Getting the plows out |

Getting the plows out

Aspen Historical Society, Gerbaz Collection
Aspen Historical Society, Gerbaz Collection

While early May can be cold and wet, like this year, usually the ground is beginning to thaw and dry out. Local ranchers in the early 1900s would begin getting ready in May for the upcoming summer crops. The Aspen Times had numerous advertisements that started to appear in April about the plentiful seeds and plows for sale. On April 21, 1906, the paper reported, “The farmers down the valley are putting in their crops.” However, Brush Creek residents had a much shorter growing season than their fellow ranchers in Basalt. They would begin plowing their fields in late April or early May depending on the saturation level of their soil: If it was too wet, it would bog down the equipment. Many ranchers would share plowing and harvesting equipment due to the expense and would work up the valley as the soil dried out and crops were ready. This image shows an eight-horse team pulling a disc harrow used to prepare land for seeding on the Gerbaz ranch (just downvalley where Aspen Village now sits), circa 1930.

Editor’s note: This page is a partnership between the Snowmass Sun and the Aspen Historical Society with

two primary goals in mind: to improve the knowledge of Snowmass history in the region and to collect historical photographs

of the Snowmass region for the society. If you have pieces of history to donate, please send them to or call 970-925-3721.

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