Ross Farm Newsletter 2017, Edition 4
View this email in your browser

From the Desk of the President

As I reflect on our accomplishments in 2017, I couldn’t be more proud of our Friends organization and our expanding volunteer corps.  This year we’ve hosted numerous History, Garden, Music, and Arts activities that have highlighted the wonderful beauty and bounty of our very special property.  None of this would be possible without our terrific partnership with the Somerset County Parks Commission, who owns and manages the site.  Over the years our relationship with the Parks Commission has only strengthened as we’ve broadened our offerings and now serve more members of our local community than ever before.  

 As an historic site--the Ross Farm is on both the Federal and State registers of Historic Places—we are not a public park in the traditional sense. Instead, events must organized, preparations made, and permissions granted to open the gates and be ready for visitors.  Our County partners have been supportive from the beginning and continue to encourage us to find additional ways of fulfilling our mission to provide historic, cultural and educational programming.  This year has been our best to date in meeting those objectives and I believe we are a shining example of what grass-roots, community based organizations can accomplish.  So on behalf of our Friends’ Board of Directors, we say thank you to our County partners along with everyone who has visited or volunteered!

David Becker
Friends of the Boudinot-Southard-Ross Estate

Farm to Table Event - September 23, 2017

We are pleased to announce the details of our 2nd Annual Farm to Table fundraising event. Registration and payment may be sent by mail or completed online at, but please note the online payment option will not be available until August 1. We sold out of tickets for last year's event, so don't wait to get your registration in!

Did You Know?

During the Revolutionary War years, 1776-1783, Elias Boudinot sequestered his family on the Ross Farm property to keep them safely away from the port community of Elizabethtown (known today as Elizabeth), the location of their primary residence. Shortly thereafter, Boudinot was elected as a member of the Continental Congress where he served from 1777 -1783.

In 1783, at the time of the crafting of the Treaty of Paris, “His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States…to be free, sovereign, and independent states.”  Elias Boudinot was by then the president of the Continental Congress, making him the defacto first president of the United States at the moment that the independence of the US was first acknowledged.

Midsummer Night’s Dream

August marks the halfway point for summer gardens. It is at this point that all crops are being planted and/or considered for the remainder of the summer, and Boudinot's Garden is no exception. Garden volunteers have tended and harvested 313 pounds of produce for area food pantries and the Somerset County Food Bank, and are planning on a bumper crop of late summer/early fall zucchini, winter squash and pumpkins to  blow last year’s harvest totals away.

A huge THANK YOU goes out to our dedicated volunteers!! We can’t do it without you!!

This year’s garlic harvest yielded 30 pounds.

Making Music Where History Made America

Who could imagine our site with a rich history dating back to the Revolution would grow such a vibrant music scene today?  

Just ask the hundreds of guests who have attended the nine concerts so far this year, and the musicians who have played for them. The Ross Farm has become a destination for touring musicians and bands to play where they know they’ll have an attentive and appreciative audience.  Audiences have been growing as local music lovers discover a great place to see live music practically in their own back yard, while others are perfectly happy to travel to Basking Ridge to see live music they could expect to find in New York City, Nashville or other established venues in bigger, busier cities. 
The End of America performs on the Tack House Patio
This season thrived, not only with growing attendance and incredibly talented artists, but also thanks to a number of local businesses who supported the Music Series: Atelier Salon, Back to Nature Home & Garden, BobiCommer of Coldwell Banker, The Café @ Liberty Cycle, Concert Audio, Couch Braunsdorf Insurance, Country Mile Gardens, Crawford Academics, Minuteman Restaurant, Mockingbird Café, Safety & Aquatic Solutions, TAPinto Basking Ridge, Tull's Foreign Auto Body, and TrueLeaf Kitchens.
In addition to our business sponsors, we had the support of the “Band of Friends,” music lovers who made a donation at the beginning of the season.  These donations helped the 2017 Music Series run smoothly and were greatly appreciated. Please consider visiting the businesses who support live music and the Ross Farm and make sure to thank them for their support!
Also new this year was an RSVP system which allowed concert goers to ‘save a spot’ at the show. Our spaces inside the home and barn are limited, so those who had RSVPed were sure to be admitted when they arrived. At the same time, guests could donate in advance, but donations were also accepted at the door for each concert. The suggested donation for each show was $20 for adults and $10 for students; we are grateful to everyone who happily donated to support live music at the Ross Farm.
Our third season began earlier than the previous two, in March when Kyle Cox and Matt Hires played a sold-out show in the Music Room of the beautiful old estate home. Our capacity crowds continued when Christian Lopez returned to the Farm for an unprecedented fourth time with Don Gallardo. A waitlist had to be initiated to make sure we could accommodate everyone who wished to attend! We were happy that, in the end, we did have enough space for everyone who had turned up for the show as the weather was warm enough to move this show into the bigger space of the historic bank barn.
Christian Lopez (Photo by Kylie West)
Brian Dunne was our first newcomer of the season, and we all hope to see him back at the Farm again after his set of great songs and the stories he told about them.  Our first outside concert of the season was the 3rd Annual Rock the Barn, featuring music from The Rad Trads and barbecue from the Minuteman! The band played on a stage built outside the double doors of the barn to an audience that ranged out over the gentle fields on a beautiful Sunday evening in May. 
JD Eicher Band
The weather continued to cooperate this season, permitting us to stage the next shows on the Tack House Patio. Jared Mahone made his first Ross Farm appearance as the audience spread out on blankets and lawn chairs between the Tack House and estate home, enjoying the music and their own picnics. For the next show, our “Celebrate Summer” concert with The End of America, some of the men from the Friends of the Boudinot-Southard-Ross Estate committee grilled hotdogs, hamburgers and veggie burgers to serve the after-work crowd. JD Eicher and Mike Mains played the last show of the summer on July 16.
The day was hot, but the music was hotter and our guests gathered under the shade of some lovely old trees to enjoy a wonderful afternoon of live music. We've got a short break for the rest of the summer, and will be excited to hop back into hosting live music this fall. We’re looking forward to welcoming Taylor Carson after our first day of History Weekend on October 14.
Mike Mains meets local fan, Emma Marsters
Details for this show can be found at and also by “liking” our Facebook page at The Ross Farm – Basking Ridge, where upcoming events and photos are posted and updated regularly.

We enjoy making music where America made history, and look forward to each and every opportunity to share the Ross Farm with our friends, neighbors and newcomers!

Bee Inspired by ARTsee

On May 6th, ARTsee, a local artists' collective, in partnership with the Friends of the Boudinot-Southard-Ross Estate, held a “Bee Inspired” themed ‘happening’ in the house and on the grounds of the estate. The artists presented all manner of art works, many of which featured bees or bee related perspectives.

In addition to the art hung throughout the house and jewelry makers’ set up in the red bedroom, art was also ‘happening’ outdoors. Children and adults alike enjoyed learning the process of Stop Animation to create their own movies. Raiku pottery artists fired their pieces on the driveway, creating one of a kind works of art, while simultaneously describing the process to guests. Bee keepers were on hand to speak to visitors about the importance of bees in our ecosystem. Families were able to make their own bees to be added to the collective hive which was hanging on the backporch.
And not to be missed, Alex Bigatti, co-organizer with Beth Murphy from ARTsee, taught visitors how to do a bee dance. 

When worker bees find flowers for gathering nectar they travel back to the hive to “dance” the directions to other worker bees so they can find their way back to collect the nectar. Ross Farm gardeners are deeply appreciative of the bees that visit the farm! So keep on dancing honey!

Mystery Item and Answer to Last Month’s Photo

This nifty item is a fly trap.  Did you guess correctly?

Below is this is month’s mystery item. Put your thinking caps on and good luck!

Copyright © 2017 The Ross Farm, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp