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87-year-old’s ‘small’ gardens intended for others’ use

An 87-year-old Hampton man is growing two, 60-foot-long gardens of food.

Dewey Lovette is growing two gardens; worth of vegetables to give away.

Dewey Lovette is growing two gardens; worth of vegetables to give away.

That’s cause for attention by itself.
But Dewey Lovette is growing those vegetables to give away.
Lovette moved in with his nephew, Steve Lovette, last December.
He told his nephew then that he wanted to plant a small garden, but Steve Lovette wasn’t expecting the 38 rows of vegetables that Dewey Lovette planted.
“He calls that a small garden, it absolutely blows my mind,” Steve Lovette said. “He’s almost 90 years old. I really think he’s something.”
Dewey Lovette said he has corn, tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, peas, butter beans and squash growing in his two gardens.
The crops should be ready by the end of July.
And here’s the catch: It’s for anyone who wants to come pick up some fresh produce.
“I just like to see it grow more than I like eating it,” Dewey Lovette said.
The gardens don’t come without hard work.
Steve Lovette and his wife, Cynthia Lovette, said that Steve’s uncle has worked in the garden from sun up to sun down every day since he planted the gardens earlier this month.
“It’s just amazing that he does it by himself,” Cynthia Lovette said.
Two scars on the top of Dewey Lovette’s head are evidence of surgeries that resulted from a brain injury he suffered in the last year. In spite of that, Lovette still spends hours each day tending his gardens.
“I don’t think anything’s going to stop him,” Steve Lovette said, laughing.
When he’s not tending his gardens, Steve Lovette said that his uncle can be found doing yard work. He mows the lawn and does anything else that needs to be done outside.
Dewey Lovette grew up farming in North Carolina. He said gardening comes naturally to him because he’s been working on farms since he was about 10 years old.
“I’ve just always done it,” Lovette said.
Lovette’s produce will be available for anyone to pick up at the end of July, at 5600 U.S. Highway 19E in Hampton.