Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Living in the Garden of Eden

If you're following the blog, you may have noticed in my latest post on Guerrilla gardening and seed bombing, I have recently become interested in this idea of growing food everywhere, and to feed everyone in need.

The Garden of Eden is an expression from the Bible. Mentioned in conjunction to the Garden of Eden, is that the Lord blessed us with all the trees and plants we needed to thrive. Of course, I'm not a religious person, but I like to think of this as a concept to your own backyard.
I am here to say I think it is possible to create this kind of world-- living in the garden of Eden-- where the Earth is entirely covered with plants, natural architecture, and sustainable technologies.

 Many couples and communities have already created this vision. Paul Gautschi, a permaculture gardener, does in fact believe in god's garden of Eden--which influenced his decision to move from California to Washington, to grow an orchard and food forest in his backyard. He has an influential documentary titled Back to Eden (video), where he advises gardeners to sheet mulch their yard with compost and wood chips. Paul says that god told him to grow food by building the soil like the forest floor. In past posts I have shown videos of Paul Gautschi and his garden--and I recommend listening to him because he has great advice: Back to Eden Garden Tour & Fruit Orchard using Permaculture.

Some internet friends have relocated to Costa Rica, Hawaii, and Florida to grow tropical fruit.  I have listed other homesteaders and gardeners in the links under "Sustainability & Gardening sites" (to the left of the page), like Terra frutis, Ardent Light, and Banana Sanctuary. Other internet friends have transformed their backyard into a food forest, for example my friend Victor, Carrie, Val & Eli, and John Kohler.

One could survive almost completely off food they grow on a 1/4 of an acre, even a 1/10 of an acre. Val Hermann, featured to the left, and her partner Eli are growing a condensed and thriving food forest on a 1/4 of an acre. I highly recommend videos of their garden, which I have posted here.

A big California suburban family is growing a food forest on a 1/10 of an acre of land. They are completely off the grid; and run their cars off of vegetable oil, eat only from their garden, and have solar panels. You can watch the video here for inspiration.

I'm not convinced there is an overpopulation problem where we cannot feed everyone. In fact few people of the world own and control the rest of the world's resources. Humans, specifically Americans, have single handedly deforested precious, sacred land for coal, gold and diamonds, palm oil, wood, plastic, oil, gas, factory farming, and the list goes on. Now animals and plants are endangered, threatening to be extinct. Water, soil, land and air is contaminated. With what little we have to share on this planet, you would think we would want to protect it, keep it clean, and cultivate more plants.

My partner and I are also working towards building a food forest. To do this, we build the soil like the forest floor. This process grows bigger, and more nutrient rich food that is resistant to diseases and pests. By mimicking the natural process of composting and sheet mulching, vegetables and fruit can be ethically grown, without killing animals, insects, microbes in the soil, without using unsustainable machines, petrol oil, and chemicals.
If the Earth's water covers 361,132,000 km2 and land covers the remaining 148,940,000 km2, water covers 71 percent and land covers 29 percent. With that 29 percent, people could be covering land with fruit trees, fruit bushes, flowers/herbs, and vegetable gardens to provide food for every person on this planet.

Lets make this happen, together~


  1. What percentage of your food would you say you grow yourself? I want to know whether it's possible to be truly self-sufficient as a vegan in a cold climate, or whether you'd need to go somewhere warmer.

    1. I would recommend moving to a tropical or sub tropical location to grow calorie dense fruits like banana, coconut, mango, papaya, dates. It's absolutely possible to eat completely from a forest garden as a vegan when living in a tropical climate. I'm experimenting with this idea of eating only from my garden in a cold climate. Where I live, we can grow apples, pears, figs, hardy kiwis, paw paw fruits, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, mulberries, vegetables, greens, nuts, potatoes, beams, and anything can be stored in a root cellar, dehydrated, canned, and frozen for the winter.
      It takes several years of adding fruit and nut trees as well as waiting for fruits to age to produce abundantly. Focus on the extensive variety of berries you can grow in cold climates.
      I am not eating completely from my garden. I still buy tropical fruit from the store. I have been growing food for three years, and have a small collection of fruit trees and perennial herbs I have added over this short amount of time. It will take another year or two for my fruit trees and bushes to begin producing abundantly; and it will take another 5-10 years to have the entire property covered in perennial plants producing abundantly.
      I do grow vegetables, greens, and summer crops throughout most of the year. I usually start growing food in March, then beginning harvesting greens and radishes in April through July. By May I have summer crops growing which begin producing in June-July through October.
      I usually have no food outside growing from November to February. I have food growing for 8 months out of the year.
      For the last three years I have grown a variety and abundance of food which equated to a little less than 2000 dollars each gardening year.

      I know of a gardener that lives in a cold climate that uses a heated greenhouse to grow citrus and other fruit when it's snowing outside.

      Stay tuned, John Fist, and lets see if it's possible~

  2. Thanks for your detailed answer!

    Yeah - I seriously am thinking of moving abroad, and if I do I may as well try to move to the best possible location. There are a number of problems with the area I live in (Britain). We don't have extreme low temperatures (the USDA rating for my area and much of Britain is 8, which is higher than Kentucky), but we have much less sunlight. A lot of people don't realise that almost all of the USA gets at least as much sunlight as the sunniest parts of Europe. http://i.imgur.com/Ps2DbeC.png

    Another problem is overpopulation. We don't have large wilderness areas, so I wouldn't be able to go into the woods and just build a house on some unused land. It would be found immediately and the authorities would be telling me to tear it down. But I would be happy to use land without buying it in a remote area where no-one would notice or care.

    1. I understand. This is the many constraints everyone feels when working towards homesteading, living freely & simply.

      This is why I have chosen to grow food and build a cob home on family land, and build a second cob home on another relative's property. I hope to obtain land in the future to protect it...but the other constraint is availability and money.

      I wish you success in moving abroad or otherwise~

  3. I love this blog, btw. It's so interesting and useful.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to explore and read the information provided.

  4. Awesome blog.....i would like to implement and spread this idea in the dry parts of indian villages to self sustain...brilliant .. Thanks