Jimmy Belta — one of Westport’s last remaining farmers — died Saturday. He was 88.
Since 1945, Jimmy raised poultry, eggs, vegetables, plants and flowers on Bayberry Lane.
Lloyd Allen — owner of the Double L Farm Stand — remembers his friend:
Jimmy was a friend of mine. I’ll miss him and the flowers and vegetables that he grew. I’ll miss the stories he told. He always had a story to tell that had a lesson tied to it. He’d often often yell, “I’m not telling you what to do, I’m just trying to teach you something.”
He lived off the land. His hands were leathered and worn. He loved working from dawn to dusk. He grew and packed some of the nicest vegetables in the region. His tomatoes couldn’t be beat. He loved growing basil most of all and his garlic bulbs were huge. He picked his yellow squash small and they gleamed in the sunlight.
He had 1 phone line. It rang up at the house and out in the greenhouse. His wife would pick up the phone and always say, “Call back, maybe he’ll pick up.”
The Belta family will receive visitors today (Thursday, January 12) from 4-8 p.m. at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Ave., Norwalk. A funeral service is set for 10 a.m. tomorrow (Friday, January 13), 10 a.m. at St. Luke Church.