Stella Otto: The Backyard Fruit Gardener

Today's Tip: Mow vegetation short around the base of fruit trees and bushes to reduce winter habitat for rodents.

Revolutionary Gardens — Take-home Lessons

For those who missed the recent Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Gar­dens con­fer­ence in Michi­gan, here are a few lessons I was lucky enough to take home:

  • Com­post is king. It is at the root of all healthy and pro­duc­tive gardens.
  • Good records are gold! They’ll help you repeat your suc­cesses and learn from the even greater num­ber of “failures.”
  • Fail­ures” are learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties in dis­guise. Thomas Jef­fer­son recorded far more of them in his log­books that he did suc­cesses. Yet look at how highly regarded he is in both his gar­den­ing and his gov­er­nance wisdom.
  • Trends we see as new in gar­den­ing today, really have deep and far-reaching roots in our past history.
  • Under­stand­ing and respect­ing our indi­vid­ual gar­den sites is crit­i­cal to their and our sustainability.
  • In prior gen­er­a­tions, small farm­ers were ele­men­tal to mak­ing and keep­ing our nation strong. We must not for­get that. Be an active part of keep­ing the loca­vore move­ment alive and strong. (Hint: Buy local pro­duce if you don’t grow it. Sup­port your local inde­pen­dent book­stores. They do the most for help­ing authors bring you new avenues of knowl­edge and pleasure.)
  • Gar­den­ing empow­ers us. Home grow­ing can make us food self-sufficient. It is in it’s way really a polit­i­cal state­ment that has the poten­tial to greatly relieve us of our reliance on “big oil.”

You’ll find more in-depth infor­ma­tion by read­ing a real gem — The Fruit and Fruit Trees of Mon­ti­cello by Peter Hatch.

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