Ruth Stout

Take a moment to watch this clip….


That video  was  rumbling around in my head   last night  while I was sitting next to the produce department @ Walmart waiting for my wife.

All of those beautiful, multicolored, textured, near perfect vegetables….covered with toxic chemical.

Chlorpropham: Chlorpropham is moderately toxic by ingestion (2). It may cause irritation of the eyes or skin (2). Symptoms of poisoning in laboratory animals have included listlessness, incoordination, nose bleeds, protruding eyes, bloody tears, difficulty in breathing, prostration, inability to urinate, high fevers, and death. Autopsies of animals have shown inflammation of the stomach and intestinal lining, congestion of the brain, lungs and other organs, and degenerative changes in the kidneys and liver (2)

check out this link     if you want to  read up more on Chlorpropham

That 2 minute utube clip also re-lit a fire in me to grow our  own potatoes.

A  year ago, I asked my neighbor Janelle (who happens to be a Master Gardener) if she had any “tips” on gardening….

Two words ….

“Ruth Stout”

I have to confess I never pursued her suggestion…until now…after watching that 2 minute video clip on “Bud nip” and chlorpropham I am now motivated to revisit Janelle’s suggestion  to check out Ruth Stout and her approach to gardening….

Last year,  Steve dropped off 2  cardboard boxes stacked with back issues of   “Organic Gardening magazine.   They  dated back to the late 1960’s.

To my  delight last night  I discovered   11 of those issues had articles penned by Ruth Stout herself…


Ruth Stout Organic Gardening

Yesterday afternoon,   I called our local library to see if they had anything written by Ruth Stout.


I then called Barnes and Knoble thinking  I could pick something up there…struck out again.. While I  was able to order her book on line, it is not readily available.

I’m going to close by posting a portion of her article in the January 1967 issue…

Some 20 years ago or so ago, I suddenly thought to myself one morning: “Why does a garden plot have to be plowed?” And since I couldn’t think up a good answer to that question, I abandoned the idea of having it done.  My patch was more or less covered with leaves, which I had dumped on it the previous fall, and which – I had thought – would be turned under in the spring.  Well, I left the leaves on the plot and discoverd that they kept the ground moist and soft and outwitted weed seeds.

And so, in the above casual way, I found out that if you just give your soil a year – round undisturbed mulch, you need never again plow, hoe, water your plants, cultivate, pull weeds, or bother with fertilizer.  I also discontinued using insecticides, not because I  figured this new system would probably outwit all bugs, but because I loathed the job so much, and I decided to skipping it.  Thus I became an organic gardener without knowing – at that time – – there was such a creature.

      The local farmers and gardeners laughed at my ideas at first, then gradually began to emulate me.  Years passed and I finally wrote a book, plus many articles, describing my method of growing things.  Then I wrote another gardening book.  Letters from gardeners in regard to my mulch system had long since been arriving almost daily, and many visitors have come here to get a first hand look -to date over 2,300 of them from every state and quite a few from Canada.

     Naturally, the merchants who sold fertilizers and plows and so on weren’t in sympathy with my ideas of gardening……”

Have you  ever heard of Ruth Stout before or used some of her suggestions?If so, what did you think?

Would any  you be interested in me posting more excerpts of her articles from these old magazines?

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8 Responses to Ruth Stout

  1. whimgirl says:

    You’re right, talk about motivation. Do you mind if I share?
    Absolutely! feel free to share. ..I would be honored 😉 DM

  2. Julee says:

    Yes, I would like to see more posting of Ruth Stout’s articles. Thank you for sharing with us. I looked up for her books and saw many books. Which of her book did you buy?
    I bought the “No Work Garden book” Have not had a chance to start reading it yet. DM

    • Julee says:

      I bought the “No Work Garden” paper back book of Ruth Stout also after reading your blog. I’m a half way through it. I found many useful tips that I eager to try on our new lands. Julee
      Awesome! that is encouraging. DM

  3. shoreacres says:

    Well, no garden here, but it’s interesting. I did look at a couple of videos – planting potatoes Miss Ruth’s way. Unfortunately, the folks who posted videos of the planting never came back with videos of the harvest (or not) so there wasn’t any way to gauge it.

    It would be interesting to read more, though, even though I have no garden!~
    Always fun to hear from you! DM

  4. emjayandthem says:

    Isn’t it interesting to find that the “new” way isn’t always the best way. Many people knew what they were doing, like Ruth Stout, even if they found out by accident!!

    Reminds me of that old proverb..there really is nothing new under the sun. Thanks for stopping by! DM

  5. Kristin says:

    I have an old Ruth Stout book…..No Work Garden….she is a great writer and has good ideas. I found, however, that despite what she says, her deep mulch method created TONS of weeds in my Tennessee garden. And mulches aren’t cheap anymore. Straw is at LEAST $3.50/bale here. Hay is often that or more. It adds up pretty quickly. Her deep mulches may work better where winters are colder (She was in CT). And as far as planting potatoes on the soil surface & just mulching heavily, again, here in Tennessee anyway, it gets too hot and dry and even with mulching, the soil is too hard for the potatoes to “dig in” themselves.
    Kristin, thanks for taking the time to post those observations from Tennessee! This is one of the things I love about blogging…we get to compare notes and learn from each other. DM

  6. florasforum says:

    I came across your blog today–this is wonderful! I’d also like permission to re-post. 🙂 I’m the publisher of a new garden writing magazine (Greenwoman Magazine–you can get a free sample issue on my website) and I’m currently writing a short biography of Ruth Stout. I understand that theses article might have been reprinted in her third book, The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book, but I’m not sure (I’m going to look it up). I would LOVE to see the original excerpts in your blog. Great comments regarding the method, too. I’m in Colorado, so it does work well here, although we don’t have enough moisture, so the hay or straw doesn’t compost as easily.–Sandra Knauf

    Sandra, thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! 🙂 You know us bloggers…love, love love to hear from someone who’s taken the time to stop by and read. DM

  7. florasforum says:

    Just wanted to add: I did look it up and these articles were reprinted in the above book. This is what Ruth writes in the Foreword:

    “When Organic Gardening and Farming decided to publish, in book form, the articles that Richard Clemence and I had written for them through the years, they sent us the material to look over. To change, to improve, to correct: Well, in the second paragraph of the first article I wrote, I found something to change: that I freeze turnips, which I haven’t done for years; I just leave them in the garden, cover them with bales of hay, and dig them, when wanted, all winter.

    “Realizing that these articles were full of reports of things about which I had later changed my mind, I decided that the sensible thing to do was not to alter anything. And why did I decide that? Perhaps because it would be too much work, but I rationalized my conclusion in this way: maybe it is more helpful to other gardeners, to tell of the things that seemed all right, but weren’t, than to simply say ‘I do this, I do that’.

    “So here is the story of the things I have learned, and “un-learned” about gardening. The first article was published in 1953, the last one in 1971. The later ones contain information which is contrary to some opinions and performances in my books on gardening.
    Does it embarrass me to have to admit mistakes? No it doesn’t. ‘Nobody’s Perfect’.” — R. S.

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