Good morning, everyone.  This is Alex from Project Worth Outreach.  In this post I am really excited to introduce you to one of our exceptional gardeners.  His name is Jerry Redden.  During one of my rounds of garden site visits I was so impressed with Jerry’s garden I immediately asked him to write a post about his garden.  In addition. the next day, I took my wife to see his garden and informed her that I would love to do a smaller version of his garden and she agreed.  The reason we have to do a smaller version is because he lives on a 13 acre farm and we live in city limits.  Enough  about us.  I hope you enjoy his post as much as I enjoyed my visit to his garden as well as his post.  Photos of his garden follow the post as well as this week’s recipe.  Hope everyone has a great week in their garden.
July, 2012
         Back last winter, I walked out of a used bookstore with a two-dollar book that has changed the way I will grow a garden.  Forever!  This invaluable book is titled NO-WORK GARDEN BOOK by Ruth Stout and Richard Clemence. 
         I read the book in a day or so.  I was enthused! I made my decision — the deep mulch method of gardening was for me.  There were several things I liked about the deep mulch way of gardening.
(1) No more tilling!  The tiller was the last thing that I needed to eliminate before I would be using nothing but human powered tools in my garden.  Also it is very important to have an abundance of earthworms in a good garden — it’s a bad day for the earthworms when a tiller is used.
(2) Less weeds!   When an 8 inch layer of spoiled hay is spread on the garden very few weeds work their way through and the ones that do are easy to pull.
(3)  Little or no watering is needed!  The thick layer of mulch keeps the ground moist.
(4)  Your garden gets richer!  The mulch decomposes into your soil and produces rich loamy soil as the years pass.
(5)  Less work! That is why the book title is NO-WORK GARDEN BOOK.         
         I should mention that there is plenty of good information on the internet pertaining to this method of gardening.  For detailed information, search no-till gardening, deep mulch gardening, or Ruth Stout. 
         Soon after reading the book, I was spreading a layer of spoiled hay and making paths out of saw dust and wood chips.  I like a garden that produces healthy organic food and it is important for me that the garden is pleasing to the eye.  I set forth to find some garden art consisting of rocks for a rock garden and tree parts that resemble various creatures.
         At about the time I was ready to start planting, I got word that Project Worth, here in Menifee County and Grow Appalachia were teaming up to support gardeners who were willing to go strictly organic.  This was right up my alley so I joined up. I think that the partnership of Project Worth and Grow Appalachia is the best thing that has happened in Menifee in a long time.  We gardeners were told that as a part of the agreement there would be pictures taken of our gardens.  With the expectation and or threat that pictures would be taken of my garden, I worked even harder to have a lush crop of beautiful organic vegetables and attractive garden art.
         The no-till, deep mulch system has worked beyond my expectations.  I planted a wide variety of conventional vegetables and herbs that have done very well even through the extremely hot and dry spell that we had earlier in the garden season.
         The two plants that I have enjoyed most are the following plants that volunteered to take root in my garden:
(Poke)  Young shoots early in the spring are delicious and can be cooked several ways.  About mid summer the poke berries make a beautiful colored wine that I like when it is very young.  Poke has been said to increase one’s strength and help build a strong immune system.  I think poke is a most handsome plant, especially when it is hanging full of berries.
(Lambs Quarter)  In most peoples opinion, this plant is a weed!  When my onions were about 8 inches high this spring, I recognized that little plants of lamb’s quarter were coming up.  I decided to let a few of them grow to maturity.  Their presence didn’t hurt the onion crop — may have helped it.  Lambs Quarter greens are delicious.  They have more vitamins than spinach and taste a bunch better.  Imagine this — they grow like a weed!
                                                        Jerry Redden 
                                                        Wellington, Ky.












This week’s recipe:
Sauerkraut Casserole
1 lb. mild Italian sausage
2 potatoes with skins, quartered
1 cup water
2 teaspoone caraway seed
1 large onion, chopped
3 cups, 3 oz sauerkraut, undrained
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
In a skillet cook sausage and onion until sausage is brown and onion is tender; drain.  Stir in potatoes, sauerkraut, water,  brown sugar and caraway seed.  Transfer to a 2  1/2 quart baking dish.  Cover and bake at 350 degress for 1 hour.
Gloria Williams
I submit these recipes as they are given to me.  Please feel free to substitue healthy ingredients whenver possible.