Unconventional garden methods that work
This profile of Ruth Stout (1884-1980) pops up on YouTube every so often and gets ordered down so watch it while you can!
Ruth was a thinking gardener. She began growing food when she and her husband moved to a country property in Connecticut in the 1930’s. Initially she followed conventional methods with limited success, Then, noticing what actually worked, she did that instead.
I have a listing of more interesting and inspiring Gardeners To Watch here.
- hay mulch – used in place of watering (many of us would choose straw instead to avoid the hay seeds)
- no digging or tilling
- minimal effort (lasagna methods) and minimal weeding
- year round food growing (protecting the crops with hay mulch)
I loved this for a whole bunch of reasons. Here’s a few:
- simple, successful gardening— the anthithesis of our current emphasis on pretty and groomed
- the descriptions of Ruth’s parents and grandfather
- gardening naked
I list that last one for the fun story she tells about it in the film but also to emphasize her philosophy of live and let live. She was a revolutionary well ahead of her time. The word ‘eccentric’ also pops up a lot in biographies but I’m loathe to include it since strong women in history are constantly knocked down with judgements like that.
More On Ruth Stout