Vegetable marrow on a mound… what?

Women gardeners from ages ago and a long way away

One of my favorite books to just pick up and randomly pick a spot to read is bookcalled The Virago Book of Women Gardeners.  It is a collection of writings by female gardeners around the world and most seem to be 1800’s to early 1900’s.  

Today I randomly found a one paragraph entry from Eleanour Sinclair Rohde from 1938 in which she makes a recommendation that we see all the time nowadays in gardening books.  And that is the idea of using our household and kitchen scraps for composting.  But she states it as if it were a brand new idea and advocates the simplicity of the idea.

Her idea is to take the kitchen waste and “carpet sweepings and dust” to the garden where the “weeds and green garden rubbish” are and then describes a modern permaculture concept.  She suggests that you make one of these “rubbish heaps”  in a sunny spot, put some pulled weeds over it so it doesn’t smell and put some soil on top and grow your vegetable marrow… a mainly British term for a type of summer squash.

“there is no disagreeable smell for the daily consignment of weeds is thrown over the refuse from the kitchen”

You then simply allow the squash to grow into the rubbish heap which provides nutrients and breaks down.  It is “rich and crumbly” as Ms. Rhode puts it.

Authors today make it sound like permaculture concepts are brand new.  But I bet most of their concepts go back many generations if we looked.  They just said it differently back then.

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