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Quote of the Day: Augustus Jenkins Farmer

April 27th, 2014

“On our farm, we select plants that fill multiple needs, and we mix together all kinds of growing, living thing. We stack. And we do so for all the reasons that cottage gardeners, everywhere, in all time, did it and still do it–it just makes sense. Its efficient, and it honors the earth’s resources. Today’s gardens don’t have to be our entire pantry, medicine cabinet, hardware store, or art gallery, but they can contribute to all of these things. They can give us cleaner, deeper lives with more layers and more hope that in the future, the people who make decisions about what we eat and how we treat the world and each other have some inspiration–that spark–from their own gardens, and the gardens of their youth.”

Augustus Jenkins Farmer in Deep Rooted Wisdom

edible garden 1
edible garden 2
I grew up surrounded by gardeners.  My grandpa tended a big edible garden, my grandmothers both planted flowers.  My parents tended a large edible garden and my mom tended a lovely tropical paradise in our back patio.  I never was much of one for gardening until I got older.
edible garden 3
edible garden 5
The more I gardened, the more I realized it added something to my life.   My lifer certainly has many more layers now that I tend a garden and take care of a few animals.

How long have you been gardening?

8 Comments to “Quote of the Day: Augustus Jenkins Farmer”
  1. Joan on April 27, 2014 at 7:05 am

    When I was a child I earned all of my spending money from my little strawberry patch. I’d tend then pick the strawberries, and put them out on a little stand by the road on the honor system. I made quite a bit of money for a kid. Other than that though I hated gardening – we needed to weed for an hour before we were free to do what we wanted.

    Then, about 15 years ago I got the urge to garden again. From a little plot in my backyard, to a community garden, I now grow almost all of the veggies that we eat in my big backyard garden. It’s a big part of my life that I can’t imagine living without now!

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  2. DebbieB on April 27, 2014 at 9:04 am

    My mother always grew flowers and tropical houseplants, my father grew vegetables and had a small greenhouse with orchids. I had ZERO interest in gardening, especially since it was my job to do the weeding in the hot sun. I didn’t absorb any of their gardening wisdom, and certainly didn’t inherit any of their gardening genes, since I proceeded to kill “easy to grow” houseplants for many years.

    BUT! This is my third year gardening, and it’s all because of YOU, Susy! The first year was totally in containers, and disastrous… but I learned a few things. The second year (last year) was with the 5×5 Challenge, and I got a meager harvest, but I learned a few (okay, a LOT) more things… This year my garden is more than double the size, and I can’t imagine NOT growing some of my own food. I know that I’ll learn even more things THIS year for NEXT year – we’re already making notes about what we’ll improve.

    My husband has discovered that he loves growing flowers, so he’s adding them here and there to the “farm” that our backyard is becoming. Our only animals so far are the 5 cats and the 3 goldfish in the little fountain/pond, but one day…

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  3. Dorothy Donatello on April 27, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I am so happy to try so new things in the garden this year. For one I just got done reading Ruth Stout books, and came away with new hope about tilling and mulch. She does not till or rotate crops. She uses spoilt hay for mulch or wood chips. This cuts down on the weeds and keeps the soil moist. I am trying that this year and have already begun this process. I get the mulch free from the city. They leave huge piles from cut down trees and evergreens for free supplied by the city. I love the way it smells when you put it down.I know gardening is hard work but if she could do it in her 70’s with good results then what the heck. I highly recomend her books.

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  4. Nebraska Dave on April 27, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Susy, hmmmm, how long have I been gardening? True gardening I suppose would have started for me in the early 1970s. By the middle 70s garden magazines were my passion. Mother Earth News, Organic Gardening, Prevention and many other magazines were read from cover to cover. Lunch hours at work were spent at the local library, which was within walking distance from my cubicle work station, reading about gardening and homesteading. Feeble attempts throughout the years were the only actual dirt time experienced and always ended in disaster weed patches due to lack of time to attend the maintenance of gardening. About 20 years ago the gardening passion went dormant. Not until the kids grew up and left home, retirement from a 41 year career, and the wife passed on did the desire to garden come alive again. It’s been five glorious years of unrestricted gardening. I never knew how much knowledge had been acquired until I started on the greatest adventure ever in gardening.

    It’s been said that 2/3 of the earth’s surface is covered in water so wouldn’t you think that God intended us to go fishing two thirds of our waking time? Well, I say 1/3 of the earth is covered by land so wouldn’t you think God intended us to garden one third of the time?

    By the way Ruth Goodman and Peter Ginn are at it again with a new six part series called “Tudor Farm Monastery.” It’s produced in the same manner as all the other farm series they have made. The setting is in the 1500s and as the name states is about the influence of the monasteries on British farming for that period of time.

    Have a great day in the gardening.

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  5. MN Reid on April 28, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I really got into gardening in 5th grade. I visited a friend’s house and his dad was growing Atlantic Giant Pumpkins. Thats when things took off. I grew four my first year that averaged 200 pounds. I sold them to a grocery store for $200.00. That was a lot of money for an 11 year old!

    Now my dream is to live on some acreage and be able to grow enough to supply my family with produce all year. Now I have a 15×30 garden, and a 15 foot diameter circle, and some pots.

    Some day! I envy Brian and Susy!

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  6. Jaye on April 28, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Not so long, maybe ten or 15 years. I’ve become serious about it since my kids have grown up and moved away as now I have time for me! And it requires a lot of time.

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  7. Chris on April 29, 2014 at 2:20 am

    I’ve always gardened, even if just in my mind, observing other people’s gardens. My earliest memories were of tall paw-paw trees my Nanna used to push the mower around. Wherever we traveled across Australia as a kid, I was always observing the plant and animal life. I used to help my mum mow, chop the wood and pick herbs for fresh omelets in the morning.

    I was more a spectator of gardening while growing up, with a few contributions when given instructions. But I always loved gardens and getting lost in them. My first real gardening began in 1999, when I first met my boyfriend (now husband) and wherever we’ve lived, we’ve always tried to nurture plants – even when renting and it wasn’t our garden.

    So I’ve gardened all my life, being fostered into loving them and being a part of them – but took responsibility for wanting to garden deliberately, for about 15 years. I still have so much to learn though, because there’s being a gardener (ie buying plants and putting resources into keeping them alive) and then there are those who love the garden as an environment capable of maintaining itself.

    I’ve been both and now lean more towards finding natural solutions. I didn’t like pouring copious amounts of time and resources into a garden that ultimately failed the minute I wasn’t there to tend it. I like to think the garden can maintain itself most of the time, with my little “hobby” spots I can control, when time allows.

    By taking this approach, I find the garden (or natural environment) teaches me how to garden better and thrives even when I can’t be there to nurture it. :)

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  8. amy on April 29, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Since I was wee…..So around 42 years. My parents would have us out weeding and hoeing and harvesting….acres. The bulk of our food came from our garden and our animals(think Laura Ingalls…no joke). In fact when I left home I sort of loathed gardening….because of the way I had been raised to do it…..It took a few years for me to get over my resentment at the heavy handed way I was raised….The very first thing I raised on my own were strawberries:) I was hooked on my own terms this time….I have never looked back…..It is my joy….my exercise…..and oftentimes my therapy;)

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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