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2017-Jun01

This is a chronological archive (going backward in time) of
Status Reports from 2016 to 2015.


The Archived Status Reports from 2007 to 2014 are available on PDF from the General Store.

To visit a specific Farm Category or Renovation Project, click here to go to the Project List.

Click Here to Zip Down to the Bottom.

February 20, 2017

Happy President's Day. It has been five (5) months since my last Status Report and normally I would apologize for the lengthy time away, but not this time. I have been busy with many things these last several months and mostly they have been non-farm related. (Rant Alert!) I have added "Activist" to my chores list because the U.S.A. is under attack from within to un-do 70 years of progress to care for its citizens at the Federal level. Money is now the only consitutent of the majority party and everyone else is a casualty. Gone are the days when citizens could not vote as a form of protest... all that got us was an extreme minority in power. We have to vote, we have to be loud and obnoxious to get attention, we have to force the representatives who are not paying attention to anything other than money to pay attention to how the things they are UNdoing is affecting each and every one of us... and will eventually affect them as well. (End of Rant.)

I also have aging parents that are requiring more of my time and energy. The stress level in my house has been pretty high for the last several months.

Thankfully, I also received an Art Commission over the Holidays and working on it is like meditation for me.

WINTER ON THE FARM

Farm activities are pretty boring during the winter. Mainly the hubby and I are engaged in keeping the cattle watered and fed, keeping the cats watered, fed, and litterbox cleaned, checking on the honeybees and making sure they have food, and doing whatever maintenance is required in preparation for Spring.

PAW PAW UPDATE

Do you remember how excited I was to see a paw paw fruit on the tree? Well, I missed my opportunity to eat it. One day it was still unripe... the next it was ripe and on the ground and half eaten by some critter. Consarnit all. (LOL a little old timee cursing.) At least I've learned from this and I'll know what to look for next fall.

HONEYBEES

I certainly don't want to jinx anything, so I'll just say that we've had several days of abnormally high temperatures which have lead to the honey bees coming out to do cleaning flights AND search for food. It's really TOO early for them to be this active which means they are eating even more. So the hubby made patties for the hives and the bees went through them in a week. Since it looks like we will have warm temps for a while, he also made nectar and is back to feeding the bees through this odd season.

All three hives have survived to this date and we are crossing our fingers that they remain alive and well.

We did see some of the bees on the witchhazel bushes (Hamamelis vernalis)! Witchhazel blooms in February around here, which usually means something other than the honeybees do the pollinating; but this year the honeybees were able to partake of the wonderful nectar and pollen! Photos on the honeybee page.

UPCOMING EVENT

I will be at the Kansas City Food Circle's "Eat Local and Organic Expo" with non-food items for sale. Stop by and say HI. They have combined the Kansas and Missouri events to a SINGLE EXPO... info on the Events page.

STRAW-BALE RAISED BEDS

I am using straw-bales to make the raised beds among which will be the new strawberry beds, and my personal straw-bale garden. See how it is going on the 2017 Crops page.

GRASS-FED AND FINISHED BEEF IN 2016 AND 2017

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! The information about getting a share is found here.


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.

NEMATODES

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.

WELCOME WILDLIFE!

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!

PAPER WASPS!

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).

STRAW

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.


August 8, 2016

I'm a couple weeks late getting the "monthly" update done... ah well, it happens.

POKEWEED VS. ELDERBERRIES

I keep meaning to add photos of the elderberries in comparison to pokeweed berries. I finally remembered to take photos today and it is now on the Crops in 2016 page. I've also put up the photos of the Witch-Hazel plants and seed pods. Click here to go there.

JAPANESE BEETLES

I've added an update to the Pest Management page with the results of my "tea" testing and disposal issues. Not to mention some other helpful insights I learned this year. Click here to get to the Pest Management page.

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.

CALVES ARE SO CUTE!

Almost a month to the day after Nike gave birth, Button had her calf! AND, I guess Domino was waiting for me to do an update, because she had her calf the next day. I just couldn't wait a month to share the photos, so an updated update, LOL.

Click here to quickly get to the 2016 Cattle page and then use the links at the top to visit the entries of your choice.

GOTTA LOVE BARN CATS!

We are SO enjoing having Rueben and Gus living in the barn. They are even worth the chore of cleaning a litter box, LOL. I finally ran out of the food that came with them and MAN O MAN do they like the stuff I replaced it with! Not to mention their wet food bribe every week or so. The other day I noticed one of them had regurgitated their dry food meal and there was also some undigested mouse in it. I'm sure he just ate too fast... but it was nice to know for sure they are mousing! Photo of the cats on the Pest Management page with their story.


June 23, 2016

Happy Solstice! I was excited to see the full moon on the Summer Solstice, but alas and alack, we had clouds and didn't get to see it. Heavy Sigh. But, we were blessed with a thunderstorm overnight that left 2.5 inches of rain on the pastures!

JAPANESE BEETLES

The Japanese Beetles are back with a vengeance! The early hot weather brought them out a couple of weeks early and I appear to have missed the slow build up period and got the traps/bags out just in time. Hopefully, this will get them out of the way a few weeks early as well. I can dream, can't I? LOL

Since I don't have chickens to feed the beetles to and my freezer is FULL of beef FOR SALE... I'm working out how to dispose of the things. My most recent thoughts are to stun them in the freezer for a couple of days and then pour them into a bucket and put neem oil/soapy water over them and cover that for a day or two. It SHOULD drown the hungry critters. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm also planning to use some to make a "tea" to spray on plants as a repellant, will also let you know how THAT goes.

GRASS-FED AND FINISHED BEEF IN 2016 AND THE 2017 "Early Bird" SPECIAL

I picked up the processed beef yesterday and will have it ready to sell retail starting in July. 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.

CATTLE PAGE UPDATED (2016)

Nike's Heifer Calf (June 2016) -- If you follow us on Facebook, you already know that Nike gave birth to a heifer calf on June 14th! Lots of photos!

Dannon Goes to Her New Home (June 2016) -- As you may know, I had planned to keep Dannon. But, for reasons expressed on the full article, I decided to sell Dannon.

Moving to Fresh Pasture (June 2016) -- Some lovely images of what fresh pasture looks like on the Summer Solstice. My that pasture has improved over the last few years!

The hubby has a new camera and has been getting used to it by taking lots of photos of the cattle. The photos of the new calf and herd are by the hubby. Click here to quickly get to the 2016 Cattle page and then use the links at the top to visit the entries of your choice.

CATS LIVING IN THE BIG RED GAMBREL BUILDING

Hurray! The two barn cats LIKE IT HERE! Rueben and Gus are settled in and we even see them from time to time. The hubby sees Gus (the black shorthair) outside of the building occasionally, but so far we have only seen Rueben (the ginger tabby) inside the building. Once, I left the door open and happend on Rueben as he made his way down the stairs and apparently heading for the open door; when WHOOSH! he turned right around and went straight back the way he came. Startled me (in a good way) and made me laugh.

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS 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.

POWELL GARDENS - POLLINATORS

I've been invited to Powell Gardens on Friday, June 24 from Noon to 3:00 pm to chat about pollinators and why they are so important and how to invite them to your garden. Stop by if you can!

WATER

Once again, water problems on the farm. I am really tired of the field hydrant breaking down (and the hubby even more so since he does the digging and replacing). First we replaced it thinking it was just old, then repaired the new one (at least twice) before putting the old one back in after repairing it. Obviously, the repair kits aren't worth the effort. Read the story here.


May 25, 2016

Spring arrived on the farm earlier this year. I thought not having chickens would provide me some extra time, but alas, that time has been taken with figuring out other ways to bring in income. Evenings have been spent pouring through my rock and gem collections and stringing beads to sell through the General Store.

The early Spring also means getting back to yard work and that has caused an upheaval in my daily routine that I still have not quite worked out. Yes, it happens every year... doesn't make it any easier. Plus, since taking over the house cleaning, my non-farm chores have increased.

Luckily, this week was rainy and I had gotten all but some minor trimming done last week as pertains to yard chores. I opted to put off house cleaning and work on this website.

Which means there is finally an update!

GENERAL STORE

I've had to do a bit of organizational shifting and put a directory on the General Store page that links to separate pages for the Archived PDFs, the NEW Art for Sale page, the NEW Rocks/Gems for Sale page and the Used Equipment page.

I welcome your comments and suggestions. For one thing, it's been difficult to figure out how to handle shipping and handling for the Rocks/Gems because while they are small, they still require postage and at least a padded envelope to ship.

GRASS-FED AND FINISHED BEEF IN 2016 AND THE 2017 "Early Bird" SPECIAL

The deadline for 2016 Cowpooling shares has passed. The farm WILL have beef to sell per package starting in July. I will post a list of what is available and for what price at that time.

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.

CATS COME TO THE FARM, AGAIN

I received a call from the feral cat rehome organization this week. They have two (2) adult males who are buddies and they want to place them together. This should be perfect for our needs. Cross your fingers and toes for me that they decide to stay. (By the way, I think I saw Buffy a few miles down the road yesterday. She may have found a friend. I certainly hope so.)

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS 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).

KANSAS CITY FOOD CIRCLE EXPO 2016

As many of you know, I was able to participate in the Kansas date of the Kansas City Food Circle Expo at Johnson County Community College on April 2nd. It was a lovely event and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with everyone that stopped by the booth. I was so looking forward to the following weekend when I would get to visit with folks at Penn Valley Community College, but alas, I fell ill and was unable to attend. Besides missing out on talking with people I already know, I missed out on connecting with new friends and prospective customers... not to mention the wasted fee to participate. So, it was a very expensive illness because I didn't have anyone to attend in my place. One of the hazards of being a small farm without employees.

Why am I sharing that? Because it's a truth about owning a small business that everyone should know before they get into it.

VET VISIT AT THE FARM

May 2nd was the annual Veterinary Visit to the farm. Check out the photos of the new portable canel panels in use and the story from the day here.

WEANING!

Hard to believe it's been a year since we did our first weaning. Read all about this year on the 2016 Cattle page.

COMPOST HAY

It's not a very interesting topic, but free fertilizer to make gardens is exciting to me! See photos of what happens to the fertilized hay after the winter on the 2016 Crops page.


March 23, 2016

As you may have noticed, I'm revamping the website. Please forgive any missing or unfinished pages or missing links during the changes. I welcome your email letting me know when/if you find any.

Don't worry if you are looking for a page you have visited before and it isn't there any longer. I have created Adobe Reader files (PDFs) of the older stuff and that information IS STILL AVAILABLE from the General Store. You can open the file for free. If you decide to download it, please use the link to make a free will donation per file downloaded. I am happy to share my experiences with you and I hope you value the effort enough to help me make it possible through your donation.

MONETARY DONATIONS NOW ACCEPTED

I'm finding that I spend more time educating which is GREAT! But it also means time that isn't paid for. SO, I've set up a way for anyone who feels the inclination to make a Donation to the Farm. These donations are NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE since the Farm is not a non-profit organization (even if it may seem like it from my end, LOL). Donations can be made from the Sponsors page.

GENERAL STORE

I'm still working on this page, so please check back often for what has been added since your last visit.

This is where you can either download files or place orders for the non-food items with payment through PayPal. I will ship NON-FOOD items ONLY. Food products must still be picked up at the farm. Of course, you are welcome to pick up the non-food items at the farm, if you prefer.

I had a great time last weekend at the Rock and Gem Show in Kansas City. I invested in purchasing semi-precious stones to make things myself and other items already made by someone else to sell from the General Store. I'm hoping to have a few things with me at the Kansas City Food Circle Expos in April.

GRASS-FED AND FINISHED BEEF IN 2016 AND THE 2017 "Early Bird" SPECIAL

The deadline for 2016 Cowpooling shares has passed. The farm WILL have beef to sell per package starting in July. I will post a list of what is available and for what price at that time.

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.

BUFFY, THE STEALTH CAT

Pest Management page has an update on Buffy.

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR A POULTRY PARTNER

All winter I've had to look at poultry coops that are empty and sitting in my field. I would very much like to help someone in the Kansas City Metro area get into raising poultry the way I did so that my customers (and I, for that matter) can find the kind of eggs and meat I was producing. 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).

2015 CATTLE PAGE FINISHED!

Agh! All this archiving of older pages has had me so preoccupied. Here I was making the Adventures in Cattle PDF and I discovered that I hadn't done an update to the 2015 page since Nike had her calf. The arrivals of Domino's and Button's calves were announced on Facebook at least. Well, now the photos and all are here on the 2015 Cattle page with the rest of the 2015 adventure!

HAY BALE SETUP FOR OVERWINTERING MY CATTLE

So sorry this has taken so long. I've finally gotten the 2016 Cattle page updated with pictures of how the hubby and I decided to provide access to the hay by the cattle. We've had a mild winter and that is probably why we still have six (6) beautiful bales of hay left. The cattle are spending very little time at the hay these days.

HUNTERS AND MY LIVESTOCK

A new entry in my Farming Blog. No, I'm not going to give you a hint beyond the title. LOL

PORTABLE CATTLE PANELS

I have invested in my on Portable Cattle Panel with Trailer setup. The story and photos are on the 2016 Cattle page.

BLACKBERRY CANE MANAGEMENT

The hubby did a fabulous job constructing the structure for managing the blackberry canes. See photos and descriptions on the 2016 Crops page.


January 22, 2016 (with January 29 UPDATE below)

As you may have noticed, I'm revamping the website. Please forgive any missing or unfinished pages or missing links during the changes. I welcome your email letting me know when/if you find any.

The site has gotten rather -- HUGE! -- what with all the current information, the archived information, etc. etc. etc.
So I decided to create Adobe Reader files (PDFs) of the older stuff and am making that information available for download for a small fee.

In that same vein, I'm compiling PDFs by topic and they will also be available for download for a fee.

GENERAL STORE

Since I'm offering non-food items for sale on-line, I've created a "General Store" where you can either download files or place orders for the non-food items with payment through PayPal. I will ship NON-FOOD items ONLY. Food products must still be picked up at the farm. Of course, you are welcome to pick up the non-food items at the farm, if you prefer.

MONETARY DONATIONS NOW ACCEPTED

I'm finding that I spend more time educating which is GREAT! But it also means time that isn't paid for. SO, I've set up a way for anyone who feels the inclination to make a Donation to the Farm. These donations are NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE since the Farm is not a non-profit organization (even if it may seem like it from my end, LOL). Donations can be made from the Sponsors page.

GRASS-FED AND FINISHED BEEF IN 2016

I have a limited number of Cowpooling shares still available for the June 2016 processing. The information about getting a share is found here.

BUFFY, THE STEALTH CAT

Now that there are no more chickens on the farm, I felt comfortable bringing in a cat to help with the mouse population control. You can learn more about adopting a cat from a feral colony on the Pest Management page.

FRUITS, HERBS, VEGETABLES, PLANTS FOR SALE - NEW PAGE

In 2015, I planted an additional 75 Aroniaberry cuttings. Added to the fruit trees, blackberries, strawberries, and other plant products that will be available, I figured I should have a page that talks about how you can purchase it all and not just give you information. Click here to go there.

BOBBI'S BLOG

I've moved the previous entries (2011 through 2015) to a PDF available from the General Store. And there is a new entry... or should I say rant, LOL... about Why I Advocate Labeling of GMOs. It is located in the Sustainable Living section, but you can always check the Directory if you can't remember where a particular entry is located.

SEPTIC TANK MAINTENANCE

As I have been making the changes to the website, I found at least one page that I completely overlooked from June 2015! Meaning, I created it, but I never made any links to it (except perhaps from the Status Report at the time, but since I haven't investigated that, I sincerely doubt it). There is now a link to the Septic Tank Maintenance page from the Project List and you can click here if you want to check it out right away.


November 7, 2015

It's been busy around here.

On October 30th, we transported the turkeys and laying hens to the processor in Archie MO (just under 2 hours away) which meant getting up at 3:00 am to get them into crates and make it there by 6:30 am. It was sad for me. We took in 15 turkeys and 1 of them didn't pass inspection so we ended up with 14. There were 48 hens and 2 of those didn't pass inspection so we have 46. The processor is USDA inspected so all the poultry are OK to sell. If you are interested in a turkey or a few chickens, email or call me (contact info here).

Fall is always about cleaning up, preparing for winter and also for spring. This year I have extra work cleaning up all the poultry stuff and packing it away for possible future use (or future sale). I'm not sure what happened, but sometime on 11-5 while cleaning poultry feeders and waterers, something decided to take a bite out of my neck on the left side. I think it must have been a spider because it didn't hurt like a bee or wasp and it has a pretty good size hole unlike a mosquito. So I have a swelling and it is also affecting the gland that is just beneath the bite. Thankfully, I remembered to put warm compresses with epsom salts and Thieves essential oils on it to draw out any venom.

The extra work has also aggrevated my plantar fasciitis so I'm trying to baby my foot as much as I can to take that pain down a notch.

GRASS-FED AND FINISHED BEEF IN 2016

I've been pretty much at odds about selling the cattle. Which probably explains why I haven't gotten any offers on them. What I've been hearing from people that initially said were interested is that the price is more than they want to spend. Huh? I didn't advertise a price. Which means they are interpretting the "value" I placed on the cattle as a price I wanted to receive. OK, I screwed that up and accept full responsibility for that.

I WILL HAVE 2 (two) STEERS TO COWPOOL IN 2016. The information about getting a share is found here.

Since I haven't had any offers on the rest of the herd, I am keeping the cow/calf pairs and am still debating about whether to keep Fernie the bull. I have made overwintering arrangements for them and all is well.

AND I am still looking for people who want to farm-sit so I can take a vacation from time to time.


October 22, 2015

As you may already know, I decided to no longer have animals on the farm. I put up signs at the local feed stores, MFA, Extension office, etc. I posted to the listserv's of the various organization to which I belong. I advertised on-line. Basically, I did everything I could to sell my animals.

While I was able to sell some of the poultry, I am ending up taking the rest of them in to be processed the end of October and that means the LLC will have sold them to my husband for our freezers. This is fine, we'll have chicken and turkey for the next year.

I had planned to sell the equipment at a Farm Auction locally if no one purchased it all... but have decided to keep it and store it in the event that in the future things change and I can put them back into use OR someone wants to purchase it from me at a later date.

What about the cattle? I am accepting offers and am willing to sell them to someone that wants to keep up with them the way I have; until then, they will remain on the farm and I will continue to Cowpool the steers. AND I am still looking for people who want to farm-sit so I can take a vacation from time to time.

The information about the cattle is found here: Livestock for Sale *This page has been removed.*. I have removed the "whole shebang" pages and you can find the other for sale items here: Equipment/Supplies for Sale *This page has been removed.*.

Payment is CASH or CASHIERS CHECK (made out to PlayHaven Farm LLC). I do not take credit cards and will only accept personal checks from people I know.

Everything must be picked up at the farm which is located just east of the Metro Kansas City Area off of I-70. Transportation of everything (especially containment of the animals) is the responsibility of the buyer.


October 1, 2015

As you may already know, I have decided to no longer have animals on the farm. That includes hens (to produce eggs), meat chickens, turkeys and cattle. SO, I am selling animals, equipment, supplies, feed, etc.

You can read the original statement on the Previously page (September 4, 2015).

NOW AVAILABLE are the pages for

  • Livestock for Sale, *This page has been removed.*
  • Equipment/Supplies for Sale, and *This page has been removed.*
  • one for Combination Packages -- which I'm calling Whole Shebangs for Sale. *This page has been removed.*

Payment is CASH or CASHIERS CHECK (made out to PlayHaven Farm LLC). I do not take credit cards and will only accept personal checks from people I know.

Everything must be picked up at the farm which is located just east of the Metro Kansas City Area off of I-70. Transportation of everything (especially containment of the animals) is the responsibility of the buyer.


September 13, 2015

As you may already know, I have decided to no longer have animals on the farm. That includes hens (to produce eggs), meat chickens, turkeys and cattle. SO, I am selling animals, equipment, supplies, feed, etc.

You can read the original statement on the Previously page (September 4, 2015).

I am creating one page for Livestock for Sale and one for Equipment/Supplies for Sale on the website showing what is for sale and how much it is.

I reserve the right to sell these animals to people who are going to keep them on pasture and NON-GMO feed.

Payment is CASH or CASHIERS CHECK (made out to PlayHaven Farm LLC). I do not take credit cards and will only accept personal checks from people I know.

Everything must be picked up at the farm which is located just east of the Metro Kansas City Area off of I-70. Transportation of everything (especially containment of the animals) is the responsibility of the buyer.

I had hoped to work out a way for someone who wants to do the kind of sustainable farming I do to take over the animal side of the farm. Unfortunately, even though a few people were interested, it doesn't really work unless they live on the farm and we cannot accomodate that at this time.

BLUE SLATE TURKEYS FOR SALE

The listing for the turkeys is ready and on the Livestock for Sale page. I have also listed it on the Farm's Facebook page via the group 'Turkeys, quail, ducks for sale or trade in Missouri'.

BLACK AUSTRALORP PULLETS FOR SALE

The listing for the pullets is ready and on the Livestock for Sale page. I have also listed it on the Farm's Facebook page via the group 'Turkeys, quail, ducks for sale or trade in Missouri'.

WHEN WILL THE REST OF THE ANIMALS BE FOR SALE?

As I get pricing and photos, etc. ready, I will change this Status Report... so keep checking back. I will also put the information on the Farm's Facebook page and various appropriate sales venues and those will be listed here as well.


September 4, 2015

I have decided to no longer have animals on the farm. That includes hens (to produce eggs), meat chickens, turkeys and cattle.

As you may (or may not) know, animals require daily attention and that makes going away from the farm for even a couple of days VERY difficult. Of course, if you have family, friends or help of some other sort that are able to cover for you then it’s not such a big deal.

Neither the hubby nor I have family in the KC Metro area. What friends we have lead lives that are not compatible with coming out to the farm to help on a daily basis or farm-sit for several days. A few people have expressed interest in helping out on the farm but, to date, conflicts of schedules have kept that from happening. The one person we thought was going to intern with us for the summer backed out.

After giving the matter a great deal of thought and discussion, we decided that at this time in our lives, we would like to have more leisure time and be able to travel occasionally.

SO, I am selling animals, equipment, supplies, feed, etc. I will be creating a page on the website showing what is for sale and how much it is. Everything must be picked up at the farm. Transportation of everything (especially containment of the animals) is the responsibility of the buyer.

I am open to the prospect of someone who wants to do the kind of sustainable farming I do taking over the animal side of the farm. We would have to work out some kind of agreement that would be very clear that neither I nor my husband would take care of the animals… that the person managing the animals would have to other helpers to cover their absences.

Please contact me if you or someone you know would be interested in discussing this option. It will probably take me a couple weeks to get valuations done, photos taken, listing completed, etc. So this option is only available until I am ready to sell and the Status Report will change to let you know when that is.


August 4, 2015

Believe it or not, I actually worked on the website update in May, LOL. I've adjusted a few of the sentences to make them past tense and kept them in for this update. This is a HUGE update because it's been so long. Sorry about that.

May 21st was Red Nose Day. I joined in the fun to support the Comic Relief organization and bring awareness in the USA about children living in poverty. Wore the nose to 24 Hour Fitness for my Aqua Cardio Class, it stayed on even in the pool! We all had a great laugh and it was a great way to get conversations started.

You don't have to wear the nose... and you can help any day with donations.

You can learn more about this fun event at https://www.rednoseday.org/

May 23 was the March Against Monsanto. You can find out more about that at http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/.
This isn't just about Monsanto... it's about GMOs, pesticides, herbicides and knowing what is in our food and OH so much more!

Weather

This has been an exceptionally rainy year! This Spring we were not able to get our hay cut and baled because there were not enough days between rain downpours for the field and/or cut hay to dry out. So I am having to purchase hay this year. Luckily, I found a fellow who uses no chemicals on his hay fields and fertilizes using worm casting tea. Plus he wants my beef, so we are working out a barter situation: beef for hay! YIPPEE.

The animals are fine when it comes to weather issues. The pasture with the meat chickens and turkeys is over used because the ground was just SO saturated. We'll have to do some seeding this fall.

The road in front of the property was cut badly from the run off of the heavy, heavy rains. The culvert under our driveway got blocked from the debris the road crew left after cutting back the foliage inside the road easement. This caused the water to cut a channel in the road itself. That was two (2) months ago and they still haven't repaired the road. The hubby used our tractor to gather some of the gravel that washed to the bottom of the valley and fill in some of it so we can actually get from our driveway onto the road.

Beef/Cowpooling

Please contact me by email or phone (you can find that info on the Resources/Links page, click here) if you want to get in on the Cowpooling.

The shares sold for the 2015 Cowpooling covered two (2) steers. So I decided to hold the 3rd steer back and let it grow up a bit more so that Filet has a friend. That means I'll have two (2) steers for 2016 and they will be processed in May or June of 2016. (The story about taking the steers in to be processed this June can be found here.) SO, there are no shares left in beef for 2015.

If you want to purchase shares in the 2016 Cowpooling, that is grand. I've updated the page with the 2016 pricing and used that pricing in the example to make life easier for everybody, LOL. You CAN reserve your share in a 2016 beef NOW!

In case you haven't already visited it, here is the link to the Grass-fed/finished Beef page with LOTS of information about how healthy and good for the environment it is.

Cow News

I have a new cow: Domino. You can see photos of her here.

The hubby went out to do cattle chores yesterday and found a CALF! Nike is a new momma! It is a boy calf so he will get a food-type name. Photos of Nike and the new calf here. Plus, there was excitement! Read all about it.

The Rush is past for Eggs

The hens went from laying lots of eggs to laying in lots of nests: being broody. Broody hens tend to have the same effect as a picket line and many of the other hens wouldn't lay eggs because they didn't want to cross those broody hens. AND then it got hot and humid here (it is summer after all, LOL) and the hens don't lay well in the heat. There are still eggs for sale... it's just getting closer to the 2 dozen maximum rule. More information about buying eggs/getting on the Egg List is found here.

Chicken News

The chicks are on pasture! We moved them the second week of May which was a couple of weeks earlier than we usually do and put heat lamps into their campers and "chick fence" around them so they have some room to start getting used to being outside.

The roosters are for sale! I am sick and tired of them. They are $20 each and you catch the ones you want. The lead rooster jumped me from behind and drew blood. That was the last straw. They are out-a-here.

Stories and photos on the new 2015 chicken page (click here).

Turkey News

I like the turkeys. Blue has really taken to motherhood. Pictures and story on the NEW Turkey Page. You can check it out here.

We finished the mobile Turkey Coop just in time to move Blue and the poults into it. Photos of the construction are here.

HoneyBee News

Our honeybee hives are expanding! The hubby did a 'split' this Spring and then the original hive swarmed (which he captured) and then swarmed again (which he didn't capture). As of today, there are three (3) hives and the hubby has placed an order for a 'nuc' (which is several frames of brood with nurse bees and a queen) which he will get in early Summer. Story and photos here... soon! Really, I promise. I just have to get this update live now and will get this done as soon as I can!

Plants

We have been planting LOTS of flowering tree and bush starts this Spring. Black Locust trees and Button Bushes for the honeybees and Aroniaberry Bushes for people. I still have some of the Aroniaberry starts that I potted for sale... they are $10 per pot and have 3 or 4 stems each.

I'm not quite finished getting my strawbale garden in place, but hope to grow a few things in it this summer. It is a test for me and you can follow along with the process. (Update... I DID finish it and will add a page about it after the growing season has ended and I have complete opinions.)

I love the Comfrey plants! They attract bumblebees and are so pretty. They also cover the entire flower bed so I don't have to do any weeding! I've added several more plants to the flower bed on the other side of the porch stairs. If you want Comfrey, I'll have starts next Spring. PLUS, I'm happy to sell you some leaves to dry for your personal use; just contact me about that.

Yard Equipment

I've added an update about the WORX trimmer. Don't want to spoil it for you, so click here to read all about it.

House Maintenance

Coming soon - promise!


April 8, 2015

I meant to have this done on April Fools Day...No Fooling! It's a monthly update! Hope your first day of April was fun, foolish and fabulous.

Beef/Cowpooling

As of today, I still have a couple shares available for Grass-fed/finished Beef. Please contact me by email or phone (you can find that info on the Resources/Links page, click here) if you want to get in on the Cowpooling.

If the Cowpooling shares aren't sold by the time I take the animals in for processing in June, I'll have beef to sell by the piece. I'll keep you updated.

In case you haven't already visited it, here is the link to the Grass-fed/finished Beef page with LOTS of information about how healthy and good for the environment it is.

Cow News - 2015

I've added a new page for the 2015 story about the cows. There are entries are about overwintering (with a link to the watering page to learn how we handle water), the first veterinary visit and weaning. Enjoy!

Spring is the Time for EGGS!

Spring has sprung... HURRAY! The hens are producing LOTS of eggs. This is an especially good time of year to stock up. More information about buying eggs/getting on the Egg List is found here.

It is also the time of year that the inspector comes by and delivers the news about my rating for this year. You can find out how my inspection came out here.

Chicken News - 2015

I lost another hen recently. Hadn't had a hawk strike for a long time and on March 29th that long time ended when I saw some kind of bird of prey standing over a Buff Orpington carcass. You can read about it here.

The hens are finally moved out of their overwinter pasture! HOORAY! I don't have to roast cracked navy beans and reconstitute alfalfa pellets until next winter. Story and photos on the new 2015 chicken page (click here).

Turkey News

I've added a page for the Turkeys. You can check it out here. No, don't have any to sell in 2015. I have to build a flock first. Hoping to be able to sell them in 2016. The poults arrived on the 7th and there are pictures!

Kansas City Food Circle Eat Local Expo

I've written up a blog entry about marketing through venues such as the KC Food Circle Eat Local Expo where I'll be exhibiting on April 11, 2015 from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. at Penn Valley Community College. Get info about the April 11th Expo here on Facebook. Or you can go to their website here.

Website Changes

The Testimonials page is available now. I'm always very grateful to hear from customers what their experiences have been with my products and/or visits to the farm. If it's good, then I want to share it! If it's been unpleasant, I need to hear about it so I can figure out what is going on and make any necessary changes.

The other changes listed below will be made as I can fit in the time now that there are more outside chores to be done:

  • the opportunity to make a Donation (i.e. if you benefit from something you learned about here and want to say "Thank You" in a tangible way)
  • the ability to download Acrobat Reader (PDF) "books" of the Green Building Projects... this Farming Adventure... etc. (for a small cost)
  • an Events page with information about (you guessed it!) events on the farm you can attend. This will include fun, party-type things in addition to workshops and please-I-need-help days
  • and pages with my Artwork for sale and non-food items for sale.

March 6, 2015

Gee, has it been TWO months already? Whoever said things slow down on a farm in the winter must be out of touch (OH wait, that was me, wasn't it? LOL).

Annual Newsletter and Order Forms - 2015

The Newsletter and Order Forms were distributed mid-January. While the deadline is March 15, some things are already sold out. Which is great for me, but a bummer for you. :( You might want to contact me to see if what you want is still available.

Spring is the Time for EGGS!

The weather appears to moving out of Winter into Spring. HURRAY! That SHOULD mean that the hens will be producing LOTS of eggs. This is an especially good time of year to stock up. More information about buying eggs/getting on the Egg List is found here.

Testimonial Page/Website Changes

I'm making some changes to the website and the first one is the addition of a Testimonials page. If you are a customer, don't be surprised to get an email asking if you will supply a blurb for this new page. Thank you to those who have provided such nice feedback about my website contents and my products.

Other changes will include:

  • the opportunity to make a Donation (i.e. if you benefit from something you learned about here and want to say "Thank You" in a tangible way)
  • the ability to download Acrobat Reader (PDF) "books" of the Green Building Projects... this Farming Adventure... etc. (for a small cost)
  • an Events page with information about (you guessed it!) events on the farm you can attend. This will include fun, party-type things in addition to workshops and please-I-need-help days
  • and pages with my Artwork for sale and non-food items for sale.

January 3, 2015

Happy New Year! Which is to say, the world-wide, agreed-upon calendar year, LOL... and isn't that amazing, there is something that we can all agree to abide by for the sake of keeping appointments with each other, remembering each other's birthdates, anniversaries, etc. And it doesn't take away anything from the calendar of each individual's culture, religion, or whatever view of the order of the universe you hold to. This Common Era calendar is something we all have in common in addition to using seconds, minutes, and hours to track the progression of the rotation of the earth. Wouldn't it be nice if humankind focused on our similarities instead of our differences.

Annual Newsletter and Order Forms - 2015

Now that the holiday rush has passed, I can focus on the Annual Newsletter that will provide an overview of 2014 and what to expect in 2015. I've gotten the first draft of the Chicken and Cowpooling Order Forms done, so hopefully I will have this ready to send out in a couple of weeks.

Everyone who has contacted me and provided their email address will be getting a notice via email regarding when the Newsletter and Order Form is ready to be distributed. That is your opportunity to reply and tell me:

  1. you prefer to get this info printed and sent to you through the US Postal Service, if so please provide your correct mailing address; or
  2. you no longer wish to receive emails from PlayHaven Farm LLC.

If I don't get a reply, the packet will go out digitally (in an Adobe Reader PDF) via email.

Alone on the Farm for Two (2) Weeks

The hubby occasionally travels for work and he tries to keep the duration of each trip to a minimum so that I am not overwhelmed with farm chores. Now that we have begun meeting people who are interested in coming out to the farm to help, this should not be as big of an issue... Thankfully. Unfortunately, we are so used to doing everything ourselves, it's hard to remember to contact these people ahead of time to find out if they are available during these days. One of my goals in 2015 is to be more proactive about contacting these lovely people.

So, in December, the hubby was scheduled to work in South Africa and I figured I could handle things... so long as he contacted people to be a back up if I needed them. What I had thought was a one (1) week trip turned out to be 15 days and that was TOO long. Especially since the back-up turned out to have holiday travel plans and I was totally on my own.

If you follow the farm on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/PlayHavenFarm), you may have already read about my biggest adventures during this time. If not, you can read them on the blog entry here along with the "rest of the story".

Phaerghus Meets the Chickens

Phaerghus (our Newfoundland Dog) met the chickens for the first time on December 3, 2014. Several of the Dark Cornish hens decided to go into the 'Big Dog Yard'... I've put the story on the 2014 Chicken Page. Click here to go there.



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