The Ruth Stout Method
After a year of experimenting with black plastic to cover and condition planting areas. We began looking for a better way. The plastic did a fine job of killing off the grass and beating back weed pressure; however it did not last a full season before beginning to become brittle and disintegrating in our fields. The cost of plastic and the time cost of clean up were enough to have us seeking a better way to no till bed prepping. We had already planned to build swales for our food forest with the hay from our fields instead of digging the swales. We had already decided to use the leftover hay as mulch in the planting areas in the spring. Then it hit me.... Why wait til spring, cover the fields now and the hay should do the job of the plastic.
I thought this was an original idea. We began doing this and have now covered about 1/2 of the spaces being planted this spring with hay cut from our land. THEN, on a random choice YouTube viewing night I discovered the Ruth Stout Method by so called "accident". Wow, not only did she come up with the same concept some time during the 40's or 50's but she seems to have lead a truly free life... Simpatico! I find it very odd that after 5 years or so of research into alternative agricultural methods I would not have discovered Ruth. I find it similar to the abstract paintings that contain a "hidden" image. Once you can see it; you can't Not see it. Now I find Ruth everywhere.
Mo'Fo' about Ruth Stout | Books By Ruth
Crowd Sourced Ruth Stout Info on Permies.com