If you are interested in Sustainable Farming and/or Sustainable Building, you have found a terrific resource! Even if I do say it myself, you will find lots and LOTS of great information here about both topics ... and more!
For those of you visiting for the first time, some basic information that you may find helpful or just ignore it and start poking around... It should be very easy to navigate the website. The text links at the top of the page are quick links to primary pages:
- "Status Report : Month&Date" is where you find out if anything has been added since your last visit -- the Month and Date will change to reflect the most current updates. It has links to the pages that have been updated so you don't have go searching to find them.
- "Project List" is the listing with links to where you find the details and photos of each project, whether they be part of the Farm, the Green Building Project, or Living a Sustainable Lifestyle.
- Please visit the "Sponsors" page to connect with the businesses who
are so graciously working with us; and to learn how to become a part
of the project. Monetary Donations are accepted here.
- "Resources / Contact Us" is another list with links to outside resources you may find helpful; plus it is the page with the contact information for the Farm and Green Building Project.
- "Events" is a calender of what's happening at the Farm and Green Building Project.
- And lastly, "Bobbi's Blog". Here you'll find entries that don't quite fit or don't deserve their own page on the website.
The photos at the top of the page are links to what they present:
You can always click on the PlayHaven Farm LLC & Green Building Project (and Logo) image to get back to the Home page.
For those of you who do better with a text links rather than images, you can always scroll to the bottom of any page to find the text links to the pages listed above. By the by, I've also made the list of what the photos represent into links just for you! No thanks needed, I'm happy to do it. :)
Let me introduce myself... I am Bobbi Walker. I believe that each of us should find a way to do what we love in this life and if we can't do what we love, we can (at least) find a way to have fun doing what we do. Thus the name of the business: PlayHaven. I am the author of everything you'll find on this website (unless I tell you differently). I tend to write the way I talk and I enjoy incorporating humor (one of those playful aspects of me) into my writing. If you don't get some of my little jokes, not to worry, you are in good company.
The Sustainable Farmer
As the Owner of PlayHaven Farm LLC; I am what they call "a beginning farmer", which means I just started the business of farming in 2012 even though I've spent the last 20 years getting ready to do so by attending various Workshops and Classes offered in the Kansas City MO area by a variety of organizations among which being Extension and the Growing Growers Program. So if you have questions about Sustainable Farming that I can't answer, I know who to contact that CAN answer them!
The Sustainable Building Advocate
As the Project Manager of the PlayHaven Green Building Project AND the co-author of a green
building tool: DYO® Kits: Green Building Decision Kit (offered by Hathmore Technologies, LLC); I
have spent the last 30+ years dreaming of the day when I would be able
to build an earth-friendly home. Since 30+ years ago, the very idea was pretty radical, I had to teach myself how to go about building that home. Over the years, I have met and learned from a tremendous group of individuals. So if you have questions about Sustainable Building that I can't answer, once again I know who to contact that CAN answer them!
As the Artist; I am entering a new phase. It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up (have I grown up yet??), so I didn't go to college right out of high school. It was 15 years later that I decided I needed to be artistically creative and went to college to get a degree in Commercial Art. I worked as an in-house Graphic Designer for a business before I started up my own business (Intuitive Design). Unfortunately, I decided to close the business the end of 2012 due to economic issues. -- BUT! I knew I still needed that creative outlet and started taking classes in Fine Art. (I am ever the student!) Come to find out, I have a talent for portraiture in addition to other photo-realistic subjects and I work in graphite! I have quality prints of my better pieces available for purchase in limited editions (from the General Store). I am also available for commissioned projects.
Now that you know about me, I would love to get to know you! Whether you are interested in learning hands-on about Sustainable Farming or just want to spend a few hours communing with nature, visitors are welcome (by appointment only, please). Contact information is located here.
Get On the List for the Farm Products Order Form and Annual Newsletter
You will need to contact me so I can put you on the books to get the Order Form and Newsletter, etc. Do this by emailing me and include your name, phone number, and city in the email. Use this address: bobbi (put the "at" sign here) playhavengreen (and then the "dot" sign) com. (Don't you just hate that spammers have made providing an easy link for email nie unto impossible without one of those robotic, fill-in forms?)
Deposits are required with your Cowpooling order/share. I accept cash or checks (sorry, no credit cards this year). I know it can be intimidating to have to pay for a years worth of meat in two (2) payments (the deposit and the balance when your meat is picked up). Check out my idea for a "Meat Account".
The New Customer Packet is available in PDF here.
I am happy to be YOUR farmer so long as you are willing to come out to the farm to pick up your food (and to the processor's location for beef). I do not ship/deliver food or live animals.
Remember, farming is primarily SEASONAL. Everything has to "grow up", so while you are reading about or putting in an order now, you will have to wait until everything is ready to be harvested to actually take it home.
House Renovation, the Green Way = Greenovation!
The farm took all our money and energy in 2015. Join me in believing 2016 will provide abundant money and time to do more on the renovation, won't you?
Please check them out and consider
them for your next project! Also, if you want to help out, your Monetary Donation is much appreciated!
September 7, 2016
I hope ya'll had a lovely Labor Day Holiday! On the farm, it is difficult to tell the holidays from the non-holidays. We take days off as the cycle of weather, animals, plants, and everything else allows; not so much by the date on a calendar.
BERRIES FOR SALE
I have updated the "Fruits, Herbs, Vegetables, Plants for Sale" page with updated pricing, harvest yields, the deadline dates to contact me so I can contact YOU when a particular fruit/berry will be ready to harvest and schedule your farm visit (to pick yourself especially).
Look for the "September 2016 Update:" under the different berries for more info about this year's season harvest, etc.
If you've read the updates about the fruit harvests, you'll have noticed that I'm feeling a bit "tetchy" about people complaining about the price of food grown without the "icides". Well, be forewarned that this is mainly because of what it is costing me to treat the soil with beneficial micro organisms (in this case, nematodes) that will prey on Japanese Beetle larvae and (hopefully) reduce or eliminate any infestation of those beautiful, really hungry beetles in 2017. The story and the PRICES are on the Pest Management page here.
The farm has a new addition! A volunteer to help maintain/reduce the population of small rodents and other taste bits. No, not another cat... this volunteer has wings! Read about the Barred Owl on the Pest Management page.
PAW PAW SIGHTING!
OMGoodness! I am SOOOOOO excited!!!!! (But if you follow the farm on Facebook, you already know this.) There is a fruit on one of my Paw Paw trees! This Spring was so wet, I didn't think the flowers had been pollinated... I was WRONG! Never been so happy to be wrong. I posted ALL OVER Facebook (in the various Groups I follow) asking for help knowing when it is ripe. Thank you to everyone who pointed me in the right direction to find out! Turns out it should give like a ripe peach when you gently squeeze it. It may change color from green to a more yellow-green, but it might not. It may get spots like you see on a ripe banana, but it might not. As of today, it's not ripe yet. So excited at the prospect of Paw Paw custard straight out of the skin!!
SAD NEWS REGARDING HONEY
Sorry, to break it to you. There will be NO honey for sale in 2016. Even though we ended last year with several hives, we only had one this Spring that looked strong enough to put supers for honey on. We lost the other hives and have gotten a few 'nucs' to replace them. When my beekeeper hubby went to inspect the strong (remaining) hive late this summer, he discovered the bees had not even drawn comb in the super. No honey for humans this year. Yes, we are sad. Cross your fingers and toes for next year!
There are a great many wasps, hornets, etc. out here on the farm; but generally we keep out of each others way and get along just fine. Not long ago, the hubby forgot to put on his gloves working around some bee equipment that was outside for a long time and came away with a paper wasp sting in his finger. Thank goodness for Smoky Hills Farm's Drawing Salve! Such a difference - a good difference, that is!
Anyway, I opened the Roman Shade on one of the bedroom windows to let in light (hadn't done that for quite a while) and discovered a very large paper wasp nest between the CLOSED storm window and the CLOSED interior sash window, below the sash. Not sure how they get in and out of there. Thankful that they weren't getting in and out of the bedroom! (Photo on the Facebook page.)
The hubby bravely manuevered the storm window open (from outside) and the next morning very early, he sprayed to saturation the nest with EcoSmart Organic Wasp & Hornet Killer. I checked the nest from inside several hours later and all the wasps were dead.
It always makes me sad to kill anything. But... I always put it out there that anything other than humans and invited critters that enter my house are essentially committing suicide (by me or the hubby).
Again, this was posted on Facebook. There is a photo there. I was bummed to be late last fall searching for affordable wheat straw to make my straw-bale garden for 2016 and come up empty handed. BUT, I did discover a source to get straw this fall! He is a what we consider out here to be a neighbor (his house is about 5 miles away).
He delivered 50 small square bales of wheat straw to the farm on September 2nd. He has more and the only application of herbicides was a product called Harmony back in March. My research shows a fast breakdown so the straw shouldn't be a problem for growing stuff/cover. Obviously, it doesn't qualify for organic certification. I am happy to facilitate orders for a small percentage. Contact me for more details.
I will be using the bales to make the new strawberry beds, my personal straw-bale garden, and to make 'peaks' under the tarps of the big round bales of hay that we will again provide to the cattle. (The hubby shouldn't have to shovel snow of those tarps.)
GRASS-FED AND FINISHED BEEF IN 2016 AND THE 2017 "Early Bird" SPECIAL
Well, Retail Beef is a hit! It's been great meeting new people as they come to the farm to buy some beef!
Whether you just want to buy some tasty, local, grass-fed AND finished beef or you want to see what it tastes like before you commit to a Cowpooling Share, I have cryo-vac sealed beef for sale! I have put a list of what is available and for what price on the Grass-fed and Finished Beef For Sale page. Contact me to place an order and schedule your appointment to pick it up at the farm.
Don't miss out on Cowpooling shares for 2017! Take advantage of the "Early Bird" special, send in your deposit now and be guaranteed the 2016 price. The information about getting a share is found here.
STILL LOOKING FOR A POULTRY PARTNER
I put this out there last update and I am putting it out there again! I had a nibble on this topic, but there appeared to be some confusion, so let me clarify: I'm looking for someone to move the equipment to their own land and use it in their own chicken operation. I am not looking for someone to finance me getting back into chickens. The egg production and meat birds pay for themselves just fine. If you want to do the work, I am happy to do a reduce sale price, barter for eggs/meat, etc. so that you don't have to pay retail for the equipment and I (and my former customers) will have a resource for healthy eggs/meat that are pastured and not fed corn, soy or wheat.
Contact me to discuss creating a partnership wherein I supply mentoring and the equipment for compensation (be that cash, product or a combination of both).
FYI, I have sold some of the used poultry equipment. Check the page to see what is still available.