I heard this term in a permaculture course. I forget where the instructor said he got it from. Nonetheless it stands for sheer and total utter neglect. It is a style/method of gardening.
What are your thoughts on this?
Can you really have a flourishing productive garden with Sheer and Total Utter Neglect?
Yes and No, I’ve seen the method in action. I’ve tasted a few berries from such a yard and they were good. And as you hear about or see this garden you can’t help to get sucked in by the method. I mean, with these “busy” lives we lead these days the less work you have to do the better, right?
As I reflected more on this garden method the name tricks you. Deceives you. The garden is not neglected. It may be neglected by the installer but not the universe. The universe ends up providing the needs of these plants. And if the universe doesn’t…. The plants die because the installer didn’t care enough or pay attention enough to do just a little to keep them alive.
So what does the universe provide:
Water. We all know nothing survives without water. So though you may not water it, someone has to.
Soil/nutrients/food: Same as above. But let’s not discount the innate desire of the plant that wants to live. Thrive. The plant’s roots goes in search of food and water if it is not readily available. It doesn’t just give up if the supplies aren’t right there within reach.
Sun: phototropism. Everyone knows that plants gravitate toward the sun. Some plants not only turn towards the sun but they follow the sun. So they orient themselves to make sure they are getting what they need in order to survive. Sunflowers for instance, in the morning they face east and by the end of the day they are facing west.
In summation, we generally think of plants as passive. They simply grow, albeit slowly. However, there is so much more to it. Plants, like animals, are constantly adjusting to their environment seeking to get what they need in order to survive whether we provide it or not.
Hmm I guess my point is that STUN method works but the garden that thrives is not really neglected. It is supported by a system. You just may not be a major part of that system, even though you benefit from it. Do I plan to implement the STUN method? Yes indeed, on some portions of my yard. I hope I plant things “just right” to help the plants not only survival but to thrive. And, I hope I’m attentive enough to see when the system needs tweaking or my input.
*I didn’t bother to get to the companion planting and pests portion of this method. Maybe next time.