Happy New Year From The JAZ Farm!

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On the last day of the last month of the year 2013, the last fencing staple went into the acre garden fence.  Spiking the ball in the end zone  today as the last of the major infrastructure projects to get the homestead functional are finished.  There are many more projects to embark upon as we anticipate planting the garden for the first time, but the huge, necessary and often ridiculously heavy projects are done!  What an amazing year this has been.  We are so happy to have gotten to this point.  There have been major frustrations, setbacks, expenses, cuts, scars, and mental duress, but the JAZ Farm is now a very nice and tidy place.  A place to call our farm, our refuge, and our pride.

For my own processing I thought I’d simply run down the list of things that have gone into this place.  It is kind of astounding to all three of us what has gone into it.  As I know there are several folks who follow this blog who are either getting started in homesteading or wanting to, here is what you can expect if you buy a foreclosure and it needs a little “fixing up”! :

> 10 yards of fill dirt around the foundation to create positive draining

>Fixing 10 broken windows

>Fixing 12 holes in the drywall

>Cleaning out dirt, dog mess, beer bottles, dead moths, and all manner of crud out of the basement

>New roof

>Cleaning out the barn

>Replacing the water heater

>Cleaning the furnace

>Steam cleaning and re-stretching all the carpeting.

>Buying hauling and installing all new appliances (it didn’t have any)

>Cleaning all of the blinds and getting rid of smoke infused dusty drapes

>Replacing the sinks in the bathroom, removing all of the rust from the sinks, shower, and toilets

>Buying new toilets.

>Re-mounting the kitchen counters and cupboards from where they had been pulled from the walls.

>Trying to find the linoleum in the kitchen (It was caked with dust, mud and dog mess)

>Scrubbing every wall in the house to get rid of the smoke, dust and urine smells

>Priming all of the walls both upstairs and down

>Choosing colors and painting the walls

>Priming and painting the entire ceiling

>Moving truckloads of belongings out here

>Building a dog run

>Pulling out destroyed ranch fences and corral gates

>Demolishing the horse shed and rebuilding it into a chicken coop (took several months of weekends)

>Installing chain link, field fence and privacy fences needed for the chickens, gardens and observing field

>Buying a tractor

>Plowing up the old horse corral to build the raised beds for the future garden

>Cleaning all of the windows and making them functional

>Having the place re-sealed up, weatherized and painted before the snow flies

>Replacing all of the doors and a leaky bathroom window

>Buying plows, tillers and fencing tools

>Learning how to keep the water for the chickens from freezing up in arctic cold

>Replacing the major light fixtures

>Getting a kid graduated from high school

>Sending a kid off to college

>Buying beds

>Installing a washing machine and stringing clotheslines as we don’t want to use a dryer

>Learning how to and then brooding 33 chickens

>Setting up seedling tables

>Actually getting the urban farm planted at the same time.

>Harvesting, canning and freezing the urban farm produce

>Learning how to navigate the property either during blizzards or our recent Colorado floods – we had lake front property for a couple of weeks because of it.

>Both Ma and Pa Farmer people holding down full time jobs at the same time.

>Oh yes…. and more trips to the Home Depot than I can even count!


Happy New Year!  I think we may simply collapse for the rest of our holiday break.  If you want to build a farm…..  be careful what you wish for!  It is exceedingly satisfying. The work will make you feel like superman when it is all done.


Starting To Get Ready For The Seedlings

Aaron helped assemble and put up the new seedling tables.  This is where we will start the plants to go out in the garden.  The farm is turning into a farm.  The fencing is almost done and the tables are set up.  Next up is mapping out the beds and ordering the drip irrigation tapes.

Anyone need eggs?  We have one or two!

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A New Way Fancy Farm Truck

After 14 years of use and all of the adventures it took us on as a family, the black Ram pickup died.  It is heading for the Make A Wish Foundation as a donation.  For Solstice we replaced it with the latest and greatest.  The new farm truck is ready for duty!


Thou Shall NOT Pass!

So we are still trying to decide the fate of at least one of the roosters.  At this point we are kind of leaning toward keeping the Wyandotte male, the biggest of the Orpingtons and one other.  The one we hear crowing the most may just be advertising his willingness to become stew.  It seems that his favorite hobby is crowing.  All four crow but this one seems to be calling out to the crock pot.

The Wyandotte’s name was Sorpressa (Spanish for surprise).  When she was found to be a he it became Sorpresso (masculine).  We have decided to call the biggest Orpington Gandalf.   Gandalf protects his flock, is compassionate and gentle with the ladies and isn’t overtly noisy.  He even lets us pick him up.  The other two Orpington roos are noisy, rough and obnoxious.  Gandalf fits.

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Da Eggs Was Tasty!

Da Eggs was Tasty!

Although the first eggs from the new girls were not much bigger than golf balls, they were very tasty! The yolks were practically rusty orange. Of course, if you have never had eggs right outta the bird’s butt you haven’t lived! We compared them to the organics we get at Whole Foods and the store boughts couldn’t come close in color and flavor. Fun!