Maybe you’ve already noticed that much of the fruit from the produce section of the local grocery store that is eaten today doesn’t taste as sweet and is not as juicy, or that the greens are not as full and lush as they once were.

In the documentary film “Back to Eden,” independent filmmakers Dana Richardson and Sarah Zentz tells the story of Paul Gautschi who shares his revelation for maintaining a vibrant garden of fruits and vegetables through very simple methods.

“In 2009, after touring Paul’s orchard and garden in Washington, the movie’s executive producer Michael Barrett had a vision to document Paul’s walk with God in the garden,” said Richardson, a Palos Verdes Peninsula resident and co-founder of ProVision Productions, an independent film production company.

In the summer of 2010, Barrett visited Gautschi again, this time with Richardson and Zentz to initiate the production of the film.

“Michael saw the potential to transform people’s lives by freely sharing the revelation that God showed Paul and making it available to people around the world,” said Zentz, co-founder of Provisions Productions.

The concept of the film (covering seven agricultural issues) developed while the filmmakers tasted, toured and documented Gautschi’s gardens and orchards during a nine-month period.

“It became clear toward the beginning of the project that the involvement of demonstration gardens in different locations with varying soil conditions and climates was critical to validate Paul’s claim that ‘no matter where you are in the world, if you put a cover down, God will do the rest and you will be blessed,” Richardson said.

In the film, Gautschi said he believes that God didn’t put Adam and Eve in the garden just for their health’s sake, but rather to have a relationship with God. He has experienced that getting connected to the creation results in getting connected to the Creator.

“The organic growing method that has resulted from Paul’s walk with God in the garden inspires one to be in nature,” Richardson said. “The film encourages the viewers to experience planting their own gardens. Furthermore, it challenges the viewer not to ‘lean on their own understanding,’ but instead to ask God questions and trust that God’s character will be revealed.”

The quickest and easiest way to start a “Back to Eden” garden is to apply at least three layers of damp newspaper over your garden plot to kill the weeds. Next, add three to four inches of wood chips, and lastly, add a light dusting of organic animal manure on top, as it would be beneficial for the garden.

“If you already have a garden or orchard established, just add a layer of wood chips on top of the existing soil in the fall; for a garden, add three to four inches, and for an orchard, add 12 to 16 inches,” Zentz said. “Do not till in the wood chips, just add them as a layer on top. With this method, you will not need to irrigate, fertilize, spray for weeds or pests, rotate crops or balance pH.”

The film has been viewed online in 104 countries.

“We have communicated with gardeners and farmers from the U.S. to the U.K., from Africa to Asia, from South America to the Middle East, from New Zealand to Australia and all across Europe who have implemented the methods shared in the film,” Richardson said.

The natural resources used for a “covering” can vary from sugar cane waste to chipped bamboo. People have been attentive to what they see in nature and they are resourceful to use available materials.

“The entire ‘Back to Eden’ team believes in the potential of these types of gardens and farms to make an enormous impact on hunger worldwide,” Zentz said. “Specifically in regions where people may not have the land, water, energy, equipment, or money to do conventional gardening or farming, food will be easy to grow using minimal resources. In addition, what makes the simple and sustainable techniques shared in ‘Back to Eden’ so revolutionary is that the methods will work regardless of soil condition and climate.”

“Back to Eden” can be viewed in its entirety at

Robert Doss is a freelance writer and a frequent contributor to the News.

(1) comment


It is winter and I have just filled my garden area with wood chips[ on top of ground} I would like to know if I will need to put fertilizer down the first year as I plant the garden?This concerns me. Amd I would really appreciate your help with an answer.Thank you very mcuh.Rod Champion

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