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Gardening Without Work by Ruth Stout  RSS feed

 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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This classic organic gardening book has just been put back into print by Norton Creek.
Used copies go for $30-40 on eBay, but he is republishing it for under $20.
It can be purchased for $11.27 @ Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Gardening-Without-Work-Ruth-Stout/dp/0981928463/ref=nosim?tag=robertplamondon

She was an amazing lady, and a great story teller.  Except for preparing dinner, all of her day's chores were finished by 11a.m.  a lot can be learned from her writings.  I just ordered my copy (my 'ex' gave away my 1961 printing!)

This classic organic gardening book has just been put back into print by Norton Creek.
Used copies go for $30-40 on eBay, but he is republishing it for under $20.
It can be purchased for $11.27 @ Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Gardening-Without-Work-Ruth-Stout/dp/0981928463/ref=nosim?tag=robertplamondon

She was an amazing lady, and a great story teller.  Except for preparing dinner, all of her day's chores were finished by 11a.m.  a lot can be learned from her writings.  I just ordered my copy (my 'ex' gave away my 1961 printing!)

Here is a video of her documentary that was released when she was 92 years old:









RuthStoutBook.png
[Thumbnail for RuthStoutBook.png]
 
Jason Long
Posts: 153
Location: Davie, Fl
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Just added a new addition to my book collection. Thanks!
 
Nicholas Covey
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Location: Missouri/Iowa border
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Definitely a classic! I would recommend reading the writings of this eclectic woman. She might not have all the answers, but she's definitely entertaining.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Many attribute her with inventing mulching, but the name of Chapter 1 is "God invented mulching".
She certainly put it into millions of gardener's minds as a perfect, natural way to grow healthy gardens.

At the age of 87 I grow vegetables for two people the year-round, doing all the work myself and freezing the surplus.  I tend several flower beds, write a column every week, answer an awful lot of mail, do the housework and cooking-and never do any of these things after 11 o'clock in the morning!"


That was written before the internet, or e-mail existed.
 
George Collins
Posts: 88
Location: South Central Mississippi
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Bought the book. 

Love ruth stout

Excited about all this permaculturalizing. 

Therefore:

Dug a little swale. 

Mulched it with a freaky amount of old hay. 

Planted seven tomatoes on the inferior edge of the berm. 

Continued placing freaky amounts of mulch on the down-hill for about a foot past the tomatoes. 

Lost five of the seven plants to what is believed to be a cut worm. 

Cussed cut worms will all known profanities. 

Cut top and bottom out of two liter sodie-pop bottles and placed them around the tomato stems. 

Growth rate of remaining two tomatoes has been freaky in spite of zero amendments to the soil and zero water applied even during a 3-4 week lull in rainfall (Welcome to south Mississippi where we get about 60" of rain per year but none in either May or June and never in September or October unless building a house and schedule your dirt-work during this time to take advantage of the dry weather.)
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Welcome aboard George.

ruth stout and J. I. Rodale are responsible for putting the word 'organic' into gardening here in the US.  They both influenced my sister and I in growing healthy foods back in the 60's...long before GMO's and synthetic foods become the standards of the food supply.

Permaculture is "beyond organic", but 'organics' is still the rudder that steers our ship.
I am hoping that the book becomes a best seller again, as the more people that turn their backs on the paradigm "Better living through chemistry", the better for the planet, and our futures.
 
David Miller
Posts: 286
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
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George, you caught my eye in the HugelKultur forum and I landed here looking for more info on Ruth Stout's techniques.  Can you describe for me the technique you used?  I just got four books in and can't justify more until they're finished.
 
George Collins
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Location: South Central Mississippi
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Miller,

Back during the summer, I first watched the geoff lawton video, Greening the Desert. I subsequently sought to reproduce the technique he described. If memory serves, he dug a swale, mulched it with "half a meter" of refuse from nearby organic fields. He then planted nitrogen fixing trees on the uphill aspect of the swale and planted his long term overstory trees immediately below the berm created by digging the swale. He then planted other trees that became progressively shorter the further away from the swale they were planted. 

Using this mental model, I constructed a short swale using naught but a shovel. Once the swale was in place, I filled in the swale ditch with a bunch of woody weeds. Next, I got a trailer load of old hay left over from another project earlier in the year and placed all of it over the swale ditch and the berm and for a short distance beyond the berm on the downhill side. I next put seven tomatoes three feet apart just at the edge of the berm on the side opposite of the swale ditch. 

Immediately on the uphill side of the berm, I planted a row of bush-type squash plants to provide additional shade to the swale ditch as well as piling all manner of weeds that I cut down from adjacent areas on top of everything else.

As we were in the middle of an already dry time of year, I filled the swale ditch level full of water a couple days before transplanting the tomatoes. I watered the transplants once, maybe twice to help them with transplant shock.  Thereafter I caged them and left them to fend for themselves until cut worms got five of the young plants. I protected the last two with plastic soda bottles

At the same time that I transplanted the seven tomatoes into my Stoutkultur, I transplanted probably 20 or 30 others into various spots about my yard and my fathers garden. Only a few of the others attained any appreciable size but even the best of the rest of my experiments attained not even a third the size of those in my Stoutkultur. 
 
David Miller
Posts: 286
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
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Very nice (cutworms aside), I have seen those "Greening the Desert" series on youtube, very cool stuff.  Sounds like you did a perfect swale for a drought. 
 
Suzy Bean
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Location: Stevensville, MT
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I am putting together a book/dvd/magazine page for Paul, and to save him some time from making a (short paragraph) written review of everything, I figured I'd ask permie folks to write "what Paul would say" in each thread something is talked about.

So what would Paul say about Ruth Stout (or the No work garden book)?
 
George Collins
Posts: 88
Location: South Central Mississippi
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Ruth Stout - The lady who accidentally got it right and cried, "Eureka" louder than anyone else since Archimedes (and liked to garden in the buff).
 
Honora Holmes
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Oh, thank you for this! I just added it to my cart. I've never owned any of her books but How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back was one of the first gardening books I ever read as a young teen. She was very inspiring and I tried mulching for the first time that year.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Bump
 
today's feeble attempt to support the empire
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