Thursday, April 10, 2008

Felder Rushing

Yesterday some friends and I traveled to Tuscaloosa for a seminar called, "Gardening in Dry Times".

But really, we went to see Felder Rushing. That's him posing with his hanging salad garden ("I don't even have to bend over to eat it!").

He's one of the more entertaining people you'll ever hear speak. Whenever his name is mentioned, you'll notice that four or five folks will automatically chime in, "Oh he's such a hoot." And he is, but you learn a lot too.

His traveling truck garden. Seventy miles an hour, and everything is fine.

Not your grandfather's notion of truck farming.

Flamingo #1.

Flamingo #2.

The whole of it. Note the wind chimes on the right. "If you see whiteflies, just drive faster."

My favorite bumper sticker.


Check out his website for more great unusual gardening ideas, photos of previous incarnations of the truck crop, articles, and more.


robin andrea said...

What a great gardener! That's quite a truck garden. I've always wished my thumb was as green as my envy of such lush gardening.

roosterhen said...

Lucky You! I love Felder Rushing! He made me wish for bottle trees and concrete chickens the first time I heard him give a talk.He's my kind of gardener :)

megabeth said...

thanks for the intro to Felder Rushing. What did you learn from the lecture? I was frustrated with the drought last summer.

Jenn said...

What fun!

City Mouse said...

Ah! Awesome! I'd heard of him before, but never thought to look up a website. Thanks for the link. (Awesome trillium too, by the way - I always adore your photos.)

Annie in Austin said...

Nice pictures, Rurality! Felder Rushing was the main draw at Zilker Garden fest in 2007 and gave a great talk. I've only seen the truck in photos but he posed with the flamingo for the camera-carrying crowd.

His Passalong Plants book is one of my favorites. Did you speak to him?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Rurality said...

RA, he's definitely different. He doesn't seem to care much for "rules" or any sort of hoity-toity gardening notions.

Grace, this was the second time I'd heard him, but I missed the concrete chickens somehow. :)

Beth, I should probably do a separate post on that! I'll try to summarize some of my notes and do that.

Jenn, yeah he's all about looking at old things in new ways. There was a concept of "good bad ideas" and "bad good ideas", and then there was the plain old "bad bad idea," which if I remember correctly involved using popcorn for mulch. (Don't do it!)

CM, there are a ton of good pictures all over his site, to give you ideas about new ways of gardening. His speech was actually called "How to grow anything in any Thing".

Annie, I was hoping to get a copy of that book from him, but if he brought any, they must have sold out the night before. (He gave one presentation at night, and then spoke at lunch the next day too - we only attended the 2nd day part though.) But I did get his book "Tough Plants for Southern Gardens". I spoke to him briefly - you know there are always 50 million people trying to talk to him wherever he goes. He's like a gardening celebrity I guess. I always feel funny trying to talk to someone in a situation like that, like I shouldn't be bothering them.

Phillip said...

I'd love to hear him speak. I have most of his books and use them often. A unique guy, that's for sure!

Barbee' said...

Thanks for this post; I knew him as a terrific writer, but I did not know of his comical personality.

threecollie said...

I love that truck..just love it! And the hanging garden thingy too. I am going to do that for sure. I grow lettuce in the house all winter anyhow, but hanging, that would be great. I laughed out loud at the flamingo with pearls. Flamingos and pearls are something of a family joke and I had to call the girls out to see.

garden girl said...

He's quite a colorful character! This is the first time I've heard of him, and now I'd like to know more.

Pamela said...

I saw some hanging gardens recently at a nursery in portland or.

I wonder how usable they really are?

Rurality said...

Phillip, you have to see him! I think my friends are Felder groupies... they go see him whenever he's within a 3-hour driving distance I think. :) I'll try to remember to let you know if I hear he's in your area.

Barbee, a little of it comes across in his writing - for example the Bottle Tree he shows as a plant in one of his books. But to get the full effect, you have to see him in person I guess. :) You do get a pretty good idea of his personality from his website though.

3C, yeah I loved that hanging thing too! Around our house the thing is to call them "flabingos"! ;)

GG, check out his website. You'll get a lot of good ideas.

Pamela, I have the idea that he carries this one around for demontration purposes... but I imagine that you could use it as well. Now that I think about it, it would make a really nice and unusual gift!

lisa said...

Thanks for this post-I'd heard of him but never got to attend a lecture or anything. (Heh, "lecture" seems like the wrong word to use for a guy with such a casual persona.) I'll have to watch for him speaking within reasonable distance for me.

tina said...

I saw him speak here at a Perennial Plant Society and have done a few posts referencing him as he is SO much fun and a good, very good speaker! Do you and him live close to one another? I also liked his companion Dr. Dirt, who I believe has retired.

Rurality said...

Lisa, you would love him! Definitely go if you get a chance.

Tina, no I think he lives in Mississippi. (We're in Alabama.) I have heard about Dr Dirt but don't know much about him.

tina said...