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HOUSE & garden Fall 2018

A special publication of The Block Island Times

Thriving in Winter!

Preserved by a plaque Photo by K. Curtis

Page 2 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018


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Save up to 40% on Flood Insurance with “A” Rated carriers! Jim Bromage Kathleen Marshall

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018 • THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

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Calendar of Events OCTOBER 6

Last Farmers’ Market of the season. Historical Society lawn. 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.


Arts & Crafts Guild Fair. Historical Society lawn. 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.


Night Sky Viewing. Hodge Preserve, Corn Neck Road. Bring a blanket or beach chair. 6:45 p.m.


2nd Annual Half Marathon. Start/Finish Fred Benson Town Beach Pavilion. 11:30 a.m.


Block Island Conservancy Annual meeting. The Narragansett Inn. 3 p.m.

13 Saturday Soirees. Block Island authors, Block Island stories. Island Free Library. 4 - 6 p.m. 14 Community Pot Luck. Ocean View Pavilion. 12 p.m. 23 Roll Call Dinner. Harbor Church. 5 - 7 p.m. 24 Night Sky Viewing. Hodge Preserve, Corn Neck Road. Bring a blanket or beach chair. 5:30 p.m.


Saturday Soirees. Block Island Authors, Block Island Stories. Island Free Library. 4 - 6 p.m.

23-25 Thanksgiving weekend Shopping Stroll

Photo by K.Curtis

24 5K Turkey Trot. Fred Benson Town Beach Pavilion. 1 p.m.

Our Staff Publisher................................................................................ Michael Schroeder Editor...................................................................................................Kari Curtis

Ocean Avenue, Box 278, Block Island, RI 02807 Phone: (401) 466-2222 Fax: (401) 466-8804 e-mail: webnews:

The Block Island Times was founded in 1970 by Dan Rattiner, publisher, and Margaret Cabell Self, editor. It published only summer editions until 1982, when, under the ownership of Shirley and Peter Wood, the Times became Block Island’s first year-round newspaper. In 1988 the Times began weekly publication and became the Island’s “paper of record.” Sold off-island in 1997, the paper returned home in November 1999, and was reinvigorated under the ownership of Peggy and Bruce Montgomery. In 2006, ownership of the paper transferred to Fraser and Betty Lang. Ten years later, in 2016, The Block Island Times was purchased by current publisher Michael Schroeder. The Block Island Times is a member of the New England Press Association, The National Newspaper Association, The Block Island Chamber of Commerce, and the Westerly Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce. It is printed by The Republican in Springfield, MA.

Production............................................................................................ Chris Izzo Contributors.....................................................Renée Meyer, Shannon McCabe, Cassius Shuman, Amy Lockwood MacDougall, B.I. Historical Society, Scott Comings Photographers ........ K.Curtis, Shannon McCabe, Amy Lockwood MacDougall Advertising.....................................................Shane Howrigan, Tamzen Mazzur

Correction Policy Advertising: This newspaper does not assume any responsibility for an error in an advertisement. Editorial: This newspaper will correct errors in reporting. Opinions expressed in columns or letters to the editor in this paper are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of this newspaper. The opinions expressed by the cartoonist are not necessarily those of the publisher. The Block Island Times is published weekly at the newsstand price of $1. Publisher is CCC Media, LLC., PO Box 278, Ocean Avenue, Block Island, RI 02807. Yearly subscription, $77.

Advertising Design .......................................................................

Periodical postage is paid at Block Island, RI 02807, and additional offices. USPS #003-204.

Cover photo by K. Curtis — Fresh cherry tomatoes off the vine.

POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to The Block Island Times, Box 278, Block Island, RI 02807. The Block Island Times House & Garden insert is published twice yearly in April and October.

Page 4 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018

In This Issue







What’s happening here?

23. Seeds and shelter for backyard birds

By Block Island Historical Society


Tasks to tackle before winter arrives

24. Riverhead Building Supply Corp. acquires Rhode Island-based United Builders Supply


Block Island Organically

By Scott Comings, The Nature Conservancy

Prep your home for it’s arrival while it’s still nice outside.

10. Five air-cleaning houseplants that are almost impossible to kill

By Kari Curtis

12. Scenic Block Island’s Preservation Plaque program

Find out if your building qualifies for a historic plaque

By Kari Curtis

Family-owned lumber and building materials supplier expands from 14 to 18 locations.

26. Advertiser Index

What’s Trending 13. Bartlett Tree Experts

14. Hydrangeas

15. Highland Farm - Get your gardens ready

A guide to propagating Block Island’s favorite landscape plant.

By Shannon McCabe

16. Pat’s Power Equipment - Lawnmowers, generators, tractors and more...

17. Storm Warning: Preparing your property for a storm

By Kari Curtis

19. Riverhead Building Supply showroom 25. Colby Customs

18. Soup season

By Amy MacDougall

20. Season extension: thriving In winter

By Shannon McCabe

21. Storms can threaten island wells

By Cassius Shuman

22. Are you saving money? On your electric bills

By Renée Meyer


What’s happening here? By Block Island Historical Society This is the historic Woonsocket House, home of the Block Island Historical Society and Museam collection since 1945. Recent research on the structural integrity of the building, built in 1871, warranted major renovations to the west gallery section. In addition, the entire building will have an updated climate-controlled system. This project and other improvements

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018 • THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

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will assure that future generations will be able to learn about and enjoy the fascinating history of Block Island. The construction that is being done is by McLaughlin & Buie Housewrights. The Block Island Historical Society welcomes your donations, and you can donate by mail or online. Visit or mail contributions to Historical Society Building Fund, PO Box 79, Block Island, RI 02807.

Photos by Pam Gasner

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Page 6 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018

Tasks to tackle before winter arrives Prep your home for its arrival while it's still nice outside.

Twelve Minutes is the new Hour. Working on Block Island? At just 12 minutes, New England Airlines is your quickest way to and from the island. And as always, workbelts and tools fly free.

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Photo by K. Curtis

By Kari Curtis The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting cooler. Yep, it’s official: Fall is here. Now’s the time to finish up any last-minute maintenance projects and get your home and yard ready for the months to come. Exterior prep 1. Clean out the gutters — No one loves this job, but it needs to be done annually. A few hours of work can prevent big problems later on. While you’re up on that ladder, visually inspect your roof for damaged shingles, flashing or vents. You can also inspect the chimney for any missing mortar and repair it by tuck-pointing, if needed. 2. Turn off outdoor plumbing — Drain outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems, and cover them to protect them from the freezing weather to come. 3. Start composting — If you don’t already have compost bins, now’s the time to make or get some. All those accumulated autumn leaves will bring you gardening gold next summer! 4. Clean outdoor furniture and gardening tools — It may not yet be time to put them away, but go ahead and clean your outdoor furniture and gardening tools so they’re ready for storage over the winter. 5. Plant bulbs for spring-blooming flowers — Plant bulbs in October, as soon as the soil has cooled down, to reap big rewards next spring. If you’ve never planted bulbs before, select a spot in your yard that gets full sun during the day. Interior prep 1. Prepare your furnace for winter duty — Consider getting your furnace professionally serviced in time for the cold season. At the minimum, though, visually inspect your furnace and replace the furnace filter before turning it on for the first time. 2. Clean the fireplace and chimney Clean out the fireplace, inspect the flue, and ensure the doors and shields are sound. Have the chimney professionally

swept if needed. Now’s also the time to stock up on firewood! 3. Keep the warm air inside and the cold air outside — Inspect your windows and doors. Check weather-stripping by opening a door, placing a piece of paper in the entryway and closing the door. The paper should not slide back and forth easily. If it does, the weather stripping isn’t doing its job. Also, now’s the time to recaulk around windows and door casings, if needed. 4. Light the way — Bring as much light into your home as you can for the colder, darker months. To accentuate natural light, clean your windows and blinds, especially in rooms that get a lot of sunlight. Add lighting to darker spaces with new lamps. And consider replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs. 5. Create a mudroom — Even if you don’t have a dedicated mudroom in your home, now’s a good time to think about organizing and stocking an entryway that will serve as a “mudroom” area for cold and wet weather. Put down an indooroutdoor rug to protect the floor. A fun and rewarding weekend project is to build a wooden shoe rack, coat rack or storage bench for your entryway. 6. Home safety check — Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors. A good way to remember to do this is to always replace the batteries when you change the clock for daylight saving time. The BIVFD is a good resource for help with this, if needed. Create a family fire escape plan, or review the one you already have. Put together an emergency preparedness kit so that you are ready for winter power outages. Make sure your storm and flood insurance is up to date on your property, and keep records of valuables in the home with photographs of belongings, furniture and anything of value. Once you finish with your home checklist, you will be ready to enjoy the season.  

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018 • THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

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Page 8 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018

Block Island, organically

Photos by K. Curtis

With the weather getting cool it is time for many people to finish working in their garden, and put the garden to bed for its long winter’s rest. It is also the time to finish working on lawns and trails and the age old fight with weeds and poison ivy. As most people know Block Island has a sole-source aquifer within the earth where all our drinking water comes from. This means whatever we use in the garden, lawns, and trails could end up in the drinking water. For this reason I would like to ask people to consider using organic products in their yards. They work well, are readily available, and are similarly priced. Organic products when used responsibly will not negatively affect the non-target plants and animals that comprise the unique Block Island ecosystem.     A gardener who is making the switch from chemical to organic products, may be afraid that using these materials will be more complicated and less convenient than using premixed chemical products. This is not so! Commercially formulated organic products can be just as convenient and effective as their synthetic counterparts.

What is an organic product? Organically acceptable weed, pest and disease control products differ from their synthetic counterparts in that they are derived from natural substances, are generally less toxic to humans and break down relatively quickly in the environment to harmless substances. Organic fertilizers are made from natural plant and animal materials. These feed both soil microorganisms and earthworms in addition to plants. The following are organic options for: Weed control For a pre-emergent herbicide use corn gluten meal products. These prevent root formation in germinating seedlings when incorporated into the soil. For a “weed killer” there are many vinegar and soap based herbicide formulas available. Brand names include Burn Out and All Down. Even though these are organic they can still be irritating to the skin so remember to handle with care. These products are available through mail order catalogs and on the internet. There are also sites on the internet that contain recipes to mix your own formulas from common household products.

Remember to always mulch and use weed barriers for this will reduce the amount of weeds in your garden and require less product. Fertilizer Convenient “all purpose” organic fertilizer blends for perennial beds are becoming widely available, such as those made by Espoma or North County Organic Blends. More specific organic liquid and granulated fertilizers are available for the specific needs of lawns, houseplants, bulbs, acid loving plants, and more. When using any type of fertilizer it is important to get a soil test periodically to know exactly what your soil and plants need. The University of MassachusettsAmherst has a soil testing lab that will analyze your sample and give organic amendment recommendations. These amendments include bonemeal, manure, compost and many others.   Other needs There are also organic fungicides and insect sprays along with slug and deer repellents. When using any insecticide in an environmentally responsible way it is important to first know/identify your pest and target it specifically instead of spray-




ing broad spectrum products that may harm many beneficial and benign insects.   Remember just because a product is organic doesn’t mean it can’t be harmful to humans and beneficial and benign organisms if incorrectly used. It is very important to follow instructions and application rates. Five other things you can do to help wildlife: In addition to organic gardening there are a few important things that you can do on your property that will not only save you money but help Block Island wildlife and the planet.   Less light is more for wildlife Many species of nocturnal animals are affected by external nighttime lighting. By minimizing your outside lights your property becomes much more hospitable to over 600 species of moths, 200 species of beetles, and 3 species of owls. These species are attracted to light and will not carry out their usual evening activities when too much is present. Two additional bonuses of turning your outsides lights off are a more starry night sky and a decreased electric bill! Also never use a “Bug Zapper” for Continued on next page




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House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018 • THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Continued from previous page it kills many of Block Island’s harmless and beneficial insects. Native, its only natural When landscaping, use native plants as often a possible. These plants are more suited to the Block Island environment, better for wildlife and are less likely to be disturbed by deer. If everyone planted native plants, we could reduce the threat of new invasive plant species appearing on Block Island. If your property currently has invasive species (bittersweet, multiflora rose, black swallow-wort) consider removing them or controlling their spread. Contact The Nature Conservancy for the best method. Water is wonderful for wildlife The ponds and wetlands on Block Island are some of the most pristine in New England. Many island properties have wetlands and they are great places to appreciate plants and observe wildlife. Be sure to leave a vegetative buffer of at least 50 feet around your wetland and that your septic system has been recently inspected to ensure a healthy system. Also never introduce fish to the wetland. We have found in our scientific research of ponds on Block Island, that ponds with only native fish, and ponds without fish are the most unique in terms of the animals found there. Meadows This type of habitat is declining on Block Island and in New England. Many of Block Island’s endangered species are dependent on meadow habitat. A healthy meadow habitat is achieved by mowing once a year in March. This allows the habitat to be used optimally by wildlife in each season. If you have a big lawn and are getting tired of mowing it, think about letting some of it revert to meadow.  If your meadow has a lot of invasive species you may want to consider changing the time and frequency of mowing (The Nature Conservancy can provide mowing schedule advice). This type of habitat is very important in the southwestern part of Block Island. If converting shrubland into meadow consider leaving nice stands of native shrubs (shadbush and black cherry) since they are showy when in bloom and provide food and shelter.    Shrubland Recently it seems that this habitat type has been getting a bad rap. It is important to remember that this is a vital habitat type for many of the species on Block Island, including migratory birds, breeding birds, wintering birds, and butterflies to name a few. In a recent internal habitat planning exercise at The Nature Conservancy, we found that Block Island coastal shrubland

is one of the best examples of this habitat type in New England. Shrubland is the easiest to maintain, just leave it alone. If a few shrubs are getting in your view, just top them and leave the rest for wildlife. Shrubland is especially important on the north end of the island where migratory

songbirds orient before they continue their trip south. If you have mature shrubland (especially on the north end) please think long and hard before cutting it down. It takes decades to grow. If you have any questions, or want help managing your property for wildlife,

please call us at The Nature Conservancy (401) 466-2129. There are many options on Block Island to enhance your property for wildlife. By following suggestions above, you will not only help the numerous creatures of the island, but also ensure they will continue to survive here.




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Page 10 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018

Spider Plant

Garden Mum

Five air-cleaning houseplants that are almost impossible to kill By Kari Curtis What might your office or house have in common with a NASA spaceship? Unfortunately the answer may be poor air quality. Indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health: stagnant indoor environments allow pollutants to build up and stick around in greater amounts than we humans should be breathing in. Living and working in places rife with air contaminants and lacking decent ventilation can cause "sick building syndrome," which can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and eye, ear, and nose irritation. Lucky for us, NASA scientists have been working to understand this problem and

Snake Plant

find solutions. Their space-age solution was an easy one that anyone can use: use houseplants to clean the air. Given that people spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors, air quality matters. Furnishings, upholstery, synthetic building materials, or cleaning products in homes and offices can emit a variety of toxic compounds, like formaldehyde. The good news is that there’s an easy and affordable way to combat the presence of the yucky stuff we may be breathing in that is caused by pollen, bacteria, and molds, and it comes right from the natural world. Plants purify air. Adding potted plants to a room has been shown to reduce the amount of air particulates (although plants in bloom may be contributing their own compounds to the air).

Boston Fern

Although houseplants may be intimidating to those without a “green thumb” or fear of commitment, it turns out that many plants are easy to care for—so easy, in fact, you'd have to try pretty hard to kill them. Each kind of plant has its own favorite environmental conditions, so look for a tag that comes with the plant or online to find out how much sunlight and water it will need. If your plant doesn’t come in a pretty pot, or if it outgrew its previous one, you can easily repot it. Just find a pot that’s at least one inch larger than the previous container, add potting soil to the bottom, and place the plant so that the top of the soil remains at the same level as before. Finally, carefully pack potting soil around the edges of the plant and water it. Voilà! Here is a list of five virtually indestruc-

tible plants inspired by NASA’s research: 1. Garden Mum — this plant was an airpurifying champion, removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from indoor air. Popular and inexpensive at garden stores, they can be planted outside after they're finished blooming. 2. Spider Plant — Spider plants are among the easiest houseplants to grow, making them a great choice for beginners or forgetful owners. A fan of bright, indirect sunlight, spider plants will send out shoots with flowers that eventually grow into baby spider plants or spiderettes. 3. Boston Fern — These plants prefer to clean the air from a cool location with high humidity and indirect light. They're Continued on next page

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House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018 • THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Continued from previous page relatively easy to grow, but they do need to stay moist. Check the Boston fern’s soil daily to see if it needs water, and give it a good soak once per month. 4. Snake Plant — This is one of the hardest houseplants to kill. Although it does need to be watered occasionally, it generally prefers drier conditions and some

sun. 5. Aloe Vera — In addition to being easy to care for, aloe makes some serious health claims. The plant's leaves contain a clear liquid full of vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and other compounds that have wound-healing, antibacterial, and antiinflammatory properties, and there is some evidence that aloe may help (and is unlikely to hurt) skin conditions like psoriasis.

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Page 12 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018

Scenic Block Island’s Preservation Plaque Program Find out if your building qualifies for a historic plaque

This is what the preservation plaques look like. Photo courtesy of Scenic Block Island.

By Kari Curtis Block Island’s undeniable charm lies within its historic homes, hotels, outbuildings, and lighthouses. These buildings are what make this island so uniquely special. Scenic Block Island is launching the Preservation Plaque Program. The aim is to highlight historic structures within the community and therefore increase public awareness by placing historic plaques on them. The Preservation Plaque Program is a two-fold project, first is to identify our

historic structures and create awareness and the second is to supply owners with up to date information on how to best take care of their historic buildings. All purchasers of preservation plaques are now eligible to receive ongoing online information that would be useful in preserving their homes and buildings. If your home or building is listed in one of two of the resources and you would like a plaque for your historic home or building, please visit SBI’s website at for links to the following:

1. Historic and Architectural Resources of Block Island, Rhode Island can be found in the Island Free Library and online. 2. Historic House Survey can be found online only. If you believe your home/business should be designated historic and your home/building is not listed in the above two locations, please contact SBI. Your home or building must meet two criteria; 1. Your home or building survived the Hurricane of 1938. 2. Your home or building must be over 50

percent origina. All potential buildings to be given a plaque will be researched with the help of island historian Bob Downie. The sign painter, Bob Leonard, is very knowledgeable about period handwriting, and each plaque will be hand-drawn with the popular lettering for the time period. The oval plaque measures 16 inches by 11½ inches, and the cost for a historic plaque is $125. For more information on the Plaque Preservation Program, please visit

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House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018 • THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

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Bartlett Tree Experts


Tree and shrub care: Management of tick populations can be a formidable task, but reducing exposure to ticks is critical in avoiding Lyme disease and other tickborne infections. Treatments targeting tick habitat, including wooded areas around the home and the borders along woodland edges, ornamental plantings, and stone walls can suppress tick populations. It is important to know the best time to treat for ticks in the area in which you live. Call Bartlett Tree Experts at (860) 572-6070 or visit for more information.


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Page 14 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018


A guide to propagating Block Island’s favorite landscape plant

By Shannon McCabe The hydrangea is perhaps Block Island’s most iconic and prolific flowering shrub. Clouds of cool blue, pearly white and pastel pink can be found hugging the sides of almost every quaint cottage and Victorian inn. Splashes of watercolor tones play beautifully in the landscape and the blooms are a top choice for design work. As a flower farmer, it is wise to invest in a few low maintenance, highly productive perennials and this past season I decided to invest in hydrangeas. Instead of paying top dollar for potted hydrangeas, I opted instead to use an age old technique from my URI plant propagation class. Willow water propagation is an ancient technique used to encourage a plant cutting to form roots. Plants in the genus Salix (Willow) are rich in a natural rooting hormone called indole acetic acid; steeping willow into a tea makes a quick and inexpensive rooting hormone, which expedites the rooting process. There are also commercial grade rooting hormones available for purchase. Store bought rooting hormone is much stronger (be sure to wear gloves when handling) and more expensive. I decided to compare the efficacy of homemade and store bought rooting hormones in a side by side experiment. I found that the cuttings treated with hormones produced roots faster, but the willow water was just as effective in coaxing the cuttings to root, only slower. You can try this homemade rooting hormone on other plants as well. Be aware that not all plants will take to rooting as easily as hydrangea. A simple guide to propagating Hydrangea 1. Choose your variety — From the ever-blooming endless summer hydrangea, to the extra elegant and easy to grow oakleaf hydrangea, there are several species and hundreds of variations from which to choose. Don’t be bashful to hassle a neighbor or friend with a desirable variety, as taking a few cuttings for rooting won’t hurt the plant. 2. Time your cutting. — Take cuttings in spring, when





the plants metabolism and vegetative growth is most vigorous. Take cuttings in early morning or evening, this helps to keep the cuttings well hydrated for better rooting. Cutting — Be sure to use clean, sharp pruners and to first sanitize them with some alcohol. Cut the tender tips of the plant, at least 3-5 inches in length. Make the cut 2 inches below a leaf node to allow some stem length to sit in standing water. Remove any low leaves on the cutting that may sit in water/soil as they will lead to rot. Leaves steal energy from the rooting process, and more leaf surface means the cutting will be thirstier and will dry out faster, therefore you should remove all leaves except two. Apply rooting hormone — Store bought rooting hormone, which comes in powder form, is easy and effective. Simply dip the cut stem into powder and shake off excess. If using a homemade willow rooting “tea”, let cuttings sit in a shallow jar of cooled “tea” for several hours. (See “tea” recipe at right.) Rooting your cuttings — Once the hormone has been applied, you can choose to root your cuttings in water or soil. I chose to root my cuttings in jars of water on my windowsill. Alternatively, you can immediately pot the cuttings up into small (ideally four inch) pots. Be aware that if you pot your cuttings up into soil, you will have to monitor soil moisture closely, as they dry quickly! The cuttings need to be wet at all times. Planting — Cuttings will start to root in a few weeks and should be potted up into 1 gallon pots by summer's end. You can plant in fall or keep plants overwinter in pots (garage or basement works well) and plant the following spring.

Willow water rooting “tea” A homemade rooting hormone recipe for plants

Chop young stems of any willow variety and place in a jar. Steep in boiling water and let sit overnight. The next day, strain twigs and use to propagate. Make a new batch every time, its most effective when fresh!

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018 • THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES



Page 15

Highland Farm

Exceptional Items The finest art, furniture and china to ADD to your special home. Call for details and appointments


What is more fun than decorating for fall? At Highland Farm, there is everything you need for decorating this fall season. There is a large selection of classic and specialty pumpkins, gourds of all shapes, sizes and colors, corn stalks and hay bales and decorative ears of corn. Be sure to check out the gorgeous mums and other fall annuals - like ornamental peppers, grasses, cabbages and pansies. Visit Highland Farm for a great variety of fall-flowering perennials such as Montauk daisies, asters, chelones (turtle heads), autumn clematis, sedums and black eyed susans. If you stop in, check out the homemade pies and pastries as well. Delivery is always free to the BI Ferry. Call (401)-792-8188

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Page 16 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018

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  Family-owned and operated, and conveniently located in Charlestown, R.I., Pat’s Power Equipment can provide you with the latest and best in outdoor power products to make your outdoor living more enjoyable. Combine this wide array of selections with the friendly and knowledgeable staff, and this place will become your only stop for all of your outdoor power needs. Pat’s Power Equipment offers delivery to the ferry and can send over parts by boat or plane if equipment needs repair. They do a lot of business on the island, both with home owners as individuals, and with landscapers and businesses. Visit or call (401)3646114.

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018 • THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Page 17

Storm warning: preparing your property for a storm By Kari Curtis In recent years, storms have become more intense and frequent, resulting in extended power outages, which is disruptive to daily life. Although the folks at the Block Island Power Company work hard to restore power as quickly as possible, sometimes losing power for a few days in inevitable. Blizzards, heavy snow, ice storms and strong winds can all conspire to cut off the power supply to your home, leaving your family in the dark and in the cold. It is impossible to predict when an extended power outage will impact this community, however, there are things you can do today to keep your home and family safe and comfortable. Now is the time to prepare before the first major storms settle in. Water pipes can freeze. Houses can quickly fill up with dangerous levels of carbon monoxide from alternative heating and cooking sources. Also, food can spoil quickly in the refrigerator. It's smart to plan ahead for a power outage so you can get through the days safely and comfortably. Here are some tips to help island homeowners prepare for hurricanes and winter storms: Review your insurance policy Better understand the coverages you have purchased by thoroughly reading through your policy. If you have any questions or concerns, speak to your agent. According to Butler & Messier Insurance, Inc., your homeowners insurance does not cover flooding — including damage from a storm surge — so be sure to look into that coverage for this area. However, your homeowners policy does cover damage from windstorms and hurricanes to your residence and attached structures, such as a garage or deck, and “other structures” that are unattached, such as a separate garage building or shed and swimming pools. The policy extends coverage for damage to contents within your home. The folks at Cormack Routhier Agency in Cranston, RI remind us that coastal property insurance has unique differences from inland properties which include but are not limited to greater exposure to flood and wind damage as well as sea-level rise. Flood and wind coverage, are often essential components to coastal property policies — whether it be commercial or personal property. You can also bundle your insurance coverage to cover your home, boat and car — the experts at Durfee-Buffington Insurance Agency in Fall River, MA will take the time to go over everything with you and explain all of their unique insurance policies, in detail.

Take inventory of household items

Speed up your claims processing after

Corn Neck Road after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Photo by K. Curtis

a storm by documenting the contents of your home. Document your inventory by creating a list of your belongings and their estimated value. Creating an inventory can be as simple as writing it down with a pen and paper, or by taking pictures and videos with your smartphone. Be sure to keep more than one copy of your inventory, and place it in a secure location. Gates Insurance Agency in Wakefield, RI reminds us that the right home insurance policy can provide you peace of mind as well as the money you need to repair or replace your home or belongings. Have an emergency plan ready before the emergency arises Every family should have an emergency plan. This will help keep chaos and pandemonium to a minimum. Discuss the types of hazards that could effect your family. Discuss your home’s vulnerability to wind, flooding, and storm surge. Dan Lathrop of Lathrop Insurance in Westerly, RI suggests we review the threats and risks — never fun things to discuss, but it is important to discuss and review what could go wrong. About one third of Americans never discuss or review these possibilities, and that can make them tougher to deal with if they happen. Talk about escape routes from your home and make a predetermined meeting place that is a safe distance from the home and potential danger. Be sure to stock up on non-perishable items and emergency supplies like water, flashlights, batteries, and radio etc. You should have a disaster survival kit with enough food and water for each household member for three to seven days. Listen carefully to local emergency officials and abide by their orders. If you are given orders to evacuate because of threatening weather conditions, do so accordingly. Be sure to tell a friend or neighbor your evacuation destination and your contact information. Also, shut off

your electricity and water and lock up your home before leaving. Invest in a generator A ready power source could help your family get through longer outages in safety and comfort, in spite of the cold temperatures outside. During a winter storm, especially a bitter cold one with strong winds, the temperature inside your home can drop quickly. There are two backup power options for the home: a portable generator or an automatic standby generator. A portable generator can be moved from place-to-place and is designed to power a handful of items in your home via extension cords. It must be manually operated and placed outdoors away from the home to avoid the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning. A standby generator turns on automatically when the power shuts off and is permanently installed outside the home similar to a central air

conditioning unit. It runs on natural gas or propane and hooks up to existing fuel lines in your home. A standby generator will keep all your appliances running, as well as everything else you take for granted: lights, television, computers, water heater, furnace and more. Plan for being cut off When the power goes out, it can be hard to anticipate all the implications. Stores may reopen, but they may not be able to process your debit or credit card right away. So keep enough cash to see you through a few days. Think of any medications your family would need and set aside a week's supply. Finally, transfer essential information you have stored in your mobile phone to paper, such as phone numbers and addresses. Despite all the forecasting technology we have today, storms can pop up with little warning, so be prepared.

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Page 18 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018

Soup season By Amy Lockwood MacDougall Fall is such a great time for soup and I am excited to be making hot soups again after a long summer of gazpacho. Paired with a light salad or hearty piece of toasted bread, fall soups can be a meal in themselves on a nice cool afternoon or evening.  Luckily our local farmers at the Farmers’ Market have provided me with fresh vegetables all season to make my soups for the market, and the fall soups below are no exception. The butternut ginger soup below features fresh butternut squash grown in Katherine Helterline’s garden at Green Gully Farm, and the potatoes in the classic Potato Leek soup are from Amy Keeler’s garden at Succotash Farm.  Root vegetables and fall squash can be the basis of so many chowders and stews this season, so keep an eye out in case anyone has some extra they want to sell or put outside on many of the roadside stands that dot the island.  You can play around with these recipes too — add some fresh apple to the squash soup or sprinkle some thyme or fried sage as a garnish on the potato soup.  I left the skins on Amy’s beautiful potatoes because there are so many nutrients and fiber in the peel, but you can peel the potatoes for a whiter looking soup.  Use an immersion blender to make the soup rustic, or a blender for a finer puree.  Make the soup your own and your recipients will feel the love that goes into it — enjoy!

Potato Leek Soup 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 4 large leeks, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped (about 5 cups) 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into 1/2-inch pieces 7 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

2 bay leaves 3 sprigs fresh thyme 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 cup heavy cream Chives, finely chopped, for serving

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until soft and wilted, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary so as not to brown. Add the potatoes, stock, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper to pot and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft. Fish out the thyme sprig and bay leaves, then purée the soup with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth. (Alternatively, use a standard blender to purée the soup in batches.) Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If soup is too thin, simmer until thickened. If it’s too thick, add water or stock to thin it out. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

Butternut Squash Ginger Soup 2 butternut squash (about 4 3/4 pounds total), halved lengthwise, seeded 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 cups thinly sliced onion 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 1/2 cinnamon stick 5 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth Chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil baking sheet. Place squash, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake until squash is very soft, about 50 minutes. Using paring knife, remove peel from squash; discard peel. Cut squash into 2-inch pieces. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Mix in onion, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon. Cover pot and cook until onion is tender, about 15 minutes. Add squash and 5 cups chicken broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Discard cinnamon. Working in batches, purée soup in blender. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.) Return soup to pot. Season soup with salt and pepper. Bring to simmer, thinning soup with more broth if necessary. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018 • THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES


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Page 20 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018

Season extension: thriving in winter

By Shannon McCabe

This extra bit of sunlight, fresh air and connection to Some people see winter the earth is an unbelievably time gardening as a gambler's uplifting gift you can give to game. yourself during an otherwise I prefer to look at it as an dreary season. I invite you to opportunity to experiment and approach your winter gardenlearn how to work with the ing adventure as a chance to weather — not against it. see what pleasant surprises My first foray into winter and valuable lessons you can gardening was typical of a take away, rather than a risky coastal New England farmroll of the dice.  ing experience, blustery and Gardening Options bitter; one of the coldest seaSeason extension methsons on record! The farm I ods range from simple straw was working at was situated mulch and row covers to right on a salt pond, and the cold frames and greenhouses. cutting wind chapped your Choosing the best structure face and desiccated even or method depends on your the most vigorous plants. location, climate, and needs. Battling the winter to seek For a low maintenance and out greens, carrots, and beets affordable beginner's projfelt, at times, like an insurect, consider low tunnels. An mountable feat. However, ingenious concept introduced Cold frames are constructed out of re-purposed double pane windows and lumber. They are ideal for small garthose greens and roots were by Eliot Coleman, a Mainedens, you can also use cold frames to get an early jump on starting seedlings. Courtesy photo. by far the most satisfying based year-round gardenand intensely sweet veging expert, the low tunnel gies I have ever grown or eaten.  Fresh vegetables are the cornerstone of Aside from the nutritional rewards, you is essentially a mini greenhouse. Place Aside from the pride and satisfaction of a healthy diet. For those of us in cooler will reap the emotional benefits of waking wire or PVC hoops about every three to nurturing crops through an inhospitable winter climates, good-quality, fresh proup a bit earlier and getting a burst of fresh four feet along a three-foot wide bed and winter, consider the other major benefits. duce can be scarce in the off-season. air while tending to your winter garden. cover with a floating row cover and a strip of greenhouse plastic. This temporary "greenhouse" will provide a temperature buffer as well as protection from cold drying winds. One of the best features of this simple design is that, while one side of the plastic remains buried and in place until spring, the other side of the bed is held down by bags of gravel, dirt or sand. The bags can be removed and this curtain of protection can be pulled back for easy harvesting access or to ventilate on unseasonably warm winter days. This design is ideal to push a late crop of cold hardy vegetables, such as kale, collards, lettuce, hardy winter annual greens, beets, carrots and winter radishes. Low tunnels are also ideal for fall sowing early spring crops.  Have you ever noticed that some of the "volunteer" seedlings (those that self seeded in the previous year) tend to grow better than the same plants that you lovingly seeded in the ground at the recommended planting day? Planting in fall for a spring harvest, will allow for the seeds to germinate at the earliest possible time to ensure a super early crop. 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House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018 • THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Continued from previous page Unheated hoop houses and heated greenhouses can be a significant up-front investment, however growing a large volume of produce to sustain you and your family for the winter will likely make up for the initial cost of the structure. Many people consider the greenhouse an oasis... an escape from the winter drudgery. It feels like cheating the weather! Unheated hoop houses are ideal for larger families or small market farmers. They have a low operating cost and can even be built on tracks to move the structure short distances. Given that unheated hoop houses are very similar to unheated low tunnels, the same crops can be grown in both; cold hardy greens and root crops, as well as peas. Heated greenhouses can range from a small extension or enclosed porch on the back of your home to a freestanding glass or plastic structure. With the addition of heat, the sky is the limit for greenhouse growing, except for those crops that are day-length sensitive and will not fruit without the summer daylight hours or additional lighting. Some of the more interesting crops that thrive in greenhouses are ginger root, papaya and figs. Cold weather crops While it can be thrilling to picture yourself harvesting tomatoes out of a greenhouse in wintertime, a good rule of thumb is to try to find crops that like the cold, rather than trying to fight the weather. Certain crops will tolerate cold temperatures and a few will really thrive in cold weather. Greens such as lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, and Asian greens will all tolerate cool temperatures. The cold-loving greens that cannot be beat for winter production are swiss chard, claytonia, collard greens and mache. These greens only improve with cool weather, often-

times with no more protection than a layer of straw mulch or a floating row cover, depending on what your climate is like.  Some root crops taste best after being exposed to cool temperatures. This is true for carrots and beets. Sow them in late September up until mid-November to harvest carrots in late fall and in early spring. Winter radishes are spicy and flavorful. They grow well in cold weather and they have a great storage quality. Peas love cool weather. Thomas Jefferson, who was a devoted gardener, was said to have participated in an annual competition with his neighbors to see who could grow and harvest the first peas of the season.  Perhaps the best part about winter gardening is that you've got nothing to lose! You will no doubt learn through this method of trial and error, and the rewards are too tempting to pass up. Winter gardening has become a fast growing trend in the United States with the demand for local foods skyrocketing and Americans seriously considering food security as a critical element of homeland security. Consider this winter gardening learning experience as taking your part in becoming a more sustainable society.   How many other measures of improving homeland security can be as simple as planting a seed?  Shannon McCabe is a life-long Block Island resident, after graduating from the Block Island school in 2008 she went on to study Environmental Horticulture at the University of Rhode Island. Upon graduation in 2012 she worked as a market farmer in Wakefield, Rhode Island, as well as here on the island growing veggies on her good friend Cathy Payne's farm. She was a co-garden manager at the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed company headquartered in Missouri, as well as a garden writer for their catalog. She also writes for Baker Creek's gardening magazine, Heirloom Gardener.



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Storms can threaten island wells

By Cassius Shuman It’s that time of year again when hurricanes and storms become a concern. With Hurricane Florence still in the news, scientists are issuing warnings about the impact of storm surge and sea level rise on shorelines. If contaminants from storm surge and flooding pollute coastal water wells and aquifers, the result can lead to serious health risks and infrastructure issues. One danger common to coastal water wells is the contamination, or salting of wells, caused by saltwater seeping into groundwater. Drinking heavily salinized water can lead to health problems, including high blood pressure, and cardiovascular and intestinal diseases. New Shoreham Water Company Superintendent John Breunig told The Block Island Times that storm surge is a concern for the town’s low-lying connections and private wells. “We generally shut off the water in the dock and marina area at Old Harbor where a connection is susceptible to breaking. We work with the property owner, and give them 24-hour notice before we shut it off. We’re also worried about the docks breaking.” Breunig said that if a break occurs at the Old Harbor dock area when the water is not shut off it can create a major problem for the Water Company. “We shut the water off as a precaution,” he said, “due to concerns with the lowlying areas. It depends on the storm, but in general we’ll shut it off.”  Breunig noted that Water Street is above where storm surge could harm the municipal water system, and that, “The Water Company’s wells are 120 feet above sea level. We don’t generally worry about our infrastructure, which is underground. We do reverse osmosis,

so we’re desalinating water to begin with. So it’s not much of a concern” for the company’s infrastructure. “We’re well prepared,” said Breunig, who calls himself a “weather nerd,” and almost pursued a degree in climatology. He said his favorite weather source is: “We prepared for this hurricane days ago. I have trouble taking my eye off of large storms.” As for private wells, Breunig said there is not much a property owner can do to protect a well. “There are a handful of wells that I know about that could be inundated because they’re low-lying wells. The wells are where the wells are. If you have a low-lying well on your property, then it could be a problem after storm surge.” Breunig said when Hurricane Sandy hit the island in 2012 there weren’t any stories of water supply impact. Breunig also said the Water Company is required to contact the Rhode Island Department of Health with a report within 48 hours after a storm hits. Joseph Wendelken, Public Information Officer at the Rhode Island Department of Health, said, “There is some general guidance that people can be aware of when it comes to wells and storms.” He said people should stay away from the well pump if its flooded to avoid electric shock; avoid drinking or washing from the flooded well; get assistance from a well or pump contractor to clean and disinfect your well before turning on the pump after the storm; and after the pump is turned back on, pump the well until the water runs clear to rid the well of flood water.  Wendelken said, “People can always call us at (401) 222-5960 with specific questions. The EPA also has some helpful guidance online at https://bit. ly/2x6AmQQ.”

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Page 22 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018

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Are you saving money? on your electric bills

By Renée Meyer When the Block Island Power Company connected to the National Grid sea2shore transmission cable and turned off its diesel generators on May 1, 2017, it was the end of an era. Instead of electric rates that fluctuated monthly due to the cost of diesel, a new, steady standard offer rate began to be used to calculate each ratepayer’s charge for electricity used. Throughout the development of the Block Island Wind Farm, the cost of diesel was quite high. The last highest price was in June 2008 at $4.677 per gallon. The price fell off and then stabilized somewhat at around $4 per gallon from late 2011 to April 2014. Then it began falling, and hit a low of $1.998 per gallon in February 2016. This low price caused many to question whether the wind farm would actually result in cost savings to consumers — especially as the BIPCo combined standard offer rate and transmission charge rose from $0.1244 per kwh in May 2017 to $0.1488 in December 2017, and once again to $0.1624 in May 2018. These price increases arose largely from increased costs for the cable and National Grid’s substation on Block Island, and then again from capacity charges for participation in the regional power grid. There are those who thought no money would be saved, or at least not nearly as much as they believe had been “promised.” Of course, how would one know without doing the math? So The Block Island Times did the math to see how much money we did save by switching from diesel.  Here’s how it was done: Since we don’t know what the fuel cost adjustment would have been each month since connecting to the cable, we checked the monthly diesel prices as listed on the U.S.

Energy Administration’s website for each month since May 2017. Then we found a comparable diesel price for an earlier date and found the Fuel Cost Adjustment calculated by BIPCo for that particular month. For instance, in May 2017, the cost of diesel was $2.56 per gallon. The closest historical price we could find was in February 2017, when diesel was $2.568 and the Fuel Cost Adjustment was $0.1729 per kwh. For some months, we had to go back all the way to 2005 to find a comparable price. When no exact match in price could be found, a slightly higher price was used in order to be “conservative.” Once we had an approximate Fuel Cost Adjustment rate for each month, the cost for 500 kwh of power was calculated and compared to 500 kwh at the month’s Standard Offer Rate. What we found was that from the period of May 2017 through April 2018, a ratepayer using 500 kwh per month would have paid $1226.25 for diesel, but actually paid $807.40 under the Standard Offer Rate, a savings of 34 percent.  Of course, this wasn’t an exercise in exact science. There is no fixed correlation between the cost of diesel and the Fuel Adjustment Charge as additional costs for urea and freight are folded into the equation. Additionally, BIPCo’s diesel used was most likely purchased in the previous month(s) when the price could have been lower or higher. Post-May 2018, the news gets even better. In April the cost of diesel was $3.096 per gallon and has since risen. In July the price was $3.233 per gallon.  In December 2010, diesel was a smidgeon higher at $3.243 per gallon, and the Fuel Cost Adjustment was $0.2684 per kwh. Using that price in comparison with the Standard Offer Rate of $0.1624, consumers saved 39.5 percent. Ka-ching. 

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House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018 • THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Page 23

Seeds and shelter for backyard birds By Kari Curtis As one of the most important migratory habitats on the East Coast, Block Island is host to a variety of migratory bird species passing through every spring and fall. The island's variety of landscapes and vegetation provide the ideal habitat for resident and migratory birds. Like all animals, birds have three basic requirements for living: food, water, and shelter. You can make your yard more birdfriendly by making sure you have these three elements. Think Variety A diversity of plants will offer a diversity of food in the form of flower buds, fruit, seeds, nectar, sap, and associated insects. Plants also provide nest sites, nest material, and protected hiding places. The larger the variety of plants you grow, the more kinds of birds your yard will attract. You can also use plants to build up structural diversity. Many birds prefer habitat that has a mix of vegetation at varying heights, like trees, shrubs, and ground cover. To create ideal habitat, place lowgrowing vegetation next to a thicket of shrubs and taller trees. To keep the birds coming back for more year-round, select a variety of plants that will produce foods in different seasons. For winter residents and migrants that return early in spring, plants that hold their fruits

throughout the winter (“winter-persistent” plants) are a vital food source. Seeds are a great way to get birds into your yard—but they’re not the only food group out there. Birds have varied diets and some of the following foods will help you attract an even greater selection of birds. Suet Suet is technically defined as the hard fat around the kidneys and loins in beef and mutton, but in common usage, most kinds of beef fat are also called suet and can safely be fed to birds. Suet is particularly attractive to woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, jays, and starlings. Wrens, creepers, kinglets, and even cardinals and some warblers occasionally visit suet feeders. Animal fat is easily digested and metabolized by many birds; it’s a highenergy food, especially valuable in cold weather. Suet cakes are blocks made from suet or a thick substitute mixed with other ingredients, such as corn meal, peanuts, fruits, or even dried insects. Because corn and peanuts can provide a growth medium for dangerous bacteria, it’s important for you to make your own suet cakes or to buy them from reputable dealers. It may be prudent to keep suet cakes made with corn, cornmeal, or peanuts refrigerated until using.

Fruit Fresh berries; chunks of fresh apples, melons, or grapes; or frozen berries, are excellent choices. Raisins or currants that have been softened by soaking in water may also be good. Orange halves are particularly attractive during spring migration, especially to orioles. Give them shelter A dense thicket provides places where birds can nest, perch, and escape from predators. Plant shrubs, a hedge, or vines to trail up fence lines to create an area of thick, wild growth that imitates the natural environment. Dead wood’s good: Leave dead limbs and trees in place if it’s safe to do so. Insects that live in decaying wood are an important food source for woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches. Cavity-nesting birds such as bluebirds and many woodpeckers need old, hollow trees to nest in. To make a dead tree prettier, consider planting native vines to disguise its trunk. Build a brush pile: Recycle dead branches to start a brush pile for your grounddwelling birds, such as sparrows and

towhees. It gives them hiding places and some protection from rain, snow, and wind. Start with thicker branches and put thinner ones over the top. Add your old Christmas tree if you have one. Leave a mess: If you don’t tidy up your yard and flowerbeds in fall, birds will love you for it. If you grow annuals, especially daisy relatives such as purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, and sunflowers, leave the dead seed heads on them when they fade—goldfinches, redpolls, and other seedeaters will feast on the seeds. Instead of bagging up fallen leaves for disposal, rake them under your shrubs to act as mulch. They’ll harbor insects that grounddwelling birds will find, too. And, come spring, those dead leaves, grasses, and plant stems will be a treasure for birds searching for nest material in your yard. Bird box: Placing a few bird boxes in your yard can also provide shelter for the birds that visit your yard. Some may nest there while others may use it to get out of inclement weather or simply to perch on. Bird boxes do not need to be fancy or brand new. You can make them at home or you can purchase them online or pick them up at any home garden center. Birds need fresh water — a birdbath is a great way to offer water to our feathered friends.

Photos by K. Curtis

Page 24 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018

Riverhead Building Supply Corp. acquires Rhode Island-based United Builders Supply

Family-owned lumber and building materials supplier expands from 14 to 18 locations Riverhead Building Supply, a 14-unit family-owned lumber and building materials dealer with locations in New York and Rhode Island announces they will acquire the assets of United Builders Supply, a four-unit full-service LBM dealer with a solid reputation and a respected position in their market. This acquisition expands the geographic footprint of Riverhead Building Supply and will enable them to better serve the high-end, qualityoriented customers in and around the Westerly, R.I., Richmond, R.I., Niantic C.T., and Waterford, C.T. areas where United Builders has enjoyed a strong presence for years. Michael Slosberg, president of UBS, explains this will be good for customers and employees, “Riverhead has built a reputation on quality and service. They recognize the importance of putting good people in front of a customer. That’s been central to the success of UBS since the business was started by my father 77 years ago.” John Callahan, the president of Riverhead Building Supply agrees, “UBS is a strong, diversified company. They are respected in the industry and strive to maintain good relationships with their customers. We are excited to be entering into the hardscape arena with this acquisition and recognize

Riverhead Building Supply North Kingstown store. the expertise UBS brings to the table.” Upon completion of the transition, Mr. Slosberg intends to retire from his 50-plus year career in the lumber and building materials industry. The deal is expected to close in the next 60 days.

Riverhead Building Supply is a familyowned and -operated independent retail lumber and building materials dealer. The company operates 14 stores and 8 showrooms between Long Island (NY) and New England, and is the exclusive manufac-

We’re Bartlett Tree Experts, a 100+ year old tree and shrub care company with global reach and local roots. With science-based solutions and expert service we protect your property from ticks. FOR THE LIFE OF YOUR TREES.

Call 401.466.2818 or visit BARTLETT.COM

turer of Heritage Wide Plank Flooring & Millwork. In business for over 70 years, the company continues to expand to provide the best quality products, services and craftsmanship to residential construction professionals.

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018 • THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Colby Customs



We provide professional design solutions, installations and materials you need for every room in your house.

CALL FOR FREE ESTIMATES Celebrating 66 years of installation and sales experience serving our customers now and into the future with the latest products and innovations in the industry!






Page 25


Does your home need a new look, but buying new furniture isn’t in the budget? Could your seasonal rental use a make-over without breaking the bank? Colby Customs can help. Specializing in home staging and design, Colby Customs will help you de-clutter, organize and even re-purpose and re-use items that are already in your home. Start thinking about your spring goals now, the winter is the perfect time to let Colby Customs get to work in your space. Call Colby at (401) 280 0302 or email

A. TRANSUE CORPORATION Providing commercial and residential site development, roads, septic systems and underground utilities to island residents and contractors since 1971. R.I. Contractor #1115 Bonded and insured

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Sign up at Call or Email Today! • Site Development,- excavation, grading, underground utilities, roads, house demolition, stone wall building, lawns • Roads - built and maintained • Asphalt - aprons, roads, parking areas Jameson, Mac, Andy, and Bain Transue • Materials - gravel, sand, stone, loam, fill, boulders, road mix, cold patch • Septic Systems - Soil evaluations/design, installed and maintained, new construction/alteration, gravity and advanced treatment. I.S.D.S Installer; #L-1771.

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Page 26 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018

advertiser index A A. Transue Corp. P.O. Box 1558, Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 466-5907 Antonio’s Home Services P.O. Box 1554, Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 480-5270

B Ballard’s Oil Company P.O. Box 689, Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 466-2977

Connelli Land Improvement P.O. Box 205, Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 466-2549 Cormack-Routhier Agency, Inc. One Harry St., Cranston, R.I. 02907 (401) 944-9400 Coutu Movers 2 Greco Lane, Warwick, R.I. 02886 (401) 739-7788


G Gates Insurance Agency Inc. 238 Robinson St., Wakefield, R.I. 02879 (401) 789-3071 Geoffrey Rigby-Leather P.O. Box 897, Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 466-2391


D. Brown Appliance Repair P.O. Box 386, Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 497-2628

Block Island Plumbing & Heating P.O. Box 1787, Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 466-5930

Design \\’ Care New York / Block Island (929) 920-8093

Hill & Harbour 42 Ladd St., East Greenwich, R.I. 02818 (401) 398-1035

Block Island Recycling Management 14 West Beach Rd. Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 466-2864

Don’s Plumbing P.O. Box 1857, Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 465-1466

Howard Johnson Inc. 1978 Kingstown Rd. Peacedale, R.I. 02883 (401) 789-9375

C Cardi’s 1681 Quaker Ln. (Rt. 2) West Warwick, R.I. 02893 401-826-5600 Classic Chimney P.O. Box 9190, Warwick, R.I. 02889 (401) 739-0284 classic-chimneyR.I. .com Colby Customs P.O. Box 1854, Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 280-0302

DVL Landscaping P.O. Box 1208. Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 466- 2081

E East Coast Design 306 Main St., East Greenwich, R.I. 02818 (401) 885-8585 Estate Sale Center Road 401-466-5486

Fore Group 4 Jefferson Crossing Farmington, CT 06032 (860) 478-8625

I Interstate Navigation P.O. Box 3333, Narragansett, R.I. 02882 (401) 783-4613

McLaughlin & Buie HouseWR.I. ghts llc. 363 Cedar Ave. East Greenwich, R.I. 02818 (401)378-2916 the-housewR.I.

N New England Airlines P.O. Box A2, Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 466-5882 (401) 596-2460

Overhead Door One Overhead Way, Warwick, R.I. 02808 (877) 624-2724

JPS Pool Service N. Scituate, R.I. 02857 (401) 230-3493

Karen Beckwith Creative P.O. Box 737, Lenox, MA 01240 (413) 637-4479

S South County Cabinets 137 Franklin St., Westerly, R.I. 02891 (401) 596-7070 South County Sound and Video 1080 Kingstown Rd. Wakefield, R.I. 02879 (401) 789-1700

T Tile Craft Design Center 1305 Kingstown Rd. Peace Dale, R.I. 02879 (401) 783-7770

W Washington Trust Company Ocean Ave., Block Island R.I. 02891 (800) 475-2265

P Pat’s Power Equipment 3992 Old Post Rd. Charlestown, R.I. 02813 (401) 364-6114


Low Rate Home Equity Line!

Riverhead Supply 6000 Post Rd. North Kingstown, R.I. 02852 (401) 541-7480 Rawlings Floor Covering 204 Main Street, Wakefield R.I. 02879 (401) 783-8020




Kitchens Direct, Inc. 1 Pier Marketplace Narragansett, R.I. 02882 (401) 783-3100



Highland Farm 4235 Tower Hill Rd./Rte. 1 Wakefield, R.I. 02879 (401) 792-8188

Bartlett Tree Experts 240 Highland Ave., Seekonk, MA 02771 (401) 466-2818

Butler & Messier Inc. 1401 Newport Ave., Pawtucket, R.I. 02861 (401) 728-3200

Karin Sprague Stone Carvers Inc. 904 Tourtellot Hill Rd. Scituate. R.I. 02857 (401) 934-3105

Pennington Sprague Company, Inc. P.O. Box 370, Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 466-2378

Westerly Glass 2 Industrial Hwy, Westerly, R.I. 02891 (401) 596-4733

Priscilla Anderson Design P.O. Box 363, Block Island, R.I. 02807 (617) 947-4044

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Apply t oday at was ht r m! Or better depending on line amount. Properties must be located in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, or Connecticut. Property insurance required. All loans subject to credit approval. 1.99% Annual Percentage Rate home equity line is for the initial 12 months. 3.60% Annual Percentage Rate home equity line is for the initial 36 months. After the initial 12 or 36 months, the rate becomes Prime - .75% on lines of $250,000 - $1,000,000; Prime -.50% on lines of $100,000 - $249,999; Prime - .25% on lines of of $25,000 - $99,999. Rates shown in effect as of 06/14/2018. Your APR will vary monthly if the Prime Rate changes, but will not exceed 18.00% or be less than 3.00%. Check The Wall Street Journal for current rates. Wall Street Journal Prime Rate as of 06/14/2018 is 5.00%. Account closure fee of $350 for lines up to $500,000 or $500 for lines over $500,000 will apply if line is paid off and the account closed within first three years. Best rate featured above requires line to be in first lien position; other rates apply to second lien position; a Washington Trust personal checking account required. $10,000 minimum initial draw to third party required. Annual fee of $50 waived for the first year. Some home improvement projects may be subject to inspection fees and a satisfactory completion certificate. Subject to recording fees of approximately $74 in RI, and $93-177 in MA and CT. Trust review fees of $250 may apply if property is held in a trust. Not intended for homes currently for sale or intended to be sold within 12 months of closing. Offer available for new lines only. Other restrictions may apply. Property insurance is required. Flood insurance where required by law. Single-family, owner-occupied primary residences or second homes only. Maximum loan-to-value of 80%. Offer available for a limited time only and may be withdrawn at any time. NMLS #414726, MEMBER FDIC

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1080 Kingstown Road, Wakefield | †After you use the following amount of data, we may prioritize your data behind other customers during network congestion: Bronze 12 (35 GB or 40 GB, depending on your specific plan); Silver 12 (45 GB),\ Gold 12 (65 GB), Silver 25 (60 GB), Gold 50 (100 GB), and Platinum 100 (150 GB). Minimum 24-month service term. Equipment lease fee is $9.99/mo or $10.00/mo. Taxes apply. Service is not available in all areas. Offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time.

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018 • THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Page 27

Specializing in High-End Gunite Pools


Dive into Professional Pool Service & Repair The benefits to choosing JPS Pool Service

- We have staff on Island a minimum of 3 days a week (April Thru Oct) with an on island shop and vehicle. - Emergencies situations are quickly handled and difficult issues that are bound to arise, dealt with ease. - We have great relationships with pool builders that have built on island for needed assistance on larger projects.

Pool Opening and Closing

- Filling/lowering water levels - Plumbing lines - Filters/heaters - Chemical treaments - Cover removal/installation

Weekly Pool Service

- Includes chemical balancing - Weekly shocking pool - Skimming and filter back washing - Filter maintenance - Adding water during visit - Cleaning and maintaining skimmer basket(s) - Vacuum service


- Tile Repair - Coping repair or replacement - Plaster

Equipment Repair and Upgrades

- We service all equipment as well as upgrade older equipment for more energy efficient products.

Electronic Leak Detection

- We detect leaks in your swimming pools by using state-of-the-art electronic leak detection technology

We offer free estimates and a satisfaction guarantee!

Page 28 THE BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2018

Fall 2018 Block Island Times House & Garden Edition  
Fall 2018 Block Island Times House & Garden Edition