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!

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

So many plans…

So many plans…

We have so many ideas and dreams for this land.  Liz and I have been taking advantage of the cold weather that has been pushing us inside recently.  We have been using this time to brainstorm ideas and to figure out which projects we want to start with. When the weather is nice, we have been enjoying walks around the property, dreaming of future possibilities.

We feel that this land was given to us so that we can make a place of gathering for the surrounding community. In addition, it gives Liz and I a platform to share our passions for whole food and holistic health. Between Liz’s training as a Holistic Nutritionist and my background as a Family Nurse Practitioner, this is something that we are passionate about.

In the next couple posts, I want to outline some specific projects that we have on our list for the farm. Since the heart and soul of this farm is community and gathering, Liz and I are always open to suggestions from others when thinking of ways to make this farm a place for community, good food and health promotion.

Out for a walk
Harrison is so excited!

We are still moving in — but we got goats!!

We are still moving in — but we got goats!!

So we officially moved to the farm 2 weeks ago today! We are still unpacking boxes. I’m amazed, and a little embarrassed, at how much stuff we have. Moving to a smaller house has been an adjustment for sure, especially with all three kids in the same room. Liz and I are loving the process of thinning out our things, and figuring out how we will adjust to a smaller home. We have found that being in a smaller home (without a TV) has brought our family of 5 even closer together.

And did I mention we got goats?! I laugh as I write this, because these goats have been in the works since we found out we were getting Wozani Farm. I joked with Liz that we needed to move in first–before the goats. We did manage to move in first, with the goats close behind. We got two mother goats with there 4 kids and they have settled in nicely with their own right next to the chickens. The big mamma is a Lamancha, and the white one is Angora. We will continue to keep you updated as we learn all the ins and outs of goat keeping.

We Bought a Farm!

We Bought a Farm!

So…we bought a farm.  This is something that Liz and I have dreamed of for years, and it almost stayed just that–a dream.  Though the process of buying this farm, there were several barriers that we thought would prevent this dream from happening.  But God opened many doors unexpectedly, and now we are packing up the house we have called home for the last 3 1/2 years.

Liz and I have always dreamed of owning land.  Land where we could grow our food and teach our kids one of the most fundamental lessons–where their food comes from.  Land where Liz could grow her flowers and tinker.  Land where we could welcome others to join and live in community.  We have always felt called by God to open our home and lives to anyone who needs it, be that a bed to sleep in or a table to eat at, and feel even stronger that God provided us with this farm to continue doing just that.  Which leads to how we named our farm.

In case you didn’t know, my wife Liz is South African born and raised.  When naming our farm, she really wanted to incorporate her heritage into the essence of the farm.  When I have visited South Africa in the past, everyone is so welcoming and I understand Liz’s desire to incorporate that into our farm.  Which is how we finally decided on the name Wozani Farm.  Wozani is Zulu meaning “come” or “to come,” which is the essence of what we want our farm to be–a gathering place.

We started this blog for many reasons.  To share our story, to open our farm, and to share what we learn as we dive into our next adventure.

Linnemeyer Final 16