Recently I was having a conversation with a friend about organic gardening, composting, sustainable; all the "buzzwords" of the gardening and cooking communities right now. We both have attended numerous classes and workshops regarding organic methods and we both agree on the attributes of organic ways, but we also both chuckled about how "new" everyone treats these customs.
I learned how to compost when I was about 6 (we'll just say that was while JFK was still alive!) In the corner of my nanny's kitchen next to the garbage can was a pot where all the vegetable scraps went. We couldn't put meat or cheese in there (and us kids didn't know why until later), but all the vegetable scraps went in there. Every couple of days one of us kids was instructed to carry the pot up to "the apple tree towards the barn" and dump the scraps next to the tree on top of the pile. Each garden season Nanny would take a wheelbarrow and a shovel and retrieve the compost that had happened over the year. She didn't have a fancy compost bin, just a pile, but it worked.
Every fall we kids would rake the leaves in her front yard to make a huge mountain to jump and play in; we'd rake them back up and play in them until we were tired of it, then we would take a sheet, put all the leaves in it and drag the leaves "under the buckeye tree just beyond the white fence". You couldn't walk in there because it was so deep with rotten leaves, but oh my goodness, that was the richest soil! After I was grown with my own place I took several garbage bags of that home to put around my flowers!
She didn't use any poison on her plants; the chickens ran loose in the garden and I remember cows running in there too (she wasn't happy about that though). That, to me, is perfect gardening and that's the way things are grown at Wild Things.......granny gardening style!