What a year!

Wow!
What a year hey!?!
I’m pretty sure that we were all hit in some capacity by the storms that flooded in in 2020.
Physically, mentally and emotionally we were all hit.
I’m writing this as a memoir, we all need to remember this bizarre year. Maybe not for what made it bizarre, but for what we accomplished despite of it.

Covid opened my eyes to our everyday blessings. When parks were closed, and stay at home order were in full swing, my kids still got to be outside. I don’t write this to boast, but more to say the we realized we have something special. And we got to share these experiences with friends and family, allowing them a break from the sterilized world we now live, to get dirty, and play.

Here are some of our accomplishments this year.
1. We got bees, In fact I drove down 2 hours to colorado springs, (just me and my 3 kids 5 and under) 2 weeks after a cesarean (against doctors orders) to pick them up. Because we were told if we could not get them that day, we’d forfeit them and the money we spent. We were not going to forfeit them! They had worked so hard this summer, we expected not to get any honey at all, but did get a couple jars. A true blessing!
2. Strawberries! About 50 plants. That will be increasing again next year, I worked out quickly that strawberries and chickens don’t fare well. So we’ll be increasing our security methods. 😂
3. We worked on the entrance for the veggie garden. Again, we quickly discovered that the chickens would love the herbs as much as us, so we had some very tacky looking jerry-rigging going on to keep them out.
4. Our workshop is complete! And will soon be the home to many farm fun classes. Since covid and restrictions we have not hosted any yet, but watch out 2021, here we come!
5. Working with an incredible local company McCord Design CO. making our gorgeous sign in the front!
6. We officially became a Certified Monarch Waystation this year. With the help of http://www.Monarchwatch.org we applied and were accepted to receive over 100 native milkweed plants. These plants are what feed and sustain the monarch butterfly. We’ve planted these milkweed all over our 4.5acres, and watered daily. We got to take in and watch 3 metamorphosis’. Mind blowing.
7. Sheep: We raised 7 sheep, and processed 4 of them for ourselves and some family. If you know us, you know we eat meat maybe once or twice a week. But we’d prefer to know that out lambs were loved before we said goodbye.
8. TInkerbelle: Shortly after getting sheep and having to save them from foxes multiple times, we ended up investing in a llama. She’s not friendly or trusting. I suppose, she’s very suspicious because we named her that, when reaLly, she’d want to be named HILDE(said with a dutch accent)!
9. Loss. Soooo much loss. Before May, we had already lost 3 sheep and a baby goat. It was so hard. It was hard enough not being able to save a lamb from dying of fright. thanks mr. fox. But, when a baby goat died in our own trough that i filled, broke my heart. It’s a hard lesson I learnt. And a little bit of me broke that day when I found her and had to carry her lifeless body by myself. We also lost 7 chickens, 2 guinea fowl, and two turkeys to raccoons and foxes. 😦
10. Lavender: This was our first year of harvesting Lavender, we got some beautiful bouquets, and sold them all really quickly, so this year, we’ll have to experiment with drying.
11. We experimented with pumpkins this year, and harvest around 100 of all shapes and sizes. We didn’t quite have the infrastructure to bring people on to the farm to pick, (too many thorns!) So we gave them away to friends and family. This year, we’ll be have a plan for all our pumpkins.
12. Flowers, we grew many, and I’ve become better practiced at bouquet making and keeping. We even have a flower fridge now. We will not be joining the farmers market again this year. With my husbands schedule, and my kids ages, it’s difficult to commit to days and hours. Instead, we’ll be building a cart, that you can visit anytime and pick up your flowers.
13. We leant a lot about Camelids, and what good ideas verse bad ideas are for keeping them. Intact males and females don’t mix well.🤣 But we discovered Alpaca are the coolest animal ever, and we want 500, 000. or may just 3 females in the future.

A lot of what was done above, was done while we renovated our house. We ended up living in my parents camper for a couple months because of the asbestos in our house, they tore out the kitchen with the initial demo. So we were out of anything kitchen, and the camper was the best option.

(Before I started writing this down, I thought this list was going to be short, and sad, and not at all feeling accomplishable, and now after finishing, wow! I say wow! We worked hard!)

2020 – what are we up to.

With the world learning how to live under the boundaries of a pandemic, we on the farm haven’t stopped, but are taking this time to create good foundations. We will not be doing any local events or too much sales, as we will be keeping our time busy with projects!!! So many projects!

We’ve invested in cover crops and pasture seeds from Nature Seeds Company to continue our pursuit of soil rejuvenation and suppress the weeds as much as we can. All the way from the front of the farm to the hard spots at the back.

The back of the farm… big project!

When we first moved here in 2018, it was revealed to us that the back portion of the property was over grazed and depleted of nutrients while filled with sooo many goat heads and other invasive weeds. We expect this journey (without pesticides) to probably take us a good 5 years. And how fun will it be to be able to run through fields of clover, native grasses and wildflowers.

Other projects this year include starting…

  • A Bee hive!
  • Planting a You-Pick garden for strawberries and herbs
  • Building up native perennials for enhancing our ecosystem
  • Finishing our workshop for our flower gardening needs and housing farm work shops.
  • Putting signs in the front, because we know you’ve got lost trying to find us.
  • And possibly even building a little garden cart to hold eggs and flowers so you can pick up your needs on your own time. 👍

We hope you enjoy following along on this journey! If there’s anything you think our tri town area could benefit from, please let us know.

Sheep and Pasture Restoration

This is always an exciting time of year on a farm. After a long winter, plants are starting to wake up, traces of green can be seen popping up. And babies! Baby chicks, ducklings, keets and turkeys have found their way on the farm as well as new lambs.

We have been talking about getting sheep for awhile, and this spring seemed to be the right time. We have had goats on the farm for awhile and they have really helped with clearing overgrown brush and weeds, but now that is done it is time for pasture restoration. Pasture restoration is one of our main objectives with our flock of sheep so that we can suppress weed burden and finally get pasture grass back.

We will definitely keep you updated on how this is going. Like everything on the farm, I’m expecting a learning curve with this, but am looking forward to it!.

The Compost Initiative.

When I moved to the United States in 2008, it shocked me how much food wastage there was. Where I grew up, left-overs went to those who needed food, and left over left-overs went to the animals and compost. Thus throwing out food was literally foreign, until I moved to the States.

So… Here I am, 11 years later and find myself in a unique position where I can help those who feel the same. I can help move your food waste to create vibrant living soil, to help rejuvenate the lands around us and to bring renewal.

Instead of your ‘garbage’ going to landfills, imagine a world where you single handedly bring what is known as ‘living’ soil to your area. Soil that is alive with real nutrients and not synthetic fertilizers or chemicals. Soil that has an active biome, from worms and bugs to the microscopic. A soil that has a higher Cation exchange capacity (CEC) count because of the organic matter, which yields to a denser, richer soil, able to hold more water and nutrients before run off, which thus allows anything to be grown in an environment that is cheerleading it to be its best.

How can we partner?
1. At Wozani’s front gate we have a wheel barrow that you are welcome to drop off food waste, anytime Tuesdays through Fridays. This is a free service.
2. Door to door pick up. Compost will be picked up Once a week, Twice a month or monthly, depending on your need. This is a feature we are currently in the process of working on, and will be starting soon, based on demand. If this is something you’d like to see, please reply to this blog or reach out to us on instagram or facebook.

What we accept.

YES. Compostable

As our need grows, so will the items we accept.  

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Pasta, bread, cereal
  • Cooked foods
  • Dairy products, egg shells
  • Coffee grounds, filters, & tea bags
  • Paper towels and paper towel rolls
  • Muffin wrappers
  • Candies, cookies and cake
  • Baking ingredients, herbs, spices
  • Household plants including soil

NOPE.

Not compostable, some items will be removed from this list in the future. 

  • PLASTIC (unless labeled compostable)
  • Styrofoam meat trays
  • Aluminum foil
  • Clams, oysters, mussels (basically rocks)
  • Candles, synthetic corks and gum
  • Artificial flowers and plants
  • Rugs, carpets
  • Cigarette butts, tobacco
  • Dental floss and Q-tips
  • Baby wipes
  • Disposable mop sheets
  • Dryer lint sheets
  • Vacuum cleaner bags
  • Hair, pet fur, pet waste
  • Dead animals
  • Fireplace or BBQ ashes
  • Recyclable materials
  • Paper fast food packaging*
  • Soiled paper food packaging*
  • Flour and sugar bags*
  • Pizza boxes*
  • Meat, bones, fish products*
  • Paper plates*

*These Items may move to the compostable list in the future. 

Lavender

Things are coming along on Wozani Farm. This past weekend we got our first bed of lavender in the ground 4 rows of 12 to be exact, a solid 48 plants. Since before we moved to the farm, we had plans for lots and lots of lavender. For bees to be buzzing, and scents to be drifting. Besides being pretty to look at and lovely to smell — it has the potential to be a cash crop for the farm. Or so we’ve read.

With this first planting, we decided to go with Hidcote Lavender. Hidcote is a cultivar of English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) with deep violet blue blossoms and silvery foliage. This variety does well in Colorado, and winters well. Mature size averages around 2ft wide and 2ft tall.

Since this was an investment, And we’ve read if done well, these plants will last up to 15 years, we wanted to ensure that the soil was properly amended. Fortunately with lavender, they like bad soil. The only amending you typically need is to correct the pH. Lavender does well in soils with a pH between 6.5-7.5. So, Liz picked up a soil test kit and the pH was a perfect 7.0! — no amending was necessary. We used this one, the Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit for Soil pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potash https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000DI845/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_9ul7CbA2SB2V7 we got ours from The good ol Home Depot.

The other thing that lavender hates is a wet clay soil. So as ours is sandy, we are hoping for amazingly great things, due to its great drainage potential.

When planting lavender, it is very important to plan for weed suppression. Lavender will grow really well in poor soils, but they don’t tolerate crowding from weeds well. So we laid out commercial grade woven landscape fabric as an initial barrier. A lot of farms burn circles to allow for their plants, however we did not have the tools for that, so we cut “X’s” After this we covered the bed with straw and straw matting as a mulch. We found the straw matting at the Tractor supply store for not much at all.

Hopefully, we will start seeing harvestable flowers from this bed in about 1-2 years! We will keep you updated.