“Ruth Stout’s Garden”

I didn’t know anything about Ruth Stout before reading this post on Margaret Roach’s Web site (if you visit the site, check out the tomato grafting piece, I knew nothing about that process either). I was immediately attracted to Ruth’s gardening methods, mainly because my body has been telling me to start “gardening without working” for the past several seasons. Sure, there’s some work involved, and I do it, but my tolerance for aching bones has decreased exponentially as I’ve gotten older. Not only that, but it seems to take forever to recover from an aching back! So, I’ve a mind to put some of Ruth’s methodology to the test for the 2010 growing season.

Margaret’s question “2010 resolution: a ‘no-work’ garden?” might not have a definitive answer, but if planting potatoes above ground turns out to be viable, who cares?

There’s three parts to the “Ruth Stout’s Garden” video series, watch them all if you can, they’re worth your time.

A couple of endnotes:

Felder Rushing tells me he’s discovered a “slow gardening” method and I’m expecting to read something from him about that in the near future.

Elizabeth Tenerelli and I have something planned that involves words and beautiful pictures, I’m sure you’ll want to see it.


By TC Conner

Pro hobbyist photographer, drone enthusiast, musician, husband and father.

10 replies on ““Ruth Stout’s Garden””

Oh I know what you mean, TC. Trying to figure out how much garden work can be left undone is our main focus right now. We just can’t physically do it anymore, and know it will only get worse as time goes on. Only thing to do is adjust our methods, and lower our expectations of tidiness. Which is probably a good thing anyway.

What a wonderful lady! If only more people shared her no-nonsense perspective on living. Then again, she probably wouldn’t want to be responsible for leading them along some paths they weren’t supposed to take. As for her gardening methods, I wish I could find some real hay around here. The only thing we have available for mulch is pine straw, and that messes with the soil’s pH. Thanks for putting this video on your blog, TC. I hope your back holds up this spring. My husband has started doing some stretching/strengthening exercises from a book written by Egoscue. This guy’s main premise involves retraining your body and correcting your posture through movement. Maybe I’ll come up with a new gardening stretch and start a class.

I found that piece fascinating, too. I don’t know if I could completely switch over, but it sure looks like something I’d like to integrate into the veggie garden over the next few years.

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