If you’ve never heard of Ruth Stout before, you are in for a treat. Ruth wrote a garden column for a NY newspaper for many years. Her sense of humor is delightful. Here is a list of her helpful, encouraging books: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=ruth+stout
Listening to Ruth tell her story, she must be around 95 years old in this video. She talks about her 16th year. Carrie Nation came to her town in Kansas to speak. Ruth was in the audience and after the talk, Carrie was arrested for using a hatchet to break the window of a pharmacy that was selling alcohol illegally Stout was not; she had to go to Sunday school
Straw works as an in-place compost and mulch to keep the warmth and moisture in the rich soil. I used her trick to mulch the cilantro in my raised bed and – miraculously – it is flourishing happily, even after some nights with freezing temperatures. I thought cilantro would give up the ghost in cold weather, but I guess not.