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!! 🔥❤️
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”. : )
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!
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.
Permaculture is a word that keeps coming back to me.
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.
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
We got to walk the farm again today as a family. The sun was out and so were our dreams and… the goats. ❤️❤️ The reason we got goats in the first place was to control our abundance of weeds, but it became apparent very quickly that the goats need secure fencing, and we certainly don’t have that yet, the fencing may be as old as the house. So for the most part they are in their pen unless we are out with them herding them away from the neighbors delicious yards.
Step 1 for us is border security (not trying to be political or anything, but we really need a great big wall, just kidding, but that would be nice;)), this will allow the goats freedom to roam and enjoy and guzzle all the weeds – their intended purpose! Which will in turn give us the ability to start amending soil and prepping for veggies.
Securing the perimeter will also allow us to get our dream LGD (livestock guard dog) of sorts, to protect the goats and chickens and love on the kiddos (human).
The problem with fencing is both the cost and the time it takes. I’m herding my own little human entourage at all times, and when out back I have to be even more on my toes because the goat heads are outrageous and Margot is a crawler and a I-put-everything-in-my-mouth person at the moment.
Soooo, I think we are realizing slowly that this dream of Wozani Farm will take longer than anticipated but, because this is a forever home for us, we are ready to tackle the long slow journey of transformation. It might be a 10foot tackle at a time, and take us 25 years to accomplish all our dreams. But hold on tight to your slow horses, here we come. :):)
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.