I have always appreciated the Ruth Stout method of gardening. My old garden bible, the 1961 Rodale hardcover HOW TO GROW VEGETABLES AND FRUITS BY THE ORGANIC METHOD, introduced me to Ruth Stout and her method of mulching to eliminate extra work in the garden. It also highlights other gardeners' experience with growing potatoes in heavy mulch.
Confession. The green garden bible isn't really my book. I lifted (I mean borrowed) it from my parents 15 or more years ago and never got around to returning it. Actually, after that many years together, I would assume I am now common law owner of that book. Sorry Mom and Dad. I hope you haven't missed it too awfully much.
Anyway, you should have this gardening encyclopedia. It covers everything you need to know, and the old-fashioned advice is full of common sense and practicality. But it is not this book to which I am referring.
Christy Gabbard, with VT Earthworks, offered up many of her personal garden library books to the Academy students to borrow. I chose the brightly colored recent edition of her book: GARDENING WITHOUT WORK For the Aging, the Busy and the Indolent, by Ruth Stout. Originally published in 1961, this very readable tome puts forth her nationally know method of gardening, with practical application and clarification to questions put forth by other gardeners and scientists questioning the validity of this method. Perhaps some readers might find her conversational style annoying.
Not me! (as you might guess!)
I am thoroughly inspired by this book. She fleshes out some practical points that will help me in our gardening this year. She has an impressive chapter on conservation, and on organic method. All of her points are made with a sparkle in her eye and more than a few winks and chuckles. I laughed out loud as I quickly read every chapter. How often does one laugh out loud throughout a gardening book? She is just as willing to poke fun at herself as she is the scientists who come to disprove her technique and the followers showing up unannounced for the garden tour. Too bad this was not my copy. Otherwise I would be able to quickly find all my favorite quotes because it would be marked up from front to back.
Please read this book. Hurry! I hope you will be as inspired as I was. I am requiring the children to read this for school this winter. I think they will enjoy it. You probably will, too.