Friday, June 18, 2010

Entry 18: On the Grid

The inhabitants of Revis Island are a pragmatic bunch.

The northern end of Revis Island is a farming region and in order to make the most use of the narrow stretch of land they had to find some way of organising their plots of land.

It was Morten Andersen, one of the original farmers, who came up with the idea of a grid system. A system completely unknown in any other part of the Oak River region.

Morten, a pumpkin farmer, who was 48-years old at the time, was looking at his stone-worked kitchen floor one day and noticed how pleasing the rectangular shapes were to look at and how well they fitted together.

The following day when the new settlers on the island were dividing up the land, he suggested the radical approach. His grid was greeted as innovative by some, but was not welcomed with universal acclaim. As settlers in a new land, the people had shaken off the rigidity of the rules and regulations of their former homes. This new grid reminded them of such rigidity and yet they could not deny how useful this system would be.

Eventually they settled on a compromise. They would keep the grid system but it would not be completely rigid. Each farmer could take a parcel of land as long as it was rectangular, but they could be of varying sizes.