Eliot, Nice To Get To Know You Better


ColemanI thoroughly enjoyed Anne Raver's New York TImes piece this week on vegetable gardening's sovereign couple: Eliot Coleman, author of among others Four-Season Harvest and Barbara Damrosch, author of among others The Garden Primer.  

Coleman, who spent his youth travelling, skiing, rock-climbing, and kayak racing, delighted me particularly because he was drawn to farming for reasons no non-gardener or non-farmer would ever suspect: for the excitement.

"I was an adventurer,” Mr. Coleman said. Farming is still the greatest adventure of his life, he said.

“This mountain doesn’t have a top, and getting there is the fun,” Mr. Coleman said. “Standing on the top is boring as hell, so this has been some 44 years trying to figure out how to get there.”

Amen.  Growing food?  It never grows old. 


  1. They are awesome, aren’t they? They were also profiled in the Martha Stewart Living March gardening issue–which was fabulous. MSL helped ignite my gardening many years ago and I am really hoping that issue kicks off a renewed emphasis on gardening (something they have let slip over the last several years).

  2. Ditto that “Amen”.
    No matter how long you’ve been doing this, or how many things you’ve grown there is always someone who came at it from a different angle sparking another adventure in growing.

  3. I have read this book cover to cover. It inspired me to build a hoop house this fall. So far I am still on the learning curve with my winter garden.

    But I have hope for next year.

  4. Elliot
    What a great inspiration to others who enjoy adventures in both sports and farming. I hope that we all take a little of your inspiration into our own adventures. Keep up the good work.
    Adventure lover.

  5. Eliot took time out of his day to graciously walk me through the farm twice. He shares his knowledge freely. The most important thing he taught me was not how to work with high tunnels but that we must share what we know so that others might also be successful. Good food matters.

  6. Thank you for sharing this, and thank you Anne Raver for a wonderful article. I’m currently working on a short biography of Ruth Stout–and she was connected to Scott Nearing. In the last book she wrote (published at age 91) she reveals she was in love with him for years (their love was never consummated as he was married). Now I wonder how much of an influence he had on her gardening. I love these fascinating connections.

  7. Ruth Stout was my hero and fun to read. Looking forward to reading this new biography Sandra. Even us old seasoned gardeners are gifted with a fresh start every day and it’s all experimental!

  8. Sandra, Ruth Stout’s “No-Work Gardening” was the first gardening book I ever read. Twenty years later, I think it was the best gardening book I ever read.

  9. To Sally and Michele–when I became a gardener (also 20 years ago!) I, too, fell in love with Ruth Stout’s common sense yet original thinking approach. It has been so much fun revisiting her work and getting to know her better; I love her even more today.

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