[Market-farming] Ruth Stout

Lynn Wigglesworth lynnw at chilitech.net
Tue Nov 30 16:34:51 EST 2004

At 03:17 PM 11/30/04 -0500, you wrote:
>I would just like to thank whom ever it was that mentioned Ruth Stout on
this website a few years ago.  I have finally found a couple of her books
and was not able to put them down!  

I've done something similar, although it's more like the One Straw
Revolution guy. I'm expanding my market garden into the adjacent pasture.
The soil is fertile, but very clay; hard, wet, cold, compact, full of
rocks. A nightmare to till or amend the normal ways. Starting this fall,
I'm feeding the cows and sheep their winter hay on that area. I put out
round bales and the animals eat most of it, and distribute the rest (with
manure added) in a circle around where the bale stood. By the end of the
winter, I'll have the whole area cover with this hay/manure mix. I know
from past experiance that this hay won't break down for a couple of years,
and will completely suppress weeds in the mean time. I plan to make it a
pumpkin patch the first year by dumping a lot of piles of compost, making
them into little hills, maybe 4 x 4 x 1 and planting winter squash on the
hills. The hay should keep the hills high and dry and warm, and the fruit
clean; the roots can go down into the hay or even the soil beneath as the
season dries out (last summer DIDN'T ever dry out here!).

By the way, my pumpkins grown on compost piles were a success! The piles
were windrows of hay/manure barn scrapings, about 2 years old. Being on
these 3 feet tall piles kept the vines out of the perpetual rain last
summer, and the vines survived the mildew that got the summer squash and
lived to a natural frosty death. The pumpkins were Renee's Garden
Cinderella pumpkins...they ranged from 20 pounds to one whopper that was at
least 80 pounds (most were 30-40 pounds). The ones that didn't sell (they
were pretty popular) have been sitting out on the front steps, and are just
now starting to rot. I tried cooking one; it was very bland and tasteless.
I have a lot of hubbards stored for eating.

Lynn Wigglesworth
Peasant Farmer
Tioga County, PA
Lynnw at chilitech.net

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