Gardening Class BIO

I was asked earlier this year to teach a series of gardening classes at the gardening store where I buy my potting soil.  The classes range from Starting Seedlings to Planting them out, Building good soil, Planting bare root vegetables and fruits, Constructing raised beds, and Growing awesome Tomatoes.  I’ve done two of them so far, Zina being my Vanna White, and everyone seems to think they are great.  It’s a lot of fun to be able to show off what we do and have it be helpful to folks as well.

The store asked me to write up a bio that they can use in the marketing they do to promote the classes.  Because of that, it dawned on me that we hadn’t done that here on the blog.  “Who are these loons?”  “What are they doing and why?”  So I decided to post the bio here for the curious.  I will have to do some searching (I probably won’t – LOL) that shows me how to pin this bio to the top of the page permanently so folks will be able to see who is doing all this weird stuff.

Anywho, here is us:


>>Jon and Zina DeJong (pronounced Dee-Young), are homesteaders on Colorado’s high eastern plains. They call their place JAZ Farm (Jon, Aaron, Zina – Farm)

Jon, a recently retired financial planner, and Zina, currently a CPA and Federal Tax manager, felt a need to live life in a more self-sufficient manner in keeping with the lost ways of generations past. The industrial food system and other issues led them to investigate and then build, their own small farm near Byers.

The DeJongs first began their gardening endeavors as hobby hydroponic growers, raising all of their own salad in a grow room in their basement. This evolved into Urban Farming in Westminster, Colorado where they turned their entire backyard into a vegetable garden and landscaped their front yard using Xeric principles. From there, they found 40 acres out east of Denver and have spent the past 6 years building 50 raised garden beds, as well as livestock barns and fencing in pastures and, where possible using Permaculture guidelines to work with nature to provide for a more self-sustaining lifestyle.


Currently, the couple raises all of their own meat and eggs. Except for plants and ingredients that don’t grow well in Colorado, they raise all of their own vegetables and do extensive food storage via canning, freezing, vacuum sealing, and dehydrating . They recently acquired a small flock of Nigerian Dwarf goats for milk, cheese and soap, rescued two donkeys, and raise a flock of turkeys and some pigs. The farm is “mostly off grid”. They generate their own electricity via solar panels and batteries. Water, septic, and heat are all disconnected from any public utilities. The gardens are all irrigated with timed drip irrigation systems for water use efficiency.

Jon and Zina raise and grind their own wheat, churn butter, make soap, start all of their vegetables from seed, compost, process their own meat, weave, quilt, and are amateur astronomers. They bring years of experience to the classes from their research, the trials and errors of learning the challenge of vegetable growing in Colorado, as well as the mistakes and hurdles and successes they have encountered along the way. They love sharing their knowledge and experience, encouraging people to create community through the use of growing and raising great tasting food.


Dahr Telling It Like It Is

While I think the over use of the phrase “By the end of this century” is very unhelpful (being WAY too optimistic) Dahr Jamail gets it, writes about it, and is unapologetic.  His book, The End Of Ice, is a lament about our untenable predicament. An important read.


Building The Beds

The goal this year has been to get the last of the raised garden beds built, placed, filled and covered so that we can get all the vegetables planted in the area in and around our greenhouse.  The bigger garden is transitioning into a berry patch and small orchard.  I got 6 of the 9 beds built but can’t place them yet because it’s been too muddy from all the melting snow.  As soon as it dries up a bit they will go into place and I’ll call in the order for yet another semi-load of planters soil.  I just unloaded the 50 2×4’s to start building the hail and sun guards as well.  I’m looking forward to just working the gardens this summer with minimal construction tasks.  Once done this will bring us up to 40 framed beds and the new orchard; roughly an acre.

I will be building one more fence to replace the netting we have around the greenhouse gardens to keep the dogs out, and I’ll be getting the water catchment and storage tanks hooked up and plumbed, but that is nothing compared to years past.  We’re going to combat this drought one way or another.


No More Sugar Coating For Snowflakes

We have no more time for “beliefs.”  “I don’t believe we are headed for trouble.” I don’t believe in Climate Change” “Or,  “If it is real, humans aren’t the cause”.  Along with the biggest reality denier:  “If things progress as they are, then “By the end of the century things will start getting bad”. If you think that, then quit reading this blog.  I’m done glossing things over.  I’ve gone into retreat here on the homestead and have gone no contact with most of the world so that I can heal and regroup from abuse and from the ignorance of the society we live in that has been perpetrated by a culture that deifys and elevates Sociopaths and Narcissists.  We are all being gaslighted and my experience with Narcissistic abuse has shown me that the ruling elite are doing it to everyone.  You are being made to ignore the man behind the curtain and told to only listen and believe what the thin veil of doublespeak tells you.  Orwell was right.  This system is coming down and it’s high time we quit worrying about ruffling our abuser‘s feathers by talking about it.  Saving for some “retirement”?  What a joke.  This embedded video speaks the truth. The financial system is going to collapse as nature does.   You don’t want the truth?  Go to Disneyland.  This is why I dropped out.  This is why for most of 2019 I will be unavailable to family and to society.  There is work to be done and hurt feelings can go drown in someone else’s wine.


The Farmer

To quote Greta in my last video posting above, “I want you to panic.”