I have read "The Ruth Stout No-Work Gardening Book" probably dozens of times, and it has a permanent spot on my bedside table. I am always a sucker for anything promising reward without effort, so it is no surprise that this book would be one of my all-time favourites. Except it's not so much the content as her anti-authoritarian and very funny attitude. Ruth Stout was not intimidated by experts, and she seemed to have a reasonable suspicion that most experts were guilty of complicating things unnecessarily. This book is a collection of articles written for Organic Gardening and Farming magazine in the fifties and sixties, so maybe not her best book, but it is the only one I have. Whenever I see old books for sale, I always look for anything by her.
Ruth Stout was the mother of permanent deep-mulch gardening, and she was very adamant that it was the solution for practically everything in the garden. I don't mulch religiously, because sometimes I just find it easier to weed a bit, and I plant stuff so close together that mulching between plants is plain too hard. I don't dig very much, but I do sometimes because it's the easiest way to get out perennial weeds, which sorry to say, do still grow through deep mulches. And I compost, contrary to Ruth's opinion that it's easier to just bury everything under mulch. I don't think it's more work, and I have a winter's worth of chicken manure to deal with every spring. I plant potatoes her way, by just tossing them onto the ground and covering them with lots of straw (though she would use hay, and I can't bear the thought of adding that many weed seeds to the garden). So I'm certainly no faithful disciple of her methods, but I think the main thing I've learned from her is to pay attention to my garden and trust my observations.
A few weeks ago, over at The Duck Herder's blog I saw a documentary called "Ruth Stout's Garden" that is now on YouTube and I fell in love all over again. Not to put too fine a point on it, but when I grow up, I want to be Ruth Stout.
I think you should watch this movie, too.