Welcome

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. :)

Introductions, Please

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!

The Artist

As the Artist; I have entered a new career. 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 2016. Join me in believing 2017 will provide abundant money and time to do more on the renovation, won't you?

Sponsors

Please check them out and consider them for your next project! Also, if you want to help out, your Monetary Donation is much appreciated!


StatusReport

September 23, 2017

Once again there has been a long time between updates. This time the reason is also not farm related and while I still encourage you to participate in telling your local and national government representatives how you want things run, that is not my reason for being busy.

Perhaps you will remember I mentioned that I also have aging parents that are requiring more of my time and energy and that the stress level in my house has been pretty high for the last several months? Well, it has gotten more and more time consuming because they live in another state and I'm the closest of their kids. I am happy to help them and do not begrudge a moment or the effort... they did the best they knew how and that was pretty darned great! Helping them now is my opportunity to return the favor... doing the best we know how and making their remaining time pretty darned great!

It just means that the hubby has had to take on more responsibilities at the farm and in house because I have been traveling quite a bit. By the way, have you checked out your local library on-line? Mine uses an app called "Overdrive" and it is super because I can download audiobooks to my phone and listen to them without needing an internet connection during my drives. I am ever so thankful for this.

SUMMER ON THE FARM

Summer is our busiest time... that is to say, there are things that must be done every day and then there are bursts of high levels of activity for extended periods. The cattle get moved through the pasture day by day following the rotational plans (with modification for unforeseen situations) that have been pre-planned... this is why it is called "management intensive grazing", their water and minerals are kept filled. The honeybees are monitored and inspected for the timing of adding supers to collect the excess honey (which is what we sell), propolis traps (to collect propolis to sell), etc. and then again for the timing of removing such items. Plants are watered (if there isn't consistent rain -- which hasn't been a problem this summer, by any means), mowed, trimmed, pruned, etc. Fruit, vegetables, herbs are inspected and harvested as appropriate. Marketing is on-going and pick-your-own visits are scheduled.

AUTUMN ON THE FARM

Now it is officially Autumn... the fruit crops (except the persimmons) are all harvested and frozen is available for sale, retail beef is available for sale, most of the honey has been filtered and bottled for sale.

The cattle are still moved through the pasture day by day, water and minerals kept filled. Honeybees are still inspected and adjustments are made to help them prepare for and thrive through the winter. Plants are fertilized, trimmed/pruned and separated/replanted as necessary.

It is a beautiful time to visit. Things feel like they are slowing down, the colors start to change, leaves rustle louder.

There is also work to be done: fences mended, wood cut, equipment repaired, cleaning, painting, etc.

CROPS

The aronia berry harvest was amazing! I thought it had peaked out the last couple of years, but I guess the rain must have kept the berries nice and plump and prolific. There is still some left over from the 2016 harvest which I am contemplating making wine out of (for personal use and that of guests, of course). I have added another area of seedlings for the future.

There were FOUR pawpaw fruits!! Not enough to sell this year, but the hubby and I certainly enjoyed them. Sure hope there will be plenty to sell in 2018.

I'm expanding the strawberry plants into several raised beds this fall so that the rhubarb can spread out fully in their current location. I'm open to selling some of the plants if you want to add some to your garden; now is a great time to do that.

Persimmon fruits are on the trees but are still green. Looks like it will be October and then the first frost before they are edible.

Elderberry cuttings can be taken during the winter... contact me so I can schedule when and how much for you.

HONEY

Honey has been harvested! All the info about pricing etc. is on the page devoted to honey and honey-products, click here to go there.

We already have quite a bit of excitement building about this year's honey, so be sure to get yours before it sells out. Being new to pricing multiple sized jars, you get the benefit of my inexperience and so don't pay more for a small jar than you do for big jar (per ounce of honey weight, that is) -- even though it turns out to cost me more to provide the small jar option. Live and learn, as they say!

GRASS-FED AND FINISHED BEEF IN 2017

NOTICE! There IS retail beef available! 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.

You should also be aware that there will be one (1) steer to Cowpool for the 2018 processing and he (Prime Rib) will be taken for processing at Paradise Meats in Trimble MO the first of June (which means the meat will be ready before the 4th of July). Seems that birth rates of girl (heifer) calves in 2016 was high and I was not able to trade out my heifer calves for bull calves... which leaves me with only the one steer in 2018. That means there will be more competition for those shares. I highly recommend reserving your share as soon as possible. Contact me to reserve your cowpooling share. The information about getting a share is found here.

As for the 2019 processing - so far we have two (2) bull calves (Brisket and Pizza -- yes, there is a reason for that name, see below) and are waiting for Button to give birth. So there will be at least two (2) steers for 2019.

As you may already know, all our meat animals get food names. So their names (preceded by their Mom's name) are: 2018 steer, Button's Prime Rib; and 2019 bull calves (they are not castrated yet), Nike's Brisket and Domino's Pizza. Yes, we do share a strange sense of humor. ;)

DISCOUNTED PRICES ON THE USED POULTRY EQUIPMENT

LAST CHANCE! CONTACT ME BEFORE THE END OF SEPTEMBER IF YOU WANT ANY OF THE POULTRY EQUIPMENT.

It's been two (2) years now of hoping someone will want to raise chickens and eggs the way I did and no takers. So I've decided to stop hoping and just sell the rest of the equipment. I have discounted everything deeply and what doesn't sell by the 1st of October, I will take it to auction in Lexington (Adkins Auctions). Check the page to see what is still available.

COMMISSIONED ARTWORK

I am working on another commissioned artwork. You can see examples here. Winter is the best time for me to concentrate on art... please contact me to schedule a piece for you or as a gift for someone else.



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