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HOUSE & garden FALL 2017

A special publication of The Block Island Times

Photo by K. Curtis

Page 2 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

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Calendar of Events November

October 7   Block Island Arts and Crafts Guild Fair.    Historical Society lawn. 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

8 Block Island Half Marathon. Fred Benson Town Beach Pavilion. 11:30 a.m.

24 Annual Harbor Church Roll Call Dinner. 5 - 7 p.m. 28 Halloween Costume Party. Yellow Kittens. 9 p.m.

24-26 28th Annual Shopping Stroll. 25  13th Annual 5K Turkey Trot. Fred Benson Town Beach Pavilion. 1 p.m.

December 31 New Year’s Eve Celebrations. 9 p.m. Yellow Kittens.


1 Annual Polar Plunge. 12 p.m. Fred Benson Town Beach Pavilion.

Photo by K. Curtis

Correction Policy

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 Seacoast Media Group in Portsmouth, N.H.

Production............................................................................................ Chris Izzo Contributors.................... Renée Meyer, Kim Gaffett, Paula Taylor, Liz Bazazi,

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.

Scott Comings Photographers .............................................. K.Curtis, Kim Gaffett, Liz Bazazi, Scott Comings, Jeanne Parente Advertising................................................................................. Shane Howrigan Advertising Design .................... Jonmathew Swienton, Chris Izzo, CCC Media

Cover photo by K. Curtis

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

in this issue

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25 Must see things on Block Island in the Fall Fire Safety Tips The Nature Conservancy

Fall Cleanup

What to do with your household garbage



Fire safety tips from the fire & rescue squad

Monarch Butterflies

The flight of the monarch butterflies

inside 19

Featured Home: Turkey Hollow.......................... 8 What’s Trending: Highland Farms.................... 11 What’s Trending: Pat’s Power Equipment......... 12 Recipe: Autumn Chowder................................. 15 Recipe: Making the most of Fall Flavors............. 16

Solar Powered


8 solar powered outdoor lights for your home and garden

Block Island Style

Architecture shaped by history and nature


What’s Trending: South County Sound & Video .....................21 What’s Trending: Riverhead Building Supply.... 23 Island Conservation.......................................... 24 Winterizing your Block Island home.................. 25 What’s Trending: Tile Craft Center .................. 26 What’s Trending: Kitchens Direct, Inc. ............ 27

& Advertiser

What’s Trending: South County Cabinets......... 28

Natural Deterrents


Planning for a Storm

Naturally deter ticks, fleas and other insects from your garden Be prepared


Index Page 30

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

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Fall is for Planting Why plant in the fall?

The materials your project deserves! By K. Curtis We’ve got cooler temperatures which means less stress on the plant and more energy for root establishment. Ground temperatures cool much slower than air temperatures in the fall, allowing for a long season of root establishment. (Roots will grow as long as soil temperatures stay above 40 degrees F.) Ground temperatures take a long time

to warm in spring, meaning root growth and establishment takes far longer in spring than fall. Natural moisture is more available in the fall for plants, allowing for easier establishment in the landscape and less need to apply water. Fall planting and establishment in the landscape allows plants to grow with far less stress the following spring.

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Page 6 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017

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


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- 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!


Must See Things on Block Island in the

By Scott Comings at The Nature Conservancy Photos by Scott Comings, Jeanne Parente and K. Curtis.

Northern Blazing Star

Maryland Golden Aster

Lewis Farm

Monarch Butterflies

Common Green Darner







House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Here are 25 natural wonders (in no specific order) to see on Block Island in the fall. How many have you seen? 1) Northern Blazing Star – Block Island is the only place this state-endangered species is found in Rhode Island.  This purple wildflower is best seen at Turnip Farm.    2) Hodge Family Wildlife Preserve – This spectacular preserve has views of Middle Pond, Block Island Sound, North Light, Sandy Point, and Sachem Pond.  It is a must see for anyone who visits the Island.   3) Maryland Golden Aster – Block Island is the only place in New England this stateendangered plant is found.  It has yellow blooms in the fall and can be seen at Lewis Dickens Farm.       4) Lewis Dickens Farm – Journey back to the way the Island used to look with rolling hills and stone walls.  The views of Montauk and the Atlantic Ocean are amazing too.    5) Monarch Butterflies – This large orange and black butterfly migrates through Block Island in the fall on its way to Mexico for the first time. Sometimes there is a fallout of them where they cover the trees or bushes in an area.    6) Clay Head Preserve – The two-mile bluff walk is the most spectacular trail on the Island.  If you choose one of the many side trails you are in the 10-mile maze of trails which are marvelous to explore too.    7) Arrowwood – this Viburnum species has blue fruit in September and October.  It is the most important fruit for migratory songbirds that are migrating through.  The fruit has a high lipid count and antioxidant properties important during these birds’ long journey.       8)    Common Green Darner – This is the largest of the dragonflys that are mostly green with a little blue right before the abdomen.  After spending the summer here, they start their migration south to the mid-Atlantic states.  They store their fat (energy) for the journey on their translucent wings, giving them an amber appearance.    9) Spotted Turtle – The most elusive of the freshwater turtles to find. They can have up to 100 yellow or orange spots.    10) Sandy Point – The tip of the island is worth the walk.  The raw natural beauty of this area is breathtaking.      11) Ocean View Foundation Pavilion – This oasis from the hustle and bustle of town is a great spot to take in nature and nurture the soul while watching the world go by.     12) Rodman’s Hollow/Black Rock – This is the largest conservation area on the Island with sweeping views of the fields, shore and ocean.  This is the birthplace of the conservation movement in 1972.    13) Sunrises from Mansion Beach – It is a commitment to get up for the sunrise but you will be rewarded by watching the sun come out of the ocean from one

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of the most beautiful places to start a new day.

14) Circumnavigating the Island via its beaches – The 17-mile trek from the Coast Guard Station to Beane Point is worth the walk to gain a new perspective on the Island while experiencing areas that few people visit.     15) Confusing Fall Warblers – in the fall there are over 30 species of warbler, all drab yellow in color, that migrate through Block Island on their way south.  Even for the most accomplished ornithologist they can be difficult to tell apart.  They are beautiful in their mysteriousness.      16) Mohegan Bluffs – Called the terminal moraine, this is where the glaciers stopped. While always eroding it is awesome in its natural beauty with the Southeast Light to the east, the newly constructed wind turbines to the south and Montauk to the west.   17) Rhinoceros Beetle – Block Island is the only place these large scarab beetles (about an inch) are found in the state.  The males have a horn (hence the Rhino names) and females don’t.     18) Andy’s Way –The largest un-ditched salt marsh left in the state, Andy’s Way is an important feeding area to shore and wading birds while harboring amazing fish diversity.  Salt marshes are the most threatened habitat (from sea level rise) in the region.    19) Block Island Meadow Vole – This vole is a sub-species (longer snout and shorter tail) that is only found in meadows on Block Island.  It is brown above and gray below and is bigger than a mouse and smaller than a rat.    20) Nathan Mott Park – The first conservation area preserved in 1941, the park has a variety of different habitats including vernal pond, morainal grassland, shrubland, and meadow.  Be sure to walk to the top of the hill for the view of town and beyond.  It is one of the highest spots on the Island.   21) Sunsets from Charleston Beach – sunsets on Block Island are always special.  Sunsets from Charleston Beach are magical, watching the sun disappear into the water.    22) Surf Casting – Striped bass and blue fish are running this time of year and it is possible to catch a fish from any beach on the island.       23) Sachem Pond – This brackish pond is a haven for all types of wildlife and offers vistas that can’t be matched.     24) Barn Owl – This state-endangered raptor can often be seen flying over meadows at dusk.  Black Rock, Clay head and Dickens Farm are the best spots to see this spectacular species.   25) Fresh Pond – The largest freshwater pond, it has amazing water clarity allowing you to see straight to the bottom even in the deepest areas. 

Spotted Turtle

Confusing Fall Warblers - Prairie Warbler

Mohegan Bluffs

Block Island Meadow Vole

Barn Owl






Page 8 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017

Featured Home Turkey Hollow House location: 1125 Connecticut Avenue  House size: 3,312 sq. ft.  Lot size: 2 acres Setting: This spacious and stylishly finished multi-level home presents a seldom seen opportunity to own an investment property where rental income exceeds $70,000 per year! The sun-filled 6 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom home has an abundance of Island charm, with sprawling bucolic views. This property can be enjoyed as a family compound, or the buyer can choose to utilize the year-round, town approved accessory apartment on the lower level. Inside: The gambrel style allows maximum living space of this 3,300 sq. ft. energy efficient home. There are unique finishes throughout, multiple levels of decking, and a private porch off the master bedroom with rooftop lookout to peaceful Mill Pond. Outside: Overlooking 36+ acres of protected space, this house is located on a peaceful lane just a mile from town. Price: $1,095,000 Contact info: Phillips Real Estate 30 Water Street, Suite 206, Above Post Office Building (401)466-8806


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House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

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p u n a e l C Fall What to do with your household garbage The scale house at the Transfer Station is where you weigh in and pay. By K. Curtis Officially called the Town of New Shoreham Transfer Station, run by Block Island Recycling Management, it is still what many people on the island affectionately refer to as “The Dump.” It is where to take all of your garbage — big and small, a lot or a little — and all of your recyclables. The trash cans in town, and around the island, are not where home renters, owners, or long term visitors should be leaving their garbage after a week long (or longer) stay. The dumpsters you may see around town are for private or commercial use only, and not a place to leave your garbage. You need to bring your trash and recyclables to the Transfer Station. Along with regular household garbage, there are many items that you can bring to the recycling center and drop off, for a fee.

Your bags of garbage will be weighed in at the scale house and you will pay 12 cents a pound to dispose of it, recyclables are free. Located on West Beach Road, head north on Corn Neck Road for about two miles until you come to West Beach road on the left, where you will also see the Transfer Station sign. The Transfer Station is located at the end of West Beach road on the right. The new website will give you all of the pricing for items big and small — from household trash to appliances and cars. If you have any questions, give them a call. You can even call for a one-time garbage pick-up if you don’t have time to bring it to the Transfer Station yourself. The Transfer station is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Call (401) 466-2864 for winter hours starting Nov. 1 and information, or visit

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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Page 10 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017


Solar Powered Outdoor Lights for your Home or Garden Now you can illuminate your yard or home without jacking up the energy bill. Try any of these outdoor solar lights on your patio, porch or in the garden to add lighting to your landscape.









1. Landscape lights - Best for a

3. Best for Ambient Light

5. Best for Self-Operation

7. Best for Customizing

Natural Look These rock-textured outdoor lights perfectly blend in with your yard, keeping your landscaping completely uniform. There are two brightness settings you can choose, and you can even adjust the lens to face certain plants or parts of your lawn.  

Whether you're looking to illuminate your porch or brighten up a camping trip, solar-powered lanterns envelop a wide area in a soft ambient light. Plus, a tough, fully metal exterior makes it ready for the elements.

As long as the sensor is unobstructed, this solar light (that looks like a candle) automatically turns on and off at dusk and dawn. It can be placed directly on a surface, or hung up to illuminate your patio or deck.

4. Best for Quick, Easy Setup

6. Best for Easy Angling

Whether you're having an outdoor party or you're just trying to be more eco-friendly around the holidays, these solar-powered string lights will stay illuminated for up to 15 hours outside. Simply charge the panel outside for six to eight hours and watch them glow.  

This set of six solar-charged path stakes won't give you a headache trying to set them up. All you have to do is press them into the soil lining your pathway and let them charge on their own throughout the day. Easy peasy!

Install these lights directly to your home, garage, or even a fencepost by using the attached screws. The easytilt mechanism lets you shine the light exactly where you need it most. These solar lights provide up to 10 hours of uninterrupted performance.

2. Best for elevated Illumination Stake these lights into the ground and allow them to illuminate walkways fully for up to 10 hours when fully charged. They automatically turn on and off at dawn and dusk- so the sun does all the work for you!

8. Best for Mounting Place these flat-backed lights on either side of your door, or along fence posts. All you need is a few screws and a drill to install them. They will charge through the day and turn on automatically at dusk.

Ned Phillips, Jr. & Co. Landscape and Design Block Island

Block Island’s Hometown Recycling Center Ready to help you with the transfer of your island home Dumpster Rentals Hazardous Waste Disposal

Over twenty years’ experience designing beautiful, inviting Block Island Landscapes.

(all house transfers come with left over paint cans, etc.) Visit Rhode Island Resource Recovery’s guide to hazardous waste disposal at

NOFA certified organic land care specialist.

Hauling of materials from the mainland,

Licensed Arborist and certified Horticulturist

Direct cell: 401.218.5266 e mail: nedphillipsblockisland

Sand, Gravel, etc. 401-466-2864

14 West Beach Road, Block Island, RI 02807

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES


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 B.I. Ferry. Call (401)-792-8188

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s ietress: Millie McGinne



’S O D R Adays a week We deliver the finest home heating oil, L six L Ask about our CashDDiscounts Deliver L C&OAutomatic A S OIfinest ’the M R P We deliver home B AN LA L Call 466-2977 A heating oil, six days a week!Y B Proprietress: Millie McGinnes

Visa and MasterCard accepted

Cell: 401-439-1539 Ask about our Cash Discounts & Automatic Deliveries.


Proprietress: M

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We deliver the finest home heating oil, six days a week! Ask about our Cash Discou Ask about our Cash Discounts & Automatic Deliveries.

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Page 12 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017


Block Island Plumbing & Heating

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Living On and Serving Only Block Island

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)364-6114.



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1305 KINGSTOWN RD, WAKEFIELD, RI. Bldg. A SCHLUTER® - SYSTEMS IN STOCK! 401-783-7770 ® PRODUCTS 401-783-7770 and materials you need for and materials you need for every room in your house.

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House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Page 13

Naturally deter

ticks, fleas, and other insects from your garden Cats have very sensitive noses so planting rosemary in pots around your house can deter spraying cats as well as repelling ticks and fleas.

Consider adding any of these natural and beautiful plants to your garden beds or containers in and around your home to repel pesty insects like fleas and ticks, and deter neighboring (or your own) feline friends from spraying in and around your home. Take the time this fall to plan ahead for your springtime planting by including some or all of these plants.

Citronella Grass repels ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, many other biting insects and has also been known to help calm barking dogs.

Lavender is a beautiful addition to your garden, repels cats, deters fleas and ticks as well as moths and mosquitoes.

Mint repels fleas, ticks, ants and mosquitoes. Cats also adore mint! Catnip is part of the mint family and is many a feline’s favorite plant.

Marigolds are great companion plants for your vegetable patch as they are especially good at protecting tomatoes, but did you know that they also repel fleas, ticks, white flies, and cabbage maggots?

Cats dislike the smell of geranium so plant widely if you want to stop your feline neighbors from stopping by.

Fleabane daisies are adorable, easy to grow and help ward off fleas and ticks from around your home.

Chickweed is a green food tonic for chickens.

If you garden for food and want to deter cats from entering your garden plant tomatoes and onions, as cats don’t like the smell of these either.

Chrysanthemums come in an array of colours and can help deter fleas, ticks, aphids, spider-mites, grasshoppers, cockroaches, bedbugs, silverfish, and bird lice.

Bright and cheery nasturtiums can boost your chicken’s health with their antiseptic and medicinal properties and are also great wormers for your flock.

Garlic is a wonderful antibacterial and antiviral plant so can help prevent infection in your chickens, deters fleas, ticks, worms, lice and mites and is an egg laying stimulant.

Sage is an essential in the kitchen, but also deters fleas and ticks.

Don’t eradicate this little gem from your garden. Dandelion leaves and flowers are a complete food and immune system booster for your chickens.

s p i T y t e from the B.I. Fire & Rescue Squad f a S e r Fi

Page 14 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017

The Block Island Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad offers the following tips to homeowners. The fall is a perfect time to review fire prevention systems after the busy summer has ended.  Fire extinguishers: It is best to have an extinguisher on each floor. At a minimum, have one in your kitchen and one near your furnace or boiler. It is wise to have one in each of your major outbuildings, one convenient to your barbecue area and one in your garage. Fire extinguishers must be in good working order. If the chemicals inside stand for years, they may settle to the point they will not work. To see if an extinguisher is in working order, turn it upside down and put your ear directly on the extinguisher. If you hear the chemicals moving inside, the extinguisher works. Throw out an extinguisher if: 1. You use it. 2. The indicator shows “recharge.” 3. You cannot hear the chemicals flowing inside when you turn the extinguisher upside down. Extinguishers are inexpensive and it does not pay to recharge old ones. Using extinguishers: Most fire extinguishers have instructions and sketches as to proper use. Each family member should be familiar with their use. Make sure all family members know where extinguishers are located. Renters: If you rent your house, post these tips in plain view and ensure renters know the locations of fire extinguishers. If you use a realtor, insist that he show these tips to renters. Put a sticker on your phones with the house’s fire number. The fire number will be the first thing the dispatcher asks someone who reports a fire or calls

for medical help. Smoke detectors: There should be a minimum of one smoke detector on each floor. They should be located on the ceilings of hallways adjacent to the bedrooms. Detectors in the basement should be located at the top of the stairwell. If you have questions concerning the placement of smoke detectors, contact the fire department at 466-2211. Testing alarms: Test alarms on the first day of each month. Post a reminder on your calendar. The test takes a few minutes. Have a supply of batteries on hand in the event of battery failure. Fire number: Make sure your fire number is plainly visible from the street, including during the night. You may need to display it near the street where fire vehicles will arrive. If your road forks again off the main street, post another sign. Brush piles and grass: Take brush to the Transfer Station. Do not let it accumulate. Mow untended fields at the end of each summer to prevent brush buildup. Fire truck access: Make sure brush on either side of your drive is cut back enough to permit a long, wide fire truck to enter your yard. At a minimum, fire trucks need 12-foot-wide roads and 13-feet height clearance.

If a fire occurs: • Call 911. If there is time, alert all people in the building and call 911. If no time, leave the building and call from a neighbor’s house or a cell phone. • Make sure all people in the house are accounted for. • Know where the furnace/boiler switch is and, if time, turn it off. •  Close windows and doors if you can. • Stand by the road to direct fire vehicles.

Make sure your driveway is wide enough for emergency access.

Check your smoke detectors in the spring and fall.

Clear out brush piles in your yard.

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House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Autumn Chowder

6-8 servings 

Ingredients ½ lb bacon, chopped  1 cup onion, diced  3 garlic cloves, minced  3 cups chicken broth  3 cups potatoes, diced (Yukon golds or baby reds are flavorful)  2 cups carrots, sliced  2 cups milk (Whole or 2%) 

Page 15

Autumn Chowder Comfort in a Bowl

2 cups fresh or frozen corn  ½ teaspoon pepper  3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded  2 tablespoons whole wheat flour  salt and pepper, to taste  optional: parsley, chopped

Autumn Chowder is full of vegetables, yet has a creamy, richness thanks to a bit of crispy bacon, milk, and freshly shredded cheddar. Comfort in a bowl. A great dinner idea that is easy to make — and freezer friendly too!

Instructions 1. Cook bacon over medium to medium-high heat, until just crisp. Remove bacon and put on a plate that’s covered with paper towels (to absorb grease). If you want, wipe out some of the grease from the pot.  2. Then add onions and garlic to the same pot and cook over medium heat until softened, about 3-4 minutes.  3. Stir in chicken broth, cooked bacon, potatoes, and carrots. Put a lid on and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. 4. Stir in milk, corn, and pepper and heat until simmering. Meanwhile, toss shredded cheese with flour in a bowl. 5. Take the pot off the heat. Slowly add cheese to soup, stirring constantly until cheese is melted.  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as desired. (Note: If your soup is too thick, you can add more milk or stock to thin it out and then warm through. Be sure to adjust seasoning accordingly.)  7. Serve warm. Top with a little chopped parsley for a color and taste pop. Recipe source: Cooking Classy Freezer Meal Instructions After the soup cools, place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Try to remove as much air as possible and seal it well before placing in the freezer. To reheat, thaw 24-48 hours in the fridge (preferred method) or by using the defrost setting on the microwave. Then, warm chowder over low or medium-low heat on the stove, gently stirring occasionally.


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Page 16 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017

Making the Most of Fall’s Flavors Serving up a side of autumn’s edibles Now that the summer season of eating out and grilling on the deck is winding down, cooling temperatures and chilly nights inspire us to start thinking about the comforts of cooking at home. Using the fruits and vegetables of fall are both tasty and colorful — adding bursts of flavor to any main dish.

Pan-seared Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans

Serves 3-4 

Ingredients  1 pound brussels sprouts, de-stemed and halved 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled 1/3 cup pecans 1/2 cup barley 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt & pepper Recipe source: Cooking Classy Instructions 1. Prepare barley according to package instructions. Heat brussel sprouts and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Season with salt & pepper. Cook for 7-9 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Stir to coat and remove from heat. Toss barley, sprouts, cranberries, and pecans in a large bowl. Top with gorgonzola.





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House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Page 17

Autumn Roasted Veggies with Apples and Pecans Yield: About 5 servings

Ingredients  16 oz brussels sprouts , bottoms trimmed, halved (discard loose leaves) 1/2 medium red onion , diced into small chunks 4 Tbsp salted butter, melted, divided 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 3 cups cubed butternut squash (diced into 3/4-inch pieces)

Salt 2 medium crisp baking apples*  2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar  1/4 tsp ground cinnamon  1/4 tsp ground nutmeg  2/3 cup pecans (whole or roughly chopped) 1/3 cup dried cranberries 

 Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Add brussels sprouts and red onions to a large mixing bowl. Pour 2 Tbsp butter over top as well as 1 Tbsp lemon juice, toss while seasoning with salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp). Transfer to baking sheet and spread out across pan. Add squash and apples to same mixing bowl. Pour remaining 2 Tbsp butter over top and toss, then sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt (about 1/4 tsp) over top and toss to evenly coat. Transfer to baking sheet and spread into an even layer (just around brussels sprouts and onions). Roast in preheated oven, tossing once halfway through baking, until brussel sprouts have browned slightly and squash is soft, while sprinkling pecans and cranberries over top during the last 3 minutes of baking, about 40 minutes total. Serve warm. 2. *I recommend using one sweet and one tart apple. I used one Tango apple and one Granny Smith apple. Honey Crisp, Braeburn, Cortland, Jonathan or Rome Beauty should work here as well, but keep in mind they won’t have that same rosey color. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

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Page 18 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017

Pumpkin French Toast Can

A healthy breakfast for a crowd

you really ever have too many pumpkin recipes? Now that fall is here, I definitely don’t think you can. Especially when it’s a decadent yet simple breakfast like this! This French toast, like all other French toast recipes, is so easy to make. If you really wanted to splurge you could cover them with chocolate, caramel sauce and whipped cream for a serious breakfast treat, or if you wanted to make it

a bit healthier you could use wheat bread (and take it easy on the syrup). You can use pretty much any kind of white bread with this recipe as long as it isn’t like that flimsy, delicate sandwich bread you get at the store. If using fresh bread for this recipe, I recommend using a loaf that is a day or two old as it will absorb the custard mixture better (and it won’t end up soggy).

Pumpkin French Toast  Ingredients  3/4 cup milk 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 1 tsp ground cinnamon 4 eggs 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 2 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar 1/4 tsp ground ginger 9 slices Texas toast (or other white bread such as Challah or French bread) Butter, for griddle Instructions 1. Preheat an electric griddle to 350 degrees (a non-stick skillet set over medium heat also works fine). In a mixing bowl whisk together milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger until well combined. Pour into a shallow dish. 2. Butter griddle and dip bread into egg mixture (allowing a few seconds for it to absorb mixture. Squeeze gently to soak the mixture to center), then rotate and coat opposite side. Transfer to griddle and cook until golden brown on bottom, then lift, butter griddle once more and flip french toast to opposite side and cook until golden brown. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.

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Don’t forget to “fall back” one hour by setting your clocks back one hour to standard time at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 5. The change marks the end of Daylight Saving Time, a practice that’s been observed off and on in the U.S. since 1918. The current schedule, set through the Energy Policy Act of 2005, puts Daylight Saving Time starting the second Sunday in March and ending the first Sunday in November. Not every place will be making the change, however. Hawaii and Arizona don’t observe Daylight Saving Time, meaning there’s no springing forward or falling backward on the clocks. We will move the clocks again on March 11, 2018, springing forward an hour. This is also a good time to test or change the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

s e i l f r e t t u b h c r a Mon

Page 19

The flight of the

By Kim Gaffett Monarch butterfly: a stained glass window onto the world. Its beauty is mesmerizing, but we cannot see through it to comprehend its life forces. Egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly; I wish wonder was enough to sustain this life form.  Around the Island there have been lots of reports of monarch butterfly sightings; but is it more than usual? Yes! According to Monarch Watch*, 2017 is on tract to be the best year for monarchs since 2012 — in all regions of the United States. Monarch butterflies make truly phenomenal spring and fall migrations. After overwintering in Mexico (or California, or in a small population in Florida), the adult butterfly wakens from its torpor and mates, thus starting the next generation of butterflies to travel north. If weather is good, and food sources available, this next generation will move into the southern United States, breed and send the next generation on its way northward. This pattern of northern movement and creating successive generations continues until the whole U.S. and southern Canada are aflutter with monarch butterflies by late summer. And then, in September, at Block Island’s latitude, the last generation of the season will be cued by cooling temperatures, and shortening daylight, to build up fat reserves in their abdomens and migrate to the overwintering site in Mexico. It is nothing short of miraculous that this creature, weighing less than one gram, will fly thousands of miles to the overwintering site of its ancester, having never been there before.  Lest we get too excited about this year’s increase in numbers, monarch populations and the associated phenomenal migration, are still in a declining trend. A standard measurement tool of the monarch population is the size of the area of forests in Mexico occupied by roosting, overwintering butterflies — clustered together in a form of hibernation. Unfortunately, the size of these areas is trending downward. The overwintering populations in Mexico covered: 18.19 hectares in 1996-97, 6.87 hectares in 2006-07, and, 2.91 hectares in 2016-17. This represents about an 80% decrease in overwintering monarch butterflies over the last twenty years. There are several significant threats challenging the sustainability of monarch butterflies. Destruction of their habitat in the northern summer regions by development of roads, building construction and agricultural expansion is one. Another is the constantly

Monarch butterfly - male, as determined by the “dots” (pheromone packet) on the veins closest to the body.

decreasing availability of the host plan, milkweed. Decline of milkweed plants results when they are removed from the landscape by development, or killed by herbicides used by gardeners, landscapers and farmers. Loss of habitat is also a major problem for overwintering monarchs. One part of the monarch butterfly population overwinters along the southern California coast, thus competing with humans for the same area. However, the majority of the monarch population overwinters in the forests of the Transvolcanic mountains of south-central Mexico. Unfortunately this area is an important logging area for local land owners. The effect of even small amounts of logging can be devastating to monarch populations that are highly concentrated in relatively small areas. (Approximately 100 million butterflies attempt migration each fall, the majority of which concentrate in fourteen (or fewer) roosting sites in Mexico.) Beyond the facts of a monarch butterfly, is the simple beauty: its egg is like a tiny pearl, its caterpillar an undulous yellow, and green, and black, and white joyous-tobehold pupa, its chrysalis is an organic drop of jade piped with gold, and the butterfly is one of earth’s mightiest stained glass windows. Enjoy these fluttering beings this fall, who knows what next year’s population will be like. And, be watchful; this may be a year where great aggregations of monarchs on the southeast side of pine trees can be seen in the late afternoon/early evening. They congregate and settle to roost for the night, before fluttering off with the morning’s warming sun to continue their flights southward. *Monarch Watch is a non profit organization based at University of Kansas. It supports education, research, and conservation for monarch butterflies. Much of the information provided in this column has been gleaned from the Monarch Watch website ( Monarch Watch also leads a monarch tagging program, which the Block Island School second grade has participated in for many years with the assistance of second grade teachers, Barby Michel and Stacy Henshaw, the Ocean View Foundation, and now, The Nature Conservancy. Kim Gaffett is the Ocean View Foundation Naturalist at The Nature Conservancy.

Monarch caterpillar, with egg on upper left leaf. Photos by Kim Gaffett

Egg on underside of common milkweed leaf.


Chrysalis just before the butterfly emerges.

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Page 20 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017

Block Island Architecture shaped by history and nature

By Liz Bazazi So, you’re going to build on Block Island. As the late great architect, Louis Kahn might have asked, “What does your building want to be?” Let the genius loci — the spirit of the place — answer that question for you. Let not only Block Island’s architectural past inform your creation, let its very essence; its geology, its climate and its cultural heritage, inspire. Long ago, Block Island — along with Long Island, Fisher’s Island, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Cod — was formed by a receding glacier that dumped a pile of rocks off the coast of southern New England. This left Block Island, in particular, with an endless supply of round stones. Islanders of yore laid — or, more accurately, balanced — these to form the walls that crisscross the island’s rolling hills. When the sun is low, these walls of

: e l y t S

large, ill-fitted boulders are transformed into delicate strands of lace, through which light projects. Round stones may also be incorporated into your architectural project — as part of the foundation, fireplace or walkway — or conjured the image of filtered light with a light-pervious plane that casts pattern into your living space. (However, be sure not to dismantle stone border walls, as they are protected by town ordinances.) In 1662, seventeen hearty and pious colonists settled the heavily forested Block Island Plantation. It is doubtful that, in this windswept and salt-sprayed setting, many trees grew tall and straight. By 1721, the demands of boat and building construction had so depleted the forest that the community determined to substitute stone walls for fencing, and peat for fuel. The earliest buildings on Block Island

were of the simplest nature, providing little more than shelter from an often-harsh climate. While none remain, we can understand their nature through examples on the mainland as well as the earliest buildings still standing on Block Island. Such houses were one story, with additional living space tucked under a simple gable roof — the Cape Cod typology. The timber frame was sheathed in vertical boards, sometimes gleaned from retired ships. Floors were white pine or simply dirt. Shingles, a New World innovation, were applied to wall sheathing. Clapboard siding was rare due to the scarcity of lengthy lumber and when used, was likely only applied to entry facades. Thatched roofs, unable to withstand harsh New England elements, were also replaced by shingles. The beautiful texture of shingles, then thicker and more irregularly sized than today, was likely

Photos by Liz Bazazi

lost on early settlers who, by nature and necessity, embraced a ‘form follows function’ doctrine, rejecting ornament as folly. Windows were extremely small, installed sparingly, and seldom operable; glass was a rarity until the end of the 18th century. That understated aesthetic has endured, and shingle siding remains ubiquitous on the Island for its practicality as much as for its beauty. They stay tight in storms that would send vinyl a-sail and, if damaged, new shingles can easily be patched in. Unfinished, they avoid the maintenance that would result from salt- and sand- driven assaults on paint. Lacking a natural harbor, Block Island did not flourish in trade, fishing, and whaling, as did its sister islands. For 200 years its vernacular building style was largely unaffected by outside influence. But change was coming. In the 1830’s, summer resorts began springing up along the New England coast. By 1840, Block Islanders began opening their homes to vacationers and by 1860 had built three hotels. The island was catapulted out of its insular lifestyle in 1870 when construction began on the breakwater that formed Government Harbor (today’s Old Harbor). Before it was even completed, the fishing industry took off, regular steamer service commenced, a commercial district formed around the harbor, and the island’s tourism economy exploded. The off-island influence dramatically altered Block Island architecture. By 1880, ten hotels had been erected; four more by 1890, the majority designed in the Second Empire style. At the same time, summer homes sprang up, reflecting Victorian period styles of Gothic Revival, Second Empire and, by the end of the 19th century, a few Shingle. Existing vernacular homes were updated with Victorian embellishment. Unlike other local coastal communities, Block has always welcomed technical and aesthetic innovation. Still, Block Island minimalism was never fully rejected. It likely appealed to mid-century modernists summering on the island, including the renowned Danish furniture designer, Jens Risom, whose 1967 pre-fab Continued on next page

Page 21

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Continued from previous page retreat elegantly straddled the philosophies of both modernists and the first settlers. The many simple, serviceable ‘Kingston’ or ‘Berger’ Houses built in the 1960’s also harken back to Block Island’s early architectural roots, though perhaps not as artfully. It is a worthy challenge today to design a building that is of its time while embracing the Block Island vernacular. The wind is ever present on Block Island. Combined with ocean-moderated temperatures, offshore breezes provide welcome respite from summer heat. However, wind can also make it unpleasant to sit outdoors and can howl and rattle as it blows across a house’s nooks and crannies. Thankfully, window technology has advanced since Colonial times. Today’s energy-efficient windows, strategically placed, allow you to take full advantage of the breezes, views, and sunshine, while locking out storms. Focusing on configuration, not quantity will make your house sing without blowing your budget. A variety of easily installed shutters, fabric coverings and translucent plexiglass panels are available when storm protection is desired. Outdoor ‘rooms’, fully integrated with indoor spaces and strategically placed wind breaks, offer cost-efficient living space. In insect-prone wetland areas, screened porches provide protected living space for a modest cost. They are particularly effective

Your link to the Block.

Your link to the Block.

when separated from your living room by a wall of glass panels that can be folded or slid away, creating one large space. Thanks to Block Island’s small size and hilly landscape, many sites have the opportunity for spectacular views, if only from the second floor. Consider the upsidedown house. This typology puts the spaces enjoyed in the daytime on the second floor where the best view is to be had. In these cases, thought must be paid to creating a gracious sense of entry and convenient connection from the main living level to patios. Residential elevators resolve accessibility issues. The shaft may be framed-in but used for closets and pantries until they’re needed. The Block Island aesthetic has managed to evolve without losing it distinct sense of place. To design a context-sensitive building, look closely at the unique Block Island environment, the specific site, and historic precedents until you understand their essence — wind, dunes, waves, round stones, rough shingles and more. Let these inspire your building’s form, scale, texture, materials and colors. Harmonize with the historic setting but resist the urge to imitate. Use practical 21st century building technologies. Connect with nature. This is Block Island style. Liz Bazazi has been practicing Architecture in New England and its islands for 30 years, with a focus on green, resilient, historic, and ‘jewel box’ homes. Her work can be viewed at

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Page 22 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017

Planning for a storm

By Renée Meyer It’s hard to imagine how anyone in the path of storms like Harvey, Irma, and Marie can adequately plan for such a disaster, and our hearts certainly go out to those impacted by the devastation. Here on Block Island we have been extraordinarily lucky that these storms have largely fizzled out before they have reached our shores, and often sit back and chuckle when a mere Nor’Easter wipes out power on the mainland for a week, when our own Block Island Power Company has the lights back on usually within hours, or at most a day. But even a few hours without electricity – especially in winter – can present more than a few logistical problems. Your well, your furnace, your hot water heater (even if it’s propane) all depend on electricity. Most people on the island have propane stoves and it’s especially important to know how to bypass the electronic ignition and light it with a wooden match or butane lighter. If using matches, make sure they are fresh. It’s best to store them in a plastic bag or jar where the normal summer humidity won’t make them stale. We don’t often realize how much water we use in our daily lives until there is a problem. This can happen even without a storm. A failed water tank or clogged drains can wake you right up though. It always seems somewhat ludicrous to see people rushing to buy bottled water in advance of a storm when there are so many ways to store it in advance. It’s always good to fill as many large stock pots with water as you can. But retrieving the water can present some difficulties. Tipping out enough water from a 15-gallon pot to wash one’s hands is, in practice, a bit challenging, if not impossible if one hand is covered in the juices of say, raw meat. So, fill up some smaller containers as well. For hand washing, it’s good to have one bottle of soapy water, and one with water for rinsing. Soda bottles filled with water can also be stored in the freezer. If the power goes out they can keep the contents of the freezer frozen longer, or be transferred to a cooler to keep that food cold. When the water melts you can use it for all sorts of things. This is a good idea even if you aren’t expecting power outages as a full freezer is more cost efficient to run than one that’s half empty.  If there aren’t enough clean bottles on hand one may always fill up deli containers or even Ziploc bags with water and freeze them.  A better use for freezer bags may be what I call “dinner in a bag.” While one may plan on a

cooking project to while away the time during a storm, cooking takes a lot of water between washing hands and dishes, or boiling pasta. Make some meals ahead – casseroles are easy, as are hearty soups – and put meal-size portions in gallon freezer bags and store them on the inside of the freezer door for easy retrieval. If you don’t need them for a storm, they can always be used for a night when one is too busy, or just disinclined to cook dinner. People get creative when planning for a storm and one of my favorite sounding hacks appeared in the form of an internet meme recently. Someone filled their clothes-washing machine with ice cubes and stored canned drinks in the ice. (Sounds like a cool party trick, too.) When the ice melts the water drains away. All sorts of fresh food could be stored this way in the absence of a cooler, although that’s a lot of ice cubes. A few hours in the summer or fall without electricity isn’t usually too much of a problem, but when there’s a howling blizzard it gets a bit more challenging, especially if you don’t have a fireplace or wood stove. Remember those stock pots filled with water?  Boil the water in one and it will throw off heat for quite a while once the gas is turned off.  It is not a good idea to heat your house with your propane oven empty as it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. However, that shouldn’t preclude one from making a slow cooked pork butt or shoulder for pulled pork. During one recent blizzard I planned on, and made a seven-hour braised corned beef. The power didn’t go out, but it was delicious. Another favorite trick – and one I got laughed at for actually trying, is to make a space heater out of terra cotta flower pots and a bread pan. You will need two flower pots, one about an inch and a half larger than the other. The smaller one should be large enough to place upside down over the bread pan. A six-inch (in diameter) works well.  Place four tea lights in the bread pan and light them. Plug the drainage hole of the smaller pot with a wad of tin foil and place it upside down over the candles in the bread pan. Then put the larger pot, again upside down, over the smaller one. The tea lights will burn for approximately four hours.  Now this little device isn’t a blast furnace. Rather it sends out a mild, ambient heat, but one that can make a surprising difference, especially in a small room. It’s a handy thing to have all the parts for on hand because sometimes it doesn’t take a storm to knock out your furnace. Sometimes you just run out of oil. On a Sunday. At night.

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House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

WHAT’S TRENDING Riverhead Building Supply


Page 23


Fine cabinetry, windows, doors, and flooring.

Sears Hometown Store is here for you with delivery to Block Island! Locally Owned and Operated By Tom Iacobucci

Discover everything you are looking for at the Riverhead Building Supply Showroom in North Kingstown, RI. The full-sized showroom displays will project how your new kitchen will look. Design consultants will work closely with you incorporating you or your client’s vision into the final plan, making sure that everything fits just right, so your new kitchen is perfect. Riverhead Building Supply is committed to offering the highest quality of building materials, and that includes products deemed beneficial for our environment, with a number of products that feature “green” technology and meet specific eco-friendly requirements. Visit for a complete selection of offerings.

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B a z a z i D e s i g n



18.5 18.5 hp hp (13.8 (13.8 kW, kW, 603 603 cc)* cc)* 42-in. mower deck 42-in. mower deck Bumper-to-bumper Bumper-to-bumper 3-year/ 3-year/ 200-hour 200-hour warranty** warranty**


Z235 Z235 •• •• ••

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Starting Starting at at












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1978 KINGSTOWN ROAD PEACE DALE, RI 02883 401-789-9375

Prices Prices and and models models may may vary vary by by dealer. dealer. Manufacturer Manufacturer suggested suggested list list price price at at $2,499 $2,499 on on S240 S240 Sport, Sport, $1,499 $1,499 on on D105 D105 and and $2,499 $2,499 on on Z235. Z235. Prices Prices are are suggested suggested retail retail prices prices only only and and are are subject subject to to change change without without notice notice at at any any time. time. Dealer Dealer may may sell sell for for less. less. Shown Shown with with optional optional equipment equipment not not included included in in the the price. price. Attachments Attachments and and implements implements sold sold separately. separately. Available Available at at participating participating dealers. dealers. *The *The engine engine horsepower horsepower and and torque torque information information are are provided provided by by the the engine engine manufacturer manufacturer to to be be used used for for comparison comparison purposes purposes only. only. Actual Actual operating operating horsepower horsepower and and torque torque will will be be less. less. Refer Refer to to the the engine engine manufacturer’s manufacturer’s website website for for additional additional information. information. **Term **Term limited limited to to years years or or hours hours used, used, whichever whichever comes comes first, first, and and varies varies by by model. model. See See the the LIMITED LIMITED WARRANTY WARRANTY FOR FOR NEW NEW JOHN JOHN DEERE DEERE TURF TURF AND AND UTILITY UTILITY EQUIPMENT at and for details. John Deere’s green and yellow color scheme, the leaping deer symbol EQUIPMENT at and for details. John Deere’s green and yellow color scheme, the leaping deer symbol and and § §





2,499 2,499


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20 20 hp hp (14.9 (14.9 kW, kW, 656 656 cc)* cc)* 42-in. mower 42-in. mower deck deck Bumper-to-bumper Bumper-to-bumper 2-year/ 2-year/ 120-hour 120-hour warranty** warranty**

• 17.5 hp (13.0 kW, 500 cc)* • 42-in. Edge™ Cutting System • Bumper-to-bumper 2-year/ 120-hour warranty**

§D105 D105 •• •• ••

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Page 24 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017

Island Conservation Block Island Conservancy celebrates 45 years

Block Island Conservancy Center on Weldon’s Way. Photo by K. Curtis.

By Susan T Gibbons, Vice- President, BIC This year Block Island Conservancy proudly celebrates the 45th anniversary of its founding. In 1972, when Captain John R. Lewis and other Island residents founded Block Island Conservancy, local land trusts were a little known idea. Since then, grass-roots local support and local, state, and national cooperation has resulted in over 46 percent of Block Island being conserved and protected. Block Island Conservancy, Block Island Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy are vital partners and together with many other organizations and federal and state agencies, sustain Block Island’s successes in conservation. Conservation efforts provide recreational areas, preserve scenic views, support crucial habitats for rare plants and animals, and protect the natural recharging of the Island’s sole source aquifer, our only fresh water supply. But there is still much to be done. Land acquisition becomes more difficult as we approach 50 percent of conserved areas on Block Island. We now need to focus on sensible actions that help us combine our tourism-based economy with resource protection and sustainable practices critical to the heritage and character that is Block Island. What can we all do? Activism and personal responsibility begin at home, at school, and in the community, and are accomplished through education and real life experiences. Small strategies and actions add up, and all efforts at conservation do matter. Turn off lights, use less water, give up those plastic bags, refill your re-usable water bottles, walk

more and drive less, switch to and support the development of clean fuel sources, defend evidence based science and conservation — there is no end to this list, and every action you can think of has merit. BIC’s education center provides a hub for conservation information and Land Trust accreditation ties us to credible and documented decision-making, planning and practices. The fight for sustainable practices and evidence based decision making to support the Earth as a whole and our individual community has never been more important. Visit our education center on Weldon’s Way, donate your time and/or money to our efforts, and support the work of all conservation organizations by making real efforts to carry out sustainable and efficient practices in your own life.  What is the difference? The number of conservation organizations active on Block Island sometimes amazes and often confuses both visitors and members of the community.  Why would such a little community have a Block Island Conservancy, a Block Island Land Trust, and an office of The Nature Conservancy too?    While the missions are very similar, there are significant differences in structure and funding.  These organizations have no formal affiliation, yet they work closely together, complementing each other’s strengths.  They collaborate and they cross-examine each other, sometimes moving together and sometimes acting independently.  Without a doubt, Block Island conservation is better served by the three organizations than it would be just one of them.  The sidebar at right is a comparison, by structure, mission and funding. 


• Block Island Conservancy (BIC) is the oldest of the Island’s land protection groups. It was founded in 1972 by Island residents and remains a grassroots non-profit membership agency committed to protecting Block Island’s natural heritage and rural character, and maintaining public access to its resources. The membership elects a board of directors to manage its properties and acquisitions. • The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is an international organization with a strong and expert staff that focuses on biological diversity. It committed its talent and expertise to Block Island projects in the 1970’s, responding to the strong local support for land protection demonstrated by Block Island Conservancy. A local field office was established in 1991. • Block Island Land Trust (BILT) is a governmental body created by state and local legislation in 1986 to acquire open space for public benefit, financed by a land transfer fee. It is governed by a five member elected board of trustees.


• BIC mission is even broader yet. A private charitable institution, its foremost work is in open space and land protection, but it seeks to preserve the cultural and historical character of the island as well. • TNC mission is to protect biological diversity, primarily by focusing on habitat preservation and species protection. • BILT mission is broader, including public recreation, view shed and water resource protection.


• BIC depends almost entirely on the financial support of private individuals. It maintains a membership list of persons and families and each year receives contributions from its donors. • TNC solicits financial support from individuals, foundations and large private institutions and often enters into projects that ultimately receive federal and state funding. • BILT receives the revenue from a three percent fee on all real estate sales, with an allowance for firsttime homeowners. 

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Page 25

Winterizing Your BI Home

Photo by K. Curtis By Paula Taylor Use the following as a checklist to remind yourself of the steps you should take to winterize your home if you are closing it for the winter — or even if you plan to stay. You might even be able to add an item or two based on your own experience. Outside Remember to drain all outside faucets and showers, swimming pools, and hot tubs. When the temperature drops below freezing, ice can cause costly damage to your equipment. Enlist a friend or neighbor who winters here to go around your house once a week or so. Another set of eyes on your house may notice an open window or anything unusual that should not wait until your return in spring.  Its a good idea to bring in your patio furniture and other belongings from the yard. Even a patio chair has the possibility of causing damage in a high wind. Think also about bikes, mopeds and watercraft that have been out all summer. Cover them with tarps or bring them in if you have a garage or a covered area. Take a few minutes to contact your insurance agent to be sure that your policy is up to date and that you have the right coverage on your auto and home. You should have comprehensive insur-

ance on your car, which offers coverage if a tree falls on your car, for example. He reminds us that collision insurance will not cover such an occurrence. Before you leave check your roof and siding for loose shingles. If you hesitate to climb a ladder, be safe and hire someone to check for you. If you have shutters be sure they are secured to the house. Openings could bring uninvited residents of the bird, rodent, or insect varieties. If you see a gap in an exterior door or a bulkhead, fill it with steel wool. This is a good deterrent for mice. If your house is on piers or has an open foundation, inspect the pipes. You should know the lowest point of your plumbing. Drain pipes and faucets after you have turned off the main water shut off. Freezing water in traps could cause a costly repair. If you are unsure, hire a licensed plumber to help you with the shut off operations. When thinking of wind and winter storms, cut back trees that have grown close to your house. Remove any dead limbs before they cause a problem. Clean gutters and clean and check downspouts. Be sure that your downspouts direct water away from the house and foundation. Observe your walkways, looking for loose or broken stones, tiles and walkways disturbed by root growth. If your gardens have shrubs that could

be damaged by wind, salt, snow, or deer, cover them with burlap and fencing. Also check existing fences for deterioration that may have occurred during the summer. Check your shovels. Whether you shovel your walk or someone else does, you will want your equipment in good order. If you have a snow blower or a plow, now would be the time to turn those on to be sure they are operating properly. In regard to windows and exterior doors, install your storm windows before leaving. Check that all your windows and doors are securely locked. If your windows are wood and peeling, a fresh coat of paint will protect the wood. Also check to see that caulking is tight. Old and shrunken caulking allows moisture to enter and wood to rot. Inside Walk around your home and unplug all electronics and appliances which are not in use. Empty your freezer and fridge if possible. Even equipment that is plugged into a surge protector is not safe from lightning strikes. Unplugging will also save on your electric bill. When you do your home “walk through”, video the contents of your home including behind closet doors. It is so easy to forget without a visual inven-

tory. This will take just a few minutes but truly be valuable if you need it. Now is the time to shut off your oil and gas. Store propane tanks securely. If they are rusted, empty them safely outside where the gas can escape. Take your trash to the dump and secure trash cans either in the shed, or clean and store inside. It is also a good time to have a chimney sweep clean your chimney, check the spark arrester and advise you of any problems with the stack or lining. Before you leave, test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, change batteries if that has not been done within the past six to ten months. If your alarms are more than ten years old or have been painted over, replace them. Alarms are one of the least expensive precautionary measures that you can take to protect your home. Put dryer sheets on each bed and in drawers. Rodents do not like the smell and will stay away. Of course you will empty and clean your fridge and freezer so that rodents will not be attracted by the smell. But also think about turning off toilets at the shut off valve then flushing until the bowl and tank are empty. And finally, walk around your house with a critical eye. You may find something else that needs your attention before you head out the door.

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Page 26 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 Since 1984

Connelli Land Improvement Service 466-2549


Custom Site Prep • View Shed Improvement Vegetation Management • Field Mowing Brushcutting • Chipping William F. Connelli Box 205 • Block Island, RI 02807

WHAT’S TRENDING Tile Craft Design Center

Tile that looks like wood?

There are countless innovations in tile and countertops to add style to your home. Tile Craft Design Center in Peacedale,R.I. carries 6x36 tiles with a wood look as well as new larger porcelain tiles which are the result of new technology. Grays and driftwood are also popular this year as well as glass tiles in larger formats. Beach glass is available with new shapes, sizes, and finishes. Quartz countertops are available and the Cambria counter line has come out with twelve new granite colors. Tile Craft Design Center has been in business since the 1950’s and has been under the same ownership since the 1970’s. They combine classic ideas and new technology. They are currently working on new adhesives and stain-proof grouts being offered by some of the oldest companies in the business. For more info call (401)-783-7770.

References Available License #453

P.O. BOX 88 CAROLINA, RI 02812


The Block Island Times is looking for a year-round delivery person beginning in September. This job requires an individual with a good driving record and a current drivers license. You must be dependable and willing and able to lift and carry up to a 30-pound bundle. You need to be available Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Vehicle provided.

Residential & Landscape Masonry Fireplaces • Chimneys • Walls • Steps • Foundations Walkways • Patios • Outdoor Kitchens • Veneers Repair & Restoration Work Architectural Stone Carving, Lettering Ph/Fax 401-364-1620 Jesse Simmons (Cell) 401-741-6389 RI License# 4323

This could be you! Send us your Where in the World photos and let our readers know where The Block Island Times has traveled and with whom!


The design professionals at South County Cabinets Kitchen & Bath Design have been transforming dreams into reality since 1993. Allow our designers to assist you in bringing your vision to life. We specialize in creating spaces that always welcome you home.

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House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

WHAT’S TRENDING Kitchens Direct, Inc.

Cook up a snazzy new kitchen

Cook up a snazzy new kitchen - or just get the equipment you need - with Kitchens Direct, Inc., the Wakefield store with friendly phone service, a great website and staff that will help you make your culinary dreams a reality. (401) 783-3100.

Page 27


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Page 28 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017

Block Island connection News email - every Monday Features email - every Wednesday Bulletins - Breaking news


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House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

All Island, All the Time

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Photo Credit: Kari Curtis | The Block Island Times

advertiser index Page 30 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017



A&B Family Appliance 684 Kingstown Rd. (Benny’s Plaza) Wakefield, RI 02879 (401) 284-4108

East Coast Design 306 Main St. East Greenwich, RI 02818 (401) 885-8585

A. Transue Corp. P.O. Box 1558 Block Island, RI 02807 (401) 466-5907 Ardente Supply 79A Tom Harvey Rd. Westerly, RI 02891 (401) 315-2727 B

F Fagan Door 390 Tioque Ave. Coventry, R.I. 02816 (401) 821-2729


Ballard’s Oil Company Box 689 Block Island, RI 02807 (401) 466 2977

Geoffrey Rigby-Leather P.O. Box 897 Block Island, RI 02807 (401) 466-2391

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

Griggs & Browne Pest Control 175 Niantic Ave. Providence, RI 02907 (401) 783-3800

Bazazi Design 11 Scovil Rd. Higganum, CT 06441


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

Robert Brown Septic Services P.O. Box 669 Block Island, RI 02807 (401) 466-3109 (401) 569-6422



Liberty Cedar 325 Liberty Lane West Kingston, RI 02892 (401) 789-6626

Sears Hometown Store 6655 Post Rd. North Kingstown, RI 02852 (401) 885-1120

N Ned Phillips, Jr. & Co PO Box 404 Block Island, RI 02807 (401) 218-5266 New England Airlines P.O. Box A2 Block Island, RI 02807 (401) 466-5882 (401) 596-2460 North Atlantic Buiders Block Island, RI 02807 (401) 363-2189 O

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

Highland Farm 4235 Tower Hill Road / Rte. 1 Wakefield, RI 02879 (401) 792-8188

Block Island Recycling Management 14 West Beach Road Block Island, RI 02807 (401) 4662864

Hill & Harbour Tile Showroom 42 Ladd St., 1st Floor East Greenwich, RI 02818 (401) 398-1035

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

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


C Classic Chimney PO Box 9190 Warwick, RI 02889 (401) 739-0284 Connelli Land Improvement P.O. Box 205 Block Island, RI 02807 (401) 466-2549 Coutu Movers 2 Greco Lane Warwick, R.I. 02886 (401) 739-7788 D D. Brown Appliance Repair & Installation P.O. Box 386 Block Island, RI 02807 401-497-2628 Debbie’s Professional Carpet Cleaning P.O. Box 1046 Block Island, RI 02807 (401) 218-8713 (401) 466-8827 DVL Landscaping P.O. Box 1208 Block Island, RI 02807 (401) 466- 2081

I Interstate Navigation P.O. Box 3333 Narragansett, RI 02882 (401) 783-4613 J JPS Pool Service N. Scituate, RI 02857 (401) 230-3493 K Karen Beckwith Creative PO Box 737 Lenox, MA 01240 (413) 637-4479 Karin Sprague Stone Carvers Inc. 904 Tourtellot Hill Rd. Scituate. RI 02857 (401) 934-3105

Offshore Property Ocean Avenue, Block Island, RI 02807 (401) 466-5446

Pat’s Power Equipment 3992 Old Post Road Charlestown, R.I. 02813 (401) 364-6114 Pennington Sprague Company, Inc. PO Box 370 Block Island, R.I. 02807 (401) 466-2378 Priscilla Anderson Design PO Box 363 Block Island, RI 02807 (617) 947-4044 R Richard Warfel Construction, LLC. P.O. Box 1001 Block Island, RI 02807 (401) 466-5768 (401) 569-8777 Riverhead Supply 6000 Post Road North Kingstown, RI 02852 (401) 541-7480

Simmons Masonry P.O. Box 88 Charlestown, RI 02813 (401) 364-1620 (401) 741-6389 South County Cabinets 137 Franklin St. Westerly, R.I. 02891 (401) 596-7070 South County Sound & Video 1080 Kingstown Rd. Suite 2 Wakefield, R.I. 02879 (401) 789-1700 South County Survey P.O. Box 2 Charlestown, RI 02813 401-364-9405 T Thorp & Trainer 107 Airport Rd. Westerly, RI 02891 (401) 596-0146 Tile Craft Design Center 1305 Kingstown Road Peace Dale, RI 02879 (401) 783-7770 W Washington Trust Company Ocean Avenue Block Island R.I. 02891 (800) 475-2265 Westerly Glass Co. 2 Industrial Drive Westerly, RI 02891 401-596-4733 William Rose, Inc. Grace’s Cove Road Block Island, R.I. 02807 (877) 466-9001 (401) 741-6328

House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017 • BLOCK ISLAND TIMES

Page 31

Photo by Ariel Carlson


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One-time standard installation fee may be charged at the time of sale. Equipment lease fee is $9.99/mo. Taxes apply. Speeds are “up to,” are not guaranteed and will vary. New customers who order Exede Voice at the same time they order Exede Internet will save $10/mo on their internet bill for the first six months of services provided they continue to receive both services. Minimum 24-month service term for Internet service and 6-month service term for Exede Voice. Monthly service fee for Exede Voice is $29.99 and is subject to taxes and surcharges. Additional charges for calls to destinations outside of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada and for directory assistance calls. 911 service through Exede Voice’s satellite technology may be limited in comparison to 911 service available through traditional landline telephone carriers. Freedom Plan customers who use greater than 150 GB of data during their monthly billing period will experience reduced speeds until the end of their monthly billing period and may be asked to reduce their monthly usage below 150 GB or transition to another service plan. Service is for residential and non-commercial use only. See Bandwidth usage Policy at for details. The Hibernation Plan allows you to suspend your service (and not pay your usual service fee) for two to six months at a time for a total of up to six months in a calendar year. A $9.99 monthly fee, all equipment lease fees, fees for other services, and taxes still apply during service suspension. Service is not available in all areas. Offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time. Exede is a registered service mark of ViaSat, Inc.

Page 32 BLOCK ISLAND TIMES • House & Garden Edition • Fall 2017

NorthAtlantic Atlantic North Builders

builders Block Island, Rhode Island Custom homes, additions & renovations Licensed and Insured

Gerry Riker Block Island, Rhode Island 401-829-6979

Josh Redd 401-363-2189

Josh Redd • 401-363-2189 • RI Reg. # 20136

Block Island Times Fall 2017 House & Garden Edition  
Block Island Times Fall 2017 House & Garden Edition