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The History of the Eco-Frontiers Ranch is relatively short but rich and it is impossible to describe it in detail here.
We present only tiny summary of what had been going on before the Eco-Frontiers Ranch really started. But still a lot of new things are going on and new ideas are being brought into effect. You can read current news from the Eco-Frontiers Ranch
We bought this 60 hectares land in 1999 from the State Agency that was selling out properties of former collective farms (kolkchoz). Everybody was asking us: "What are going to do there???, No road, no electricity, in the middle of nowhere, at the Ukrainian border, it is even not a good productive soil, just pastures and meadows, is it no better to buy a small piece of land in a city???". Well, but we had an IDEA, which was maturing until the end of 2003. Then all paper work was started like planning, designing, getting administrative decisions, buying wood, etc.
In Spring 2004 we started to cut off the bushes, build the road, look for water, debark the logs, prepare and level the place for the house…
Starting from July 2004 REAL HARD WORK has started: two tents were set up, ready to be home for us and our carpenters for the next two years, the sawmill was installed and tested, foundations for the Main House were dug out and filled with concrete, small stable for horses was built by Krzysiek...
In September 2004 first group of Ukrainian carpenters came. We started from visit to the Open Air Museum in Sanok and short training in operating the sawmill. Then the main construction started... and stopped in the middle of October 2004. During these 6 week a HUUUGE JOB was done, taking into account that all construction was made manually and each single log was pulled by people. Moreover, all work was done without energy and water... (story about our first well is too dramatic to write about just like that, you must listen to it...).
In November 2004, already in snow and wind, we installed our first windmill and get first Watt of renewable energy... Just imagine how happy we were...
Living in tent was not a piece of cake, but we liked it. Daily food consisted of cheese bread fried on stove or 'Chinese' instant soup. We had to sleep very well dressed and could stand cold nights until... the temperature in the tent dropped below -15. That was enough, we decided to hide in one of the rooms in the house (now it is one of guest rooms – see Pioneers Cave). We made a provisional roof and floor, cut off small hole in the wall and fixed tiny window, installed a small wood oven. That was our cave during whole winter 2004/2005. It was real WINTER - cold, snowy windy and very loooong . We were very often totally cut off from the civilization. In desperation we were skiing down to the main road to bring the most necessary things in backpacks. Spring came late April, so we could move again to tent.
In June 2005 the construction work continued. Second group of Ukrainian carpenters came. They were really tough guys. You will see the effects of their work, it is really amazing. In August, the Ukrainians made a one month break for haymaking. During that time we were building chimneys and making foundations for other buildings. In September 2005 the construction of the Main House was almost finished. In December 2005 windows in the Main House were installed and work inside could be done (wiring, floors, etc). At the same time construction of the Stable and garage/wood storage was done. On December 17th we left the tent and moved to the house. Till the mid 2006 almost all building and construction work has been finished... so it took us only 2 years to make this abandoned and neglected land to become an unique, tranquil place where sustainability is practiced.