July 5, 2020

One Heck of a Gardener

I could say a lot about Michael. In summary, he was one of the kindest, smartest, ingenious, and generous men I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, not to mention one heck of a gardener.

For what it’s worth here is my history with him:

Michael and his wife Gail were my mentors.  I worked for them at Everlasting Farm in 2008 and then they wrote me such a glowing recommendation that I was able to acquire a job with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.  We kept in touch and in 2010 they offered me their succulent collection (over 80 different species of succulents they had collected over their 20 plus years of gardening) and one of their greenhouses for a price I couldn’t refuse.

Michael helped me take down the greenhouse and reconstruct it on my property, all the while dispensing the kind of hands on knowledge that’s hard to come by in books or academia.  This was very generous because if you’ve ever taken down or constructed a greenhouse, you know the physical labor required for such a task is immense.  He was always educating me while we worked — he had so much knowledge, not only about plants, but also the mechanics of running a greenhouse.  He was quite the inventor and he was always scheming on how to make tools work best for the job at hand.

He mentored me up until the last time I saw him which was in my greenhouse in late October. He and Gail were on their way to Fedco to buy blueberry booster, which I, of course, knew nothing about and he, of course, knew everything about blueberries. Come to find out, he and Gail had been harvesting blueberries since July and they were still getting them in late October!  You couldn’t have a conversation with him without going away having learned some valuable tidbit.

I feel blessed to have known him and for every second I worked beside him.  He is missed greatly, but his succulents live on…

Hannah Todd

Brick House Succulents
555 Old County Road
Etna, ME 04434