Dateline: 21 February 2016 AD
|This is Thomas Jefferson's mysterious garden-thing drawing.|
I’ve read that Leonardo da Vinci invented the helicopter. Of course, he didn’t actually invent a working helicopter (after all, he lived in the late 15th century)—he just came up with the concept. It’s sort of like how I Invented Granola Bars back in 1975 (when I was 17 years old). It's the same sort of thing with that old drawing above.
According to the book, A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello, that sketch is something of a mystery. Nobody has been able to figure out what exactly that garden-thing drawing is all about.
Well, I'm here to tell you that I know what it's all about.
I knew what it was the moment I saw it.
As you probably know, in addition to being a polymath, Jefferson was a visionary thinker. His concept in that drawing from 1812 would not come into actual existence until the spring of 2012 (exactly 200 years later)….. when I invented the Whizbang Solar Pyramid.
Can you see it?
I have been taking credit for coming up with the incredible Whizbang Solar Pyramid, and it was actually Thomas Jefferson who first dreamed of the idea!
Without the invention of plastic and, in particular, Bob’s Superstrong Woven Poly from Northern Greenhouse Sales (up there in North Dakota), Thomas Jefferson couldn’t possibly bring his idea of solar pyramids to reality. But I did. This is a humbling realization, to say the least.
In my imaginings, I have imagined what it would be like to fold up a few solar pyramid covers, stuff them into Doc Brown's DeLorean time machine, and go back to Monticello circa 1800. We could land on that red-clay runway right next to Jefferson's 1,000 foot long garden...
|(click for larger view)|
According to his famous garden journal, Jefferson was forever trying to beat the spring frosts and get his garden plants off to an early start (and usually failing). Can you imagine his delight at seeing what a Whizbang Solar Pyramid could do in his garden!
The whole story of Whizbang Solar Pyramids (less the part about Thomas Jefferson inventing them) can be found in The Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners.