That’s An Odd Place For A Summer Garden !

Source Gorgeous Green House blog – Roof top gardening
Really early this morning I read a blog that sent my mind back to Great Grandpa’s West Texas dry-land farm.
In 1865, using money saved as a union soldier and his mustering out pay he purchased(at the price of $0.50 cents an acre) sight unseen, a 80 acre West Texas Farm.
FYI 80 acres was about as much land as a family could farm using a 1 row plow and 2 mules.

It took most of the spring and early summer to travel by covered wagon, the distance between Mississippi and West Texas. (About 60 days). All of great grand ma’s house hold utensils, cook stove pots and pans and a little furniture like a bed, eating table and a couple of chairs. They also had a few chickens, a cow and 2 mules and a plow.

Great grand pa (John O. and wife Maude) first had to plow a spot for a garden to feed them through the winter and to build a house to live in. Timber(trees/logs) were in short supply. John O. constructed a 3 room (small rooms by today’s standards) adobe mud brick house dug into the side of a mostly sand covered clay hill side giving them protection from West Texas cold harsh north winter winds.
I can still remember well that it had a thick layer of sod covering the roof to keep the rain out of Maud’s house. Two or three years later, John O. had saved enough money to buy lumber and nails to construct a wood floor for their little sod house.
They both died day’s apart (1918) from the flu epidemic introduced to America by soldiers returning from Europe and WWI.

In 1920 the sod house was turned into a hog smoke house after Grand pa John H. and his 4 boy’s ordered a 2 bed room house kit from Sears and Roebuck Company. It was shipped by train from Chicago to West Texas. The kit had everything needed to build a house. Blue prints, windows, doors, flooring, nails and so on. This turned into an almost 2 year project.

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8 responses to “That’s An Odd Place For A Summer Garden !

  1. my fathers side of the family has a very similar history… my great great grandfather also settled in Texas and also farmed, ranched in the area of Montague county TX…. then his daughter my grandmother married and ended up in the pan handle with my share cropper, crop duster grandfather in the Dalheart and Amerrilo area. She also died young and they also started out in a Adobe house, later they moved to a small wooden house near where my grandfather had his airplane… they had my father and 4 other sons and about age 16 he moved to Colorado. Thier he met and married my mom .Spent many many summers in the wheat fields of the panhandle with my grand parents… how they ever got any thing to grow after the dust bowl still to this day amazes me, as my grandmothers yard was more sand then dirt..


    • Re jolynnpowers Thanks for your visit to my little blog and your comment(s)
      I often think those old timers were a hardier bunch than those of us that did not endure the great depression, the dust bowl years and WWII and it’s strict rationing of critical foods and materials.

      Happy dust storm free summer gardening


  2. Glad my roof garden (Gorgeous Green House) took you on a fun trip down memory lane to your great grandparents sod roof garden. They knew a thing or two about how to insulate well then! Thanks for your wonderful inspirational and informative blog.


    • Re gorgeousgreenhouse .. Big grin 🙂 I’m getting to the age that I can still remember what I was doing and where I was when I was 5, but now days I sometimes forget why I went to the kitchen.
      Happy productive roof gardening


  3. I don’t understand how this post’s title applies to the content.


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