Monday, September 5, 2011

Ruth Stout is my SUPERHERO

I have an old (1981) gardening book - it is called "Indolent Kitchen Gardening" by Libby Smith. It is all about continual deep mulching. I especially love it because it was written right here for the ONC. How cool is that? 

If you ever see this book in a second hand book shop - BUY IT. And if you are somehow connected to the Australian University Press, then get off your asses and do a reprint. I am just saying.

Anyway, I have a new gardening super hero role model guru goddess. Her name is Ruth Stout. She was born in 1884 I think. She is actually credited in the Indolent Kitchen Gardening book.  I love both of them, but Ruth more, because she was first, and the best, and the most righteous, and because they both managed to get the word "Indolent" into their book titles. I want to be just like Ruth Stout when I am still gardening at 98.

The book of Ruth's I have is called "Gardening Without Work - for the Aging, the Busy and the Indolent". Because I am all three, I believe this book was written just for me. But perhaps it has been written for you too.

Anyway, last week I took possession of 10 bales of lucerne hay and went crazy.  I am going to devote myself to her method down at the community garden for ever more. Amen.

There is a little documentary about Ruth - in two parts. 


Anonymous said...

enjoy your life with whatever you think helps you to feel the best.
Good Luck

Von said...

If you can get used bedding straw from a duck or goose house so much the better! Does a fantastic job, suppresses all the weeds.I never use fertilisers and it's wonderful recycling.

dixiebelle said...

Oh I just love her, and her philosophy, "I don't do anything I don't want to do, unless I have to..."

I am aiming to cover as much of our lawn/ weeds/ garden space with mulch, perenials and good-bug attracting flowers & herbs as I can!

Thank you so much for sharing!

Bev said...

Thanks so much for sharing this video! I've been a huge Ruth Stout fan for many years, and it never even occurred to me to check for a video. What a treat to finally see her and her garden!

I've read her books over and over and I still get a chuckle at her opinionated, but not telling anyone what to do (cough), words.

Jacqui said...

have had a chance to look at the videos yet so maybe it is in there but can you give us a summary of the deep mulch theory? I've heard it before (in relation to chickens) but it didn't seem to work (throwing feed on top of layers of straw..but maybe I should try again and I didn't read anything about it. Thanks Ducks - love your work!! :) xxx

Jacqui said...

oh I love it! I just decided to be late and to watch it. I love that she gardened naked! And was "always out of order". And her last story about looking out the wrong window. Great stuff - looking forward to showing M. Have a good day Ducks x

alison@thisbloominglife said...

Oooh, I love her. Off to find as much as I can. Thanks for the video (which ate my prepaid download up - the perils of not being in town. Don't get me started...)

Anonymous said...

I to have decided to be just like Ruth in my aging years. What a marvellous role model she is!
Thanks for sharing.

The Duck Herder said...

Oh hello everyone - I just KNEW you all needed to know about Ruth Stout too! And Alison, I do apologize for eating up all your credit! Hopefully it is worth it!

Von - I completely agree and we have spoken about the lovely value of "pre treating" straw via the ducks before! Unfortunately my duckies are located just up the back yard, but just over a km from the community garden!

And Greenie (and Dixie)- YES, I will see you on Saturday and I am very much looking forward to it!

And hello there Ms Life in the Dome....she is SPLENDID isnt she!

Melinda said...

I think Ruth Stout was the original dryland farming pioneer...

Have you seen this site they do dryland farming as well.

I don't know how well it would do here in Canberra though? In the US the water table is higher, so they have more moisture in the ground. They also don't have the claypan soil that we have here. You'll have to let us know how it goes for you.