Ruth Stout was an extraordinary gardener, way ahead of her time, who found smart and simple ways to grow an abundance of food crops with minimal effort that is comparable to modern day permaculture methods.
For more, also see these gardening tips.
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.
She began with conventional gardening methods and gradually built on successes which led to her unique approach.
- 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 antithesis 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 About Ruth Stout