WHY BUY SUSTAINABLY GROWN FRUIT ESPECIALLY?
When I talk with people about why I practice Sustainable Farming, the conversation usually gets round to how expensive the products are and they inevitably ask me:
If you couldn't afford to go with ALL sustainably farmed food, what would you choose first?
My answer is always:
- Dairy first.
- Fruit second.
- Grow your own veggies and herbs.
- Buy your meat from a local farmer.
- I don't even address grain, that is another topic all together for another place and time.
I don't sell any dairy products and the reason I started growing fruit is precisely in line with why I answer that question the way I do.
Fruit is one of those really difficult products to grow without using the "icides". Let me rephrase that... fruit is REALLY sought after by all kinds of diseases, fungi, insects and animals which makes the competition for the fruit VERY HIGH. The way humans have reduced the competition in our favor is by finding ways to make the fruit unappealing to the competition. Traditionally, "icides" are used on the plants and even the fruit itself. I know it reduces MY desire to eat the fruit!
By the way, this large appeal is completely on purpose by the plant. The more things that eat the fruit, the more likely the seeds will be spread and produce more plants (offsetting the danger to the parent plant through disease and pests). Abundance is the rule.
The way to grow fruit sustainably is .... a topic for the experts! LOL But seriously, it's very difficult and that's why the produce is more expensive than when "icides" are used.
My way to grow fruit (and the rest of my vegetation) is:
- go with native plants (as much as possible),
- focus on very healthful plants,
- feed the soil,
- be sure to have a healthy ecosystem that includes welcoming the predators of the insects et al that will reduce the harvest,
- be a predator where there is no native predator, and
- don't expect to harvest 100% because sharing is part of abundance.
WHAT IS RAW HONEY AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?
What makes honey "raw"? Raw honey is very simply honey that has not been heated. It retains all the nutrition and healthful qualities of honey in the comb. Here at PlayHaven Farm LLC, we simply uncap the comb (using a knife designed for that purpose), use gravity and centrifugal force to extract the honey, pour it through a 600 micron filter (to get any bug bits out) and bottle it.
Why is local, raw honey so highly recommended? Locally-sourced, raw honey is recommended over honey from other locations because you can be pretty sure the pollens and nectars the bees collect are the same ones that your allergies are triggered by. It is well documented that ingesting this honey has a similar affect as allergy treatments where you get minute amounts of the allergens that cause you problems. Just remember that honey is SUGAR (sucrose) and you need to account for that as well.
What happens when honey is heated? So long as you don't heat it to a temperature of more than 95 degrees F (the generally accepted maximum hive temperature), honey retains it's essential composition and beneficial enzymes. Heating at higher temps (98.6 degrees F) causes degradation of the components that make is so healthy and at boiling (104 degrees F) the important enzyme invertase is destroyed.
Why does raw honey crystalize? Storage temperature has an influence on how quickly any honey crystallizes. I store our honey in a controlled area with an air temperature that stays below 70 degrees F... 70 degrees F is considered a good temp to minimize crystallization. BUT, crystalization is not a problem to be solved! It is actually a clue that the honey is raw. I personally like it when the honey crystalizes because it is easier to scoop out of the jar. If you want to reliquify crystalized honey simply follow the instructions on the label.
When does honey spoil? Honey never spoils so long as it you keep the lid on and don't add water to it. Properly stored honey has been found in archeological sites 3,000 years old and was edible.
HOW TO BUY FROM PLAYHAVEN FARM LLC
Since produce is seasonal, the best way to purchase from me is to
contact me ASAP and tell me which crops (including honey)
you are interested in
so I can email, call, or text you when those particular crops are about ready to be harvested.
After you get the notification, you simply contact me to set up your appointment to come out and
- For fruits and/or plants: either pick your own OR how much you want to pick up already harvested
- For honey: purchase an already prepackaged supply OR bring your own container to get a large amount before I package the rest.
IS SHIPPING AVAILABLE?
I DO NOT SHIP FRUIT, PLANTS, OR RAW HONEY.
Make an appointment to come to the farm to purchase your food OR talk to me about delivering it to you at NO EXTRA CHARGE when you purchase $50.00 worth or more. I can only sell/deliver in Missouri (in and around Kansas City), so if you live in Kansas... we’ll have to discuss finding a place in Missouri for that.
As a farm, we are able to continue working and selling product. You are welcome to come to the farm BY APPOINTMENT ONLY (AS USUAL) to pick up your food. When you schedule your visit, it will help if you know what you want so I can have it ready for you (and also have your change ready as well). I do accept checks or cash. We work from home and therefore our exposure to the outside world is minimal. I wear gloves to pack your order and have it ready for you to put in your cooler via exchange at a distance.
You are welcome to help harvest (i.e. pick your own) and get a discount because you are doing work I won't have to do. We'll simply schedule your private picking time (including the other members in your quarantined family if you like) and I'll be at hand -- at a distance -- to assist you, answer questions, etc. Once you have what you want, I'll weigh your pickings, write up your receipt and we'll do the exchange at a distance.