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.


  1. This is an interesting approach for having organized and efficient plots of farming land.

    In real life in my own area farmers used to have irregular shaped and small patches of land, where one farmer would have several plots spread out in the local area, sometimes in the family for centuries. Then halfway last century we had the 'ruilverkaveling', which roughly translates to 'plotswapping', where in basicly all land owned by a farmer got measured, and he got a new plot of single land, (or two) that would have the same size as his former small plots all together, and this way the small patches changed into the regular rectangles we have now.

    Its interesting to see how the farmers here kind of got forced to have a similar land use from the start, that Morten andersen is a smart guy!

  2. Good to see an update again.

    I like to see how you incorporated the grid system in your journal. Where I live the grid is the exception. The farming plots where divided by generational succession in smaller and smaller plots with irregular shapes. Nowadays the machine use in farming demands for more gridlike plots. We will see if Andersens idea will produce the effective results we expect.