Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all the moms out there! We celebrated the weekend at the farm. While Liz was out getting pampered and having her hair done, I surprised her and converted an old horse shed to a potting shed for her.

Now she finally has the space to lay out all her supplies in one place! She loves it and as already used it to start some seedlings for the Frederick Farmer’s Market.

Project #1 – Fencing 2.0

If you read our earlier post about our first project, you know how much research we did in finding the best materials to keep our goats in their new pasture. We ended up going with the cattle panels — as they were sturdy, tall and essentially goat proof. Since the new fence has been installed, it has worked fantastically! No goats have managed to breach the fence — so they turned around and looked the other way…

For the next several weeks, the goats were content with their new found freedom. Approximately 2 acres of new pasture! All for them! But apparently the grass is always greener on the other side (ok, maybe it was literally greener, but that’s beside the point). Within a matter of two days, the goats escaped 7 times!

Drastic measures needed to be taken! Some quick brainstorming (i.e. Google how do I keep my goats from escaping?) led me to electric fencing. Many articles talked about electric fencing as the only way to deter goats, meaning it worked “most” of the time. So I made up my mind and decided this was what we needed. And as luck would have it, the previous owner must have asked Google the same question, because there was already wire run along the fence line with insulators already installed — all I needed to do was supply a power source.

Apparently, you can’t just hook up a car battery to the line — won’t work. I learned this the hard way, I was desperate. I had just dragged Big Nina, our large Lamancha back over for what seemed like the hundredth time, and she become more stubborn and obstinate with every escape. Let me tell you that trying to move a 200 pound goat that doesn’t want to go is no easy feat. So yes, I tried the car battery — and was quickly disappointed. So, I forked over the money and went to the Tractor Supply Store and bought a Solar-powered Energizer by American Farm Works.

It was so easy to set up! The only catch was that you need to give it enough time to charge the battery via the sun. Big Nina, quickly learned that the grass wasn’t that much greener : )

Saying fare-well

Saying fare-well

We were relieved when we found out our property was not incorporated by the city limits that surrounds it. Instead we are Weld county, unincorporated Frederick CO.

This means that we are zoned agricultural and have a little more wiggle room when it comes to doing things. One of those things are controlled burns 🔥

All we have to do is phone Weld county and let them know our plans. And they responded with an easy simple, “ok, Don’t forget you are responsible for your actions.” Yessir!

So on a windless warm Sunday we took all the debris from around the property and created a spectacular and momentous burn pile. We burned all the clippings from the trees we had pruned, and then anything else organic that could burn, cardboard, paper and broken (untreated) fences.

This was the kids first experience of fire, real big flaming fire! And Rainer learnt that I, his mighty South African wife, knows her stuff when it comes to building and maintaining a fire.

For our first warm sunny windless winter day, we had such a fun time As we cleaned up the farm!! 🔥❤️

More Goats!

More Goats!

It has been awhile since our last post, it’s been pretty crazy around the farm. There has been weddings and family visiting from South Africa. But the work on the farm hasn’t stopped — neither has the acquisition of new goats to the farm : )

If she isn’t careful, my beautiful wife Liz will soon be known as the goat lady. We have unintentionally become a local goat rescue. A lady called Liz about 2 weeks ago and asked her if we would be able to take in some goats that need a good home. This new bunch included two 3 week old “kids” so of course she said yes.

Fortunately I had finished the new fence for the back pasture and had moved the herd back there — much more room and much happier goats! They have settle in nicely and the kids are in love with the “kids”. : )

Project #1 – Goat Fencing

Project #1 – Goat Fencing

Previously, Liz explained the need for new fencing for our herd of goats. We have many plans for the back part of our farm, but we can’t do anything until the existing goat pen is moved. Not only is the current goat pen in our way, but the fences are so dilapidated that we have jerry rigged it with zip ties and chicken wire just to keep the goats at bay. So we have decided that this will be the first project of the spring for us.

The reason we got the goats to begin with was to act as a form of weed control in the back pasture, so our current plan is to build a new fence about 400 feet back from the current pen and have the fence span the entire width of the property, essentially fencing the goats into back part of the farm.

The next step that Liz and I need to decide is what type of fencing material do we use? We were wandering around the Tractor Supply Store yesterday (our new favorite store) and found 3 options:

In this order, the fencing price and quality go up. We were initially thinking that a standard welded wire fence would work fine, but have found out with our current fencing, that goats like to climb fences and those weld points break with their weight, so unless we wanted to replace this fence again in a a year or two, this option is out.

Our next option is a woven wire, which like it sounds, is not welded but woven. This type of fencing can withstand the weight of the goats, but will still bend and sag under their weight. It will last, but will sag and bend with time.

The last option, and the one Liz and I are leaning towards is panel fencing. We were talking to someone at the Tractor Supply Store, and she recommended these. She said that she has been using the panel fencing for her goats for several years, and they still look like they were installed yesterday. Another benefit to these panels are their durability – goats can climb all over them and they hold their shape. Plus, since this fence is place keeper until we are ready to expand farther back – we can detach these panels and use them again.

If any one else has any ideas or can share from their personal experiences with containing goats — Liz and I would love your feedback. Just leave a comment below. We will continue to keep everyone updated on the progress as we move forward!

What we know for sure.

What we know for sure.

When I pick up an O Magazine, the very first section I turn to is ‘What I know for sure’ right in the back. It’s where Oprah spends time telling us her truths and what she’s learnt over the years. They always lead you to believe in the greater good, in yourself and each other. To breathe deeper and to take it slower.

What we know for sure when it comes to our wonderful Wozani Farm is all centered around the thought of community and sustainablility. Both of which Rainer and I strongly believe is needed and lacking in the US. So below we will be defining some of what we know for sure.

What we know for sure:

  • Let every avenue we explore be a teachable moment for ourselves and others.
    • Community classes
    • Community courses
    • Community Gatherings
  • Permaculture is a word that keeps coming back to me.
    •  Reuse.Reduce.Repair.Recycle +Sustainability
    • We are going to strive for low impact to the earth.
      • By Conserving water through zericscaping and drought tolerant plants, while maintaining an attractive aesthetic.
      • Use grey water from the household for garden/farm needs.
      • Creating Habitats which allow for symbiotic relationships.
  • Keep it green.
    • We are so saddened how Round Up, giant corporations and city build up are creating worlds that are destroying entire ecosystems, where the butterfly and bee are no longer thriving, thus by default or chain reaction farmers can’t produce (bee pollination) and insects species are endangered (monarch butterfly) So we will strive to create safe habitats for all Gods creatures, well, most of Gods creatures, be-gone all snakes and spiders! 😉
      • Bee Friendly – We will resolve to do all we can to make our 4 acres as bee happy as possible, by both hosting bees through bee hotels and hives, and by planting pollinator friendly crops, flowers, shrubs and trees.
      • The monarch butterfly is in a steady decline. Milkweed, the essential plant that sustains the butterfly’s life cycle is being eradicated as for its name sake – MilkWEED. We’d love to become a certified Monarch Waystation where we would aide in the conservation to assure the preservation of their species by creating an ideal habitat for them. In order to do this, we would have to verify that we provide enough milkweed to sustain the Monarch in all its life stages. More information at http://www.monarchwatch.org
      • Organic! Yup, all plants and animals on our little farm will be grown and fed with organic practices. We’d love to be verified as an organic farmer. (we got goats to help control the weed situation, because oh man… weeds are bad in the back.)
  • Healing! Both Rainer and I love to help and uplift. But, it goes beyond our education, Rainer as a Nurse Practitioner and I as a Holistic Nutritional Consultant, we yearn to strive for more.
    • We want to bring health back to families encompassing mind, spirit and body. We are not sure exactly what it will look like but here are some ideas.
      • A healing garden that soothes the soul with herbal smells, and soothing running water. Both bringing you closer to God, while filling your senses.
      • A wellness practice on the property that gives one the option to seek western medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic, nutritional, physical therapy, movement classes, to get you in your best health for a perspective that pain is telling us something is wrong, and we don’t want to dull the pain, but rather find the root cause and target that.
      • Finally, we are thinking of creating some kind of retreat. More of that to come.

These are some of our Founding Principles, and what we do with Wozani will always be based off of these.

Inspiration

Inspiration

For you to understand the direction that Liz and I want to take Wozani Farm, we thought it would be a great idea to share with you some of our sources of inspiration. We envision this farm to be a place of gathering and community; of wellness and healing; and a place to connect with God and His creation.

We believe that we can take this old horse farm, and make it into something spectacular that we can enjoy, our kids can enjoy and a place we can share with the community.

One of our strongest inspirations goes back to Liz’s roots, to a farm in the Cape Region of South Africa called Babylonstoren. It’s origin is as a fruit and vegetable garden, but it has evolved into so much more. A place for gathering and wellness — and good food. Monty Don (whom we both have major crushes on -liz) did a tour of Babylonstoren, you can see it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vfzJzo8FIc

Another inspiration for us is JM Fortier’s micro farm in Southern Quebec. He, along with his wife, run a small 2 acre market garden that produces a large variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. They have shown us that it is possible to have a successful farm, without all of the big farm equipment and without following “normal” farming practices. They are an inspiration to us because they show that it is possible to grow large amounts of organic produce without needing hundreds of acres and expensive equipment to do so. They are a main supplier of organic produce for their community and that is definitely an inspiration to us. I would definitely recommend their book “The Market Gardener” — very good advice, even if you don’t want to start a fully operational farm.

And lastly, we found this lovely couple on instagram years ago, and have dreamt incorporating their daily practices into our lives, from canning, to kombucha to gathering all they harvest and live off of their produce. Their love for chickens and monarch are pretty beautiful too. In fact Deanna calls herself the Monarch Doula. The transformation from before and after of their backyard is something to dance on the roof top about. https://homesteadandchill.com