Dateline: 6 March 2017
(Be sure to click the link and read about Everett)
Block Island is a 9.7-square-mile speck of land situated 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, USA. Everett Littlefield's family line goes back several generations on the island. As I understand it, his ancestors once owned a sizable portion of the place.
I had the pleasure of reading Everett's memoir, Block Island Turkey and Toby Roe?, about growing up on Block Island in the 1940s and 1950s (you can read about it Here, and you can buy a copy Here). The book paints a picture of agrarian life and some remarkably dangerous boyhood adventures. The one that I remember most clearly is the time he got hit in the head with a hatchet, and it stuck.
These days, Everett's island has changed a lot. It's less agrarian and more commercial. It's a place where people with a lot of money go to vacation. Or they buy up the land on the island at high prices and build deluxe homes.
I like to go to the Block Island real estate listings and look at them. Most single family homes on a small lot sell for around a million dollars. But I found This Fixer Upper on 1.1 acres for only $675,000 (I would, of course, have to make sure there is a big enough spot on that hill to land my helicopter).
I think it's safe to say that Everett is an anachronism on the new Block Island. He still raises chickens and turkeys and hogs to feed himself and his family, just like in the old days—and he has a serious garden.
When I revealed my Minibeds-on-Plastic gardening idea to the world a couple months ago, Everett liked the idea. And he is laying out a big Minibeds-on-Plastic garden as you can see in this picture...
Here's another picture, with the minibed frames in place...
The picture is a little blurry because it came small to my e-mail and I enlarged it. But you can see that Everett has made a lot of progress, and he is doing an exceptionally nice job with this new gardening infrastructure project. Here's one of the minibeds...
One of the things Everett has done a little differently from me is to not cut all 4 sides of the plastic inside the minibeds. By leaving one side uncut, he has a flap that can be folded out of the way when growing, or placed down over the bed when he's not growing something in it.
I'm delighted that Everett has a vision for this new Minibeds-on-Plastic gardening idea. It's encouraging to me because I know Everett has been a serious gardener for a lot of years.
Everett knows that the idea is in the experimental stage, but he's still willing to give it a try, on a big scale. I appreciate that. And so it is that there are now TWO Minibeds-on-Plastic experimental gardens in place as we head into the 2017 gardening season.