the industry. Many areas were investigated including shothole control, varietal clone selection and general management. Ross’ work in the nursery led to an interest in almond varieties and he spent much time in the selection of superior clones, and one of his selections of Nonpareil was tested at Roseworthy Agricultural College and ultimately found its way into the clonal trial run by the industry
Spurred-on by the potential of the Riverland, Ross was one of three growers to start the Lindsay Point almonds project under the chairmanship of Eric Lacey and in combination with Colin Jarrett. The growers worked properties for investors, which enabled the project to begin. Son Paul was employed as the Lindsay Point project commenced. In 1976, Ross sold the Willunga property to enable Tom and Jan to move to Lindsay Point, where they purchased 100 acres next to Paul. Over the years, Ross did much to support the industry and raise its profile. He was passionate about almonds and while at Willunga he started almond blossom tours on his property. The funds raised benefiting the Willunga High School. This concept developed into the Willunga Almond Blossom Festival. Ross was the inaugural chairman of the Festival and the Festival was such a success it raised the funds to build the Willunga Recreation Area and the stadium.
Born in 1922, Ross Martin first entered the industry after returning from the war in 1946. At this time, Ross started a nursery and progressively started planting almonds at Willunga with his father, Frank. Over the next few years, extra property was purchased and in time their almond plantings expanded 110 acres.
at Jubilee almonds. By the 1950s, orchard machinery was advancing and the Martins replaced their orchard spray pump mounted on a small tanker trailer with a new ‘Shearer Mister’, one of the first air blast sprayers in the district. The only irrigation water available was pumped from a creek on the property when it flowed in good seasons. The trees responded very well after a trial watering so the Martins put a bore down and watered more of the orchard using drag lines and sprinklers. As the family expanded, so too did the property, with eldest son Tom and Gerald being employed at Willunga. The property was one of the first to be fully irrigated, with Ross working to overcome problems and frustrations that early irrigation design and technologies brought. Initial attempts to secure a reliable water source with dams were frustrated by pervious soils causing leaks. The solution was to bring water from a bore a mile away
through fibrolite pipes. The irrigation designer failed to factor in the pressure increase due to the downward slope of the property resulting in burst pipes. None the less, the system was eventually made to work and typically provided at least a 50% boost to yields.
Ross became involved in almond research and worked closely with John Moss and later Brenton Baker from the Department of Agriculture to help overcome production issues within
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