Effortless, Inexpensive Biodynamic Gardening

Mercola speaks enthusiastically about wood as a mulch. Just to be clear, wood-chip in the states is the same as shredded wood here in Australia.  Wood chip is definitely not recommended by Slow Fast Soil.

Below is an extract. go here for full and original post.

dr mercola

dr mercola

By Dr. Mercola
If you’re passionate about your health, you ultimately will reach the conclusion that the quality of the food you eat in large part determines your health. You need nutrient-dense, non-GMO or non-glyphosate contaminated foods to stay healthy.

You can purchase organic from the store but this is typically shipped long- distance, and in many cases from a different country. You can purchase from local organic farmers but you still have logistical challenges and it may have been picked several days prior to your eating it.

Fortunately, regardless of your income, it is possible to nearly effortlessly grow your own food right in the comfort and convenience of your own backyard and virtually eliminate the time from harvesting to eating.
Paul Gautschi has been a personal inspiration to me, and his garden is a testament to the fact that growing large amounts of healthy food can be very simple, and doesn’t require a lot of time.
The documentary Back to Eden was my first exposure to his work. I struggled for years seeking to unlock the puzzle of growing nutrient-dense food before I came across his recommendations—the simplicity and low cost of which really appealed to me.
The key to growing nutrient-dense food is to have a soil that is abundant with microbial life and nutrients. Sadly, very few of us have access to this type of soil but the good news is that it is relatively easy to create it.
After studying his technique more carefully, I realized that using wood chips is probably the single best way to optimize soil microbiology with very little effort.
Shortly after watching the film, I called my local tree cutting service and was able to get three truckloads of wood chips dropped on my driveway for free, which I then spread onto my landscape. Each load is around 10-15 yards and weighs about 7-10,000 pounds. So far I have had 13 truckloads delivered and I plan on doubling that.

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Dr Mercola interviews Paul Gautschi

Another fan of shredded woody mulch for living soil. Dr Mercola interviews Paul Gauchi, the man who made woody mulch popular in the states.

FREEEEEE    Watch the famous Paul Gauchi film, “Back to Eden”

Shredded Woody Mulch

this is the RIGHT MIX for Woody Soil Mix.

this is the RIGHT MIX for Shredded Woody Mulch: there are leaves in the mix which really kick-start the decomposition of the shredded wood. you can see the shredded wood has been decomposing and forming aggregates, clumps of soil which then retains moisture. It is the perfect home for micro-organisms


Shredded Woody Mulch Ingredients:

Guidelines: think like a forest tree ie what materials would you be dropping on the forest floor

  1. Wood components
  2. all kinds of green and brown garden waste

The Wood components are:

  • approx 90% shredded wood or Ramiel wood
  • approx. 10% woodchip or small chunks of outer hardwood

some methods for acquiring the shredded wood:

  • obtain shredded wood (from Municipal Waste Management, sometimes free, see note below)
  • make shredded wood with a shredder machine – hire or buy. Look up chipper shredder reviews.
  • get some short (approx 2 to 6 inches) cuts of small branches and pound them with a smallish-headed sledge hammer with a long handle for swinging (this method  will take many man hours – have a pounding party, ask friends to bring hammers)
This is just right for the Woody Soil Mix.

You need a shredder. hire or buy. Look up chipper shredder reviews. OR you might be able to obtain Mulch which is near-enough to Shredded Woody Mulch from your nearby Council Green Waste Management (see note below). note that shredded green waste, dry and fresh leaves will need to be added.

Method:  chip and shred it all.  a lot of green leaves, a lot of dried leaves, a branch, so that it creates a pile of a MIX of all these ingredients – it is easier to mix as you go, rather than mix it once it is in a pile. and for some smaller mulchers and shredders, alternating wood, and green, and wood, then brown foliage will lessen the chances of the machine jamming, glueing up with all that green foliage.

Note: there are some council waste facilities who use contractors who shred the local resident’s and tree-feller’s green waste. the contractors hired by australian councils seem to be using a shredder rather than a chipper, which is the type of wood that is mostly needed here.   and then the council gives it away (or sells it). ultimately, you cannot be sure if there are toxic substances in the council mulch or not.  or perhaps your council is conscientious and CAN guarantee the mulch to be toxin-free.





This shredded wood consists of pine needles, twigs and small branches. A pine needles or eucalyptus branches leaves may need extra double dose of green and brown garden waste because of the oils in the pine and eucalyptus.

Types of Wood Used for the Wood components:

Wood Chip   from branches and trunks usually larger than 10 cm.  This is “chipped”  with a Wood Chipping Machine – cut with a sharp blades into hardwood chunks

Shredded Wood – from branches of small to medium size.  This is “shredded”  with a Wood Shredding Machine – they the wood is.

Ramial Wood Chip(from WikiPedia) Ramial Chipped Wood (RCW) is a wood product used in cultivation for mulching, fertilizing, and soil enrichment.
The raw material consists of the twigs and branches of trees and woody shrubs, preferably deciduous, including small limbs up to 7 cm. (23⁄4 in.) in diameter. It is processed into small pieces by chipping, and the resulting product has a relatively high ratio of cambium to cellulose compared to other chipped wood products. Thus, it is higher in nutrients and is an effective promoter of the growth of soil fungi and of soil-building in general. The goal is to develop an airy and spongy soil that holds an ideal amount of water and resists evaporation and compaction, while containing a long-term source of fertility. It can effectively serve as a panacea for depleted and eroded soils.

woodchip fine

woodchip fine: this is made with a wood chipper. the woodchipper uses a blade to cut through hardwood, mature trees. this cannot be used on its own for Shredded Woody Mulch.

woodchip coarse

woodchip coarse: as with the woodchip fine, this cannot be used on its own for Shredded Woody Mulch

The raw material is primarily a byproduct of the hardwood logging industry, where it was traditionally regarded as a waste material. Research into forest soils and ecosystems at Laval University (Quebec, Canada) led to the recognition of the value of this material and to research into its uses. Originally termed BRF (French: “bois raméal fragmenté” or “chipped branch-wood
Because they are the most exposed part of the tree to the light, and the most actively growing, young branches (and young trees) used in RCW are from the richest parts of the trees. They contain 75% of the minerals, amino acids, proteins, phytohormones and biological catalysts (enzymes) found in the tree.

The wood from heartwood and branches larger than 3 inches in diameter is not desirable due to its high C/N ratio (approximately 600:1), which requires a lot of nitrogen in its decomposition.

Because the wood used in Ramial is the most exposed part of the tree to the light, and the most actively growing, young branches (and young trees) used in RCW are from the richest parts of the trees. They contain 75% of the minerals, amino acids, proteins, phytohormones and biological catalysts (enzymes) found in the tree.