Here I am in the ripeness of middle age, learning for the first time about Ruth Stout, practitioner of the “no-work garden,” and author of books with titles like How to have a Green Thumb without an Aching Back, Gardening Without Work, and Don’t Forget to Smile: How to Stay Sane and Fit Over Ninety. Since watching this video a few days ago, I’ve been completely inspired to do my own thing and be less vulnerable to other people’s opinions, and to let go of instructioning others (i.e. my kids) quite so much. Ruth Stout is hereby entering my Pantheon of Fabulous Role-Models.
Wikipedia tells us that among the highlights of her life she owned a small tea shop in Greenwich Village, worked for a fake mind-reading act, and went with Quakers (she was one) to Russia in 1923 to help with famine relief. I love hearing her talk, as in the video above, about naked gardening and feeling the air on her body.
Ruth, above, describes how she asked the asparagus, we don’t have to plough for you, why do we have to plough for the other vegetables? And they respond, “You don’t.” And that’s how she began to plant seeds in mulch.
She’s inspired me to try some really easy seed sowing this spring, just toss some seeds under some leaf mulch and compost and whatever, and see what happens. I like the way in her garden, it’s kind of messy but she’s growing so very abundantly. Wanted to share this video with you, dear readers 🙂 .