It’s critical to have animals grazing on land.  Without animals you get desert.  Deserts arise from poor management.  In Africa, they’re bringing in animals and restoring the desert.

-In South America, they’re cutting down trees to grow corn and soybeans.  It’s insane.

-Potatoes are an incredible, powerful food .  Great as a survival food; easy to grow.  They’ve been changed though.  Yellow and purple flesh ones are better than white.  In September he harvests the same day as he plants, putting the biggest potato  back in the same hole in the ground where he harvested one.  Don’t cut the potato in pieces.  Potatoes create a shoot form every eye.  More eyes, more shoots.  Planting a larger potato means more food.    Put the material back on the soil so nothing is taken away.

-Paul gets free chips from electric companies and arborists.

-Organic food costs so much because of the constant weeding required.  Weeds grow because the soil is exposed. With his wood chip method, Paul doesn’t get weeds and he never has to till.  Nothing in nature ever rotates crops.

-Weeds are good food, e.g. lamb’s quarter.

-Seeds have a brain and can choose where they want to live.  Nature has a brain.

-What does Paul feed his chickens?  He feeds them what he grows.  Kale, grass clippings, weeds.  Cracked corn is dead food.

-Everything in nature is recycled.  Everything is free and yields abundance.

-Eggs are powerful food.

-How much soil is the minimum needed in a pot?

-The coldest it gets where he lives is 8 degrees, but that’s very rare.  Usually 20s are the lowest temps.

-Even in Artic temperatures, the ground is covered and doesn’t freeze.  Animals survive all winter.

-Paul doesn’t go to a store for anything.  His food is better now, always getting better, and is health is better than it was 20 years ago.

-His food is so dense that apples don’t turn brown when cut.

-Paul does’t eat meat.  It’s a dead carcass and not good for us.  Don’t eat dead things.

-Where to get purple seed potatoes?  Fedco in Maine.  Once they start growing, use your own.  Plant in the fall – you already have the hole dug.

-Is there a role in eating fat to rebuild nerves?  Eat live food, it will support everything you need in your body.  Eat fresh in season.  Eat raw as much as possible.

-If food doesn’t taste good, it’s not good.  Don’t eat it.

-GMO drift- is that a concern?  Create hedges for protection.

-Sheep are an asset on pasture.   Paul’s pasture is low and is fed by the runoff from his trees.   Sheep lay down on Paul’s pasture because they’re satisfied and don’t need to eat all the time.

-Chemical fertilizers have no minerals.  Minerals are the foundation to life.

To see videos from tours of Paul’s garden, search on L2Survive on Youtube.  Or Google:  Paul Gauchi back to eden.


Paul Gautschi and his insights and experiences with gardening and living with nature, October 10, 2017

'Paul Gautschi – The Master Gardener Talks Gardening God’s Way – October 10, 2017' have 3 comments

  1. October 10, 2017 @ 2:42 pm Karina Lovett

    Paul is one of my best friends and has mentored me for the past 6 years. Right after I saw the movie, it all clicked and I started to apply wood chips as soon as I could get trucks in to deliver them after the snow melted. The results from year 1 has been incredible. And he is correct when he says that God multiplies! Our harvest in nuts. From 6-25′ rows of potatoes we harvested 456 pounds because our soil is getting better and healthier. We have never in our lives seen a harvest like this. The most we harvested was 200 for potatoes with more rows. Year 1 we harvested 400 pounds of squash from 4 plants and 300 pounds of watermelon. I never was able to even get a single watermelon in the past here in CT. We are now on year 6 of BTE gardening and I love to talk to Paul to tell him how blessed we are to have met him.
    This is just the beginning. I can’t even tell you all the changes that are happening here. All because of his movie.
    I appreciate Paul so much, he has been there for me and is not only knowledgeable but is a very kind, giving person.


    • January 30, 2018 @ 7:38 pm Caroline

      I started our BTE garden last year. Lots of bio chemistry going on, alaorys of fungi growing, which are really cool to observe. It’s broken down and I’ll need to reapply woodchips soon (we live in South Georgia and peanuts grew 40 yrs ago where we now live). The humidity, storm conditions and heat did play a factor this year, but I didn’t need to water as often. I also use composted gin trash, available from local cotton gin mills. My sweet potatoes did well….my first year to grow them. Looking forward to this year in the garden.


  2. October 14, 2017 @ 9:54 am Ingrid Rowe

    My husband and I were able to visit Paul at his place a few years ago (after watching the film) and we were so encouraged. I enjoyed this interview and listening to Paul, always more to learn from his wisdom. God is so good and if we would observe and listen we would all be doing much better. I agree also on his comment on greed. We see the evidence of that all around. We need to start supporting ventures that are not focused on the dollar (I have no problem with profit but not at the expense of the future of our children). We need to be better stewards of what God has given us..


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