Back to Eden
Produced by Dana Richardson and directed by Sarah Zentz
BACK TO EDEN documentary shares the story of Paul Gautschi and his lifelong journey, walking with God and learning how to get back to the gardening methods that were given to mankind in the garden of Eden.
After years of back-breaking toil in ground ravaged by the effects of man-made growing systems, Paul Gautschi has discovered a taste of what God intended for mankind in the garden of Eden. Some of the vital issues facing agriculture today include soil preparation, fertilization, irrigation, weed control, pest control, crop rotation, and PH issues. None of these issues exist in the unaltered state of nature or in Paul’s gardens and orchards.
BACK TO EDEN invites you to take a walk with Paul as he teaches you sustainable organic growing methods that are capable of being implemented in diverse climates around the world.
The film starts out with Paul reflecting on the amazing work God has done. Paul talks about the self sustaining landscape that is varied in terrang, water, ground covers, waterfalls, climate and plants. I like how Paul puts it: God did it in such a way that He would not have to show up for work.
As Paul shares him background with us, I am moved at his desire, early on in life, to be able to provide his family with fresh food, all year round. We get to learn that like many of us, Paul did things by his own strength for many years. He tells us how that worked out for him and tells us how things changed when he turned to the Lord.
Paul reflects on how Genesis describes the Garden of Eden, how God was close and walked with Adam and Eve before sin entered and disconnected man from God. Paul lets his audience know that this documentary will be filled with vital tips on how to treat the ground, which he calls a living organism. This reminds me of a verse from Luke 20:38 For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him. When we look around we see and experience that everything God created is alive - things move, grow, breathe, multiply, change colours, give off scents, change shape. It was fitting that the beginning of the film showed plants breaking through the top soil of the earth. It was a wonderful illustration of how God made everything He created alive in one way or another.
Paul has a verse of scripture for almost every point he makes. I really admire that - it’s an example of how we as Christians live through the Word of God.
Some examples are: Paul connects John 15: 1-2 to the importance of pruning in nature, to gain more. He connects Matthew 11:28-30 to the need to do things God’s way, so that we will not have to rely on our own strength. It says, 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Paul points out several times during the film that gardening was labour intensive before he started doing it God’s way, allowing nature to have its natural cycle. He points out - if you are working too hard, then you have stepped out of His rest.
I like the point Paul makes about nature showing God’s generous nature. We have been given these stunning landscapes for free!
Paul takes the time to show good examples of how things work against us when we interfere in the cycle that God has made for us. He shows how agriculture faces numerous problems, that do not exist in nature.
For example, soil preparation, fertilization, irrigation, weeding, pest control and crop rotation, are all challenging areas in agricultural.
Paul quotes Lamentations 3:27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth, and connects it to doing more when you are young, but then having less and less gardening to do as you age.
Paul also mentions that he thinks children should be taught how to tend gardens, God’s way and for His glory. In addition, Paul makes a good point about gardening being a wonderful family activity, with much to learn about God through His works.
Paul gives us reliable information about the superiority of his food versus shop bought food.
What’s wonderful is Paul’s generosity to others, by God’s grace. He invites people to his garden to share the bounty of food it produces. This reminds me of the Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21, which says:
13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
14 But He said to him, "Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?"
15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."
16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.
17 And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?'
18 So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." '
20 But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'
21 So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
So unlike the rich fool. Paul is sharing the excess he has in his garden, instead of building storehouses for himself. One of the visitors to Paul’s garden called the way he tends to his garden a revelation - simple, profound and overlooked! Others called it unbelievable and even outrageous!
What struck me most if the relationship with God Paul seems to have. He refers to the verse in Jeremiah that says call on me. Jeremiah 29:12 says, Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
He refers to Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
There is a segment where Paul explains how he seeked the Lord for wisdom about a question someone had asked him regarding why Paul didn’t have to routinely turn and cover his potatoes. The answer is amazing and the insight into the relationship Paul has with the Lord is comforting and inspiring.
Paul’s response to people who doubt the process, saying that it only works because it is on a small scale - covers pretty much any doubt people have about the works done by the Lord. Paul said that the people who doubt are not taking into account an all powerful God. When you do that, there are no issues or reasons to doubt. Paul finished by saying that nature reflects the power of an all knowing, all powerful God, holding everything by His Word. Amen!
My family does not have a garden that provides food. If the Lord blesses us with one, we will be sure to do it the Lord’s way.
Back to Eden is a film that not only shows us how to tend to a garden correctly, but also shows a man’s gratitude to his Creator. Paul gives example after example of the miracle of God’s work that is simple, yet too complex for us to understand. He points out that God has given us land, seed, sun and rain, that makes things easy to grow and yet man has complicated the process, because man does not want to follow the Lord. Paul shows us how to get back to the way God planned it. For me, Paul’s film about his garden is a ministry, because he points to the Lord, through His mighty works and Word and spreads the good news of salvation.
I watched Back to Eden on www.christiancinema.com
Thank you for reading this review, until next time - peace be with you.
NB! The links I reference for my films is the source I used, but it is not an endorsement of the entire film streaming company. I am sure this particular film can be found on various digital streaming companies.
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