The recent hard freezes signaled to me that it was time to put the garden to bed for the winter. In gardens past, specifically the community garden plot I tended in Arlington, Va., I have simply ripped the blackened stalks from the earth and retreated to the comfort of central heating and daydreaming with seed catalogs. However, even when I was doing that I left a thick mulch of straw over the entire garden. After a few years—right around the time I decided to leave the city for the country—I noticed that without hardly trying I’d built an incredibly rich soil thickly inhabited by beneficial earthworms.
Though I acted out of instinct while I was tending that garden, I have since come to know that others, such as the incredible Ruth Stout, tout the benefits of a thick mulch. Watch this video and you’ll see the woman who’s influenced my approach to my garden, both physically and philosophically, as well as the woman I hope to be in 50 years. Actually, I pretty much aspire to be her right now. Particularly when it comes to the Roman couch breakfast.
If you’re really in to it, she continues:
This post started out as my explanation of the sheet mulching I undertook last weekend, but while writing I grew too re-enamored of Ruth to even go there. So I will stop and pay attention to this inspiration. I hope that you will enjoy these videos, for this woman has much to say.
And some day, while working in my garden, I may make the cars stop on Free Union Road.