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1st rule of gardening: build up the soil

Every year Jacqueline Kennedy starts her garden by throwing local horse manure under her veggie patch. Her soil is now so rich that one year she had a zucchini plant that produced vegetables without being watered once. And this is in a part of the country (Geyserville, Sonoma County, California) where temperatures in summer reach 110°F.

“The most important thing is to build up the soil. That’s one of the first things they tell you when you start gardening, but it kind of flew over my head.” That was 20 years ago, now she’s a believer, explaining that the deeper the soil, the better the plants grow and the less water you need.

In this video, Kennedy and her 90-year-old aunt (also an organic farmer) show us her organic vegetable garden, including a “Ukrainian farm woman” eggplant and a bathtub filled with cornichon cucumbers growing in leaf mulch.