Ross Brothers Farm

                        Year 1 – 2000:  First point of business was figuring out how to cut the grass. The lot measures
                        350 feet wide, by 750 feet long.  This should equal out to about 5 acres. 3 acres are open field
                        with the remaining in timbered out woods.  Not having the knowledge as to maintain a large
                        yard,  I knew right away that a push mover just wouldn’t “cut it”.  The first yard implement was a
                        Snapper Riding Mower with a 32” cut. It would take about 6 hours to cut the grass. Now that is
                        a long time!

                        During the first year a number of white pine trees were planted.  Just guessing it was around 50
                        or 60.  The trees were ordered from the State of Indiana and were planted very early spring
                        along the east and west side of the property.  We also planted a few elderberry bushes. Two
                        of those remain today.  At last count we still had about 15 white pines growing.  The next couple
                        of years we also planted 4 or 5 black walnut trees in the lower part of the property.  Seems we
                         just can’t get enough tress and bushes.

                        Early spring of 2001
a gravel drive way was made and a barbed wire fence and gate were
                        installed across the front of the property.  I wish now I had taken pictures to capture the moments
                        of anger and frustration of installing a barbed wire fence!  Remember a range fence was
                        designed to keep “things” out, not in.

                        In 2002, it seems like we built a 12 by 20 yard barn, this is still a work in progress.  We
                        completed the fence around the upper part of the property and planted more trees and plants.
                        If you look around the property today, hopefully you will find a variety of plants, trees and bushes.
                        When first purchased the land was bare, nothing but grass was growing. Not one single tree
                        extended beyond the tree line on the north side of the property.

                        Oh, yes the garden. Since day one, attempts have been made to grow something that looks like
                        or represents a garden.  Let me say this, it is easier said than done. 5 years and still not one
                        basket of tomatoes, potatoes or corn on the cob! Heck, not even a sunflower big enough to brag
                        about.  Something about a garden, they take a lot of time and work.  You can’t just turn over
                        some ground,  plant a few seeds and except it to grow. It just doesn’t happen that way.

                        2003 brought yet another crop failure. We would not have survived as frontiersmen. We
                        would have turned into another Donner party if we relied on our wits and ground to keep us fed. 
                        Idea’s and plans for the property seemed to grow with every passing day.  During this time
                        frame we purchased a generator, added a 55 gallon plastic drum that was used to store water
                        and supplied a gravity fed running water system for the cabin, added a front porch and built a
                        small utility shed.

                        2003 also took us into the 21st century. A Sears lawn tractor with a 40” cut was purchased. This
                        cut grass cutting time down to 4 hours.  Electricity comes to the property. While I don’t recall the
                        cost to hook-up, trench and install electricity, it was worth every penny.  It seems we also added
                        the outside privy shower too.

                        More trees were planted that included green ash, (also known as the Freedom Tree from the
                        Eisenhower years), a sycamore, scotch pines, blue spruces along with a few dwarf evergreens
                        and one Pin Oak. Also 2 weeping willows and a cork screw willow.  I keep on cutting down the
                        forsythia better known as a “banana bush”.  Wow, sure seems like we are planting a bunch of
                        trees. But keep in mind, not one tree grew on the upper part of property prior to 2000.

                        In 2003 we were gifted with a 1948 Case VAC tractor. Our cousin Flip graciously donated one
                        of his tractors to our cause. Thanks Flip.  Let me see, that free gift cost the price of an old
                        beat-up Woods brush hog, a single bottom plow and a tine row tiller. Let’s not forget to add
                        in the new batteries, hydraulic and transmission gear oil and a bunch of other items to get and
                        keep the tractor running. But what farm would be complete without an actual tractor!  Did I
                        mention the brakes don’t work?

                                                                                                            Page 2
Turn To Page:  1   2   3   4  Home