Slow Gardening, Felder Rushing Style

by Daisy

As I rush to get the last of the fall garden in, I’ve been reading, ironically, Felder Rushing’s new book, Slow Gardening, out of Chelsea Green Publishing, THE go-to sustainable living publishing house.

If Felder Rushing is a new name to you, you’re in for a treat.  In short, he’s a hoot.  But, that doesn’t do him justice, because beneath the homespun banter and penchant for outre lawn ornamentation, he’s actually a thoughtful philosopher on the subject of gardening, and by extension, society.

In his own words:

“Take it easy. Life has lots of pressures–why include them in the garden? Your garden provides natural opportunities to kick back, relax, step off the treadmill. Think “long haul” and take your time.

Cliches can help: No need to go whole hog right off the bat. Don’t have to eat the whole enchilada.”

In the wake of reading his latest book, I’ve been indulging in a little personal fantasy about what it would be like to have Mr. Rushing for a next door neighbor, and I must say, he’s giving Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch a run for their money.  Here are a few highlights:

The possibility of a ride in his Truck Garden.

Kisses from Rusty, the brown dog.

The inevitability of free plants from the author of Passalong Plants himself.

Glimpses of Felder in his (self-described) incarnation as “Jesus’ drunk brother” on my way to fetch the morning newspaper.

Root vegetable juggling.

Bottle trees.

Pink flamingos.

In short, no judgmentalism, lots of ‘mater sandwiches.

Felder, if you’re listening, I know just the neighbor I’d like you to replace.

I did not say that.

That would be wrong.

Who do you want in your neighborhood?


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob Keniston September 20, 2011 at 7:12 am

Read your column in today’s Commercial Appeal. Not once did you mention glass. Glass NEVER breaks down, and it is 100% recyclable. How many products now come in plastic that used to come in glass? There will be less plastic in landfills when there is less plastic made.

jana wilson September 20, 2011 at 9:04 am

Felder is giving a talk at Memphis Botanic Garden on October 18th, and you’re right…he is a hoot!! But shares an amazing amount of useful, practical knowledge that even the most basic gardeners amongst us (yeah, that would be me!) can understand. Thanks for the teaser…I’m ordering the book now too!

felder September 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm

why, THANK ya, ma’am… and WON’T you be my neighbor?

cheers! and remember, as frank zappa said, “without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible!”

sweetly be,
felder – a real fan

Tomato Lady September 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Felder–Ack!!! You caught me!

I haven’t got that persimmon tree yet, but I’ve got my eye on one.

Thank for stopping by. Hope to see you at a signin’.

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