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 : )

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!

Step 1 – Fencing

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. :):)

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!

Goodness Gracious – Space Matters.

38626337-0bc0-494c-b592-6d7610df9493We moved, as you’ve already read by the lovely posts of my husband. But this post is from me, Liz, and the realization of how much I needed space.

Oh

My

Goodness!

I seriously had no idea that space (and what comes with space) would play a large role in my mental and physical health.

Since moving here, I can breathe a little deeper, and smile a little wider. My kids laugh a little louder and run a little faster. Before kids I was able to escape every time I felt the calling. Open air, mountains, trees and fresh air would ground me and bring me back to Jesus, my resting place.

And It’s not just the size, but the fact that I have creatures depending on me. I have found myself using wire cutters daily mending fences for Goat Control, which leaves me feeling quite uhh, empowered, yup, that’s the word. I love to feel like I’ve done something, that’s perhaps why bathrooms are my favorite to clean, because you can literally see the sparkle of a toilet rim after tackling the job.

It’s hard. Don’t get me wrong. Life is sooo hard with littles. The amount of self sacrificing is huge and insane, and I am grateful for it. And. It is hard.

The romance of livestock, that we got for weeds and cuteness and no other reason at this moment, is sometimes met with the reality that a kid (human or goat) just knocked the water pale that I spent 15minutes filling, or someone stepped in poop and brought it upstairs into the lounge, where Margot was exploring the texture. But then the flitter flatter of Julie Andrews singing the Hills are Alive… plays through my mind as we all get to explore, and run and play and sing.

Yes.

Indeed, size does matter for me. A smaller house and bigger yard bring me to a place of peace, as I have more time to spend in places of purpose; talking with God and running around in his creation.

It matters to my soul, my mind and my body.

I’m grateful for this space, and wake up every morning counting my blessings.