PlayHaven Farm LLC & Green Building Project
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* Status Report

* Project List

* Sponsors

* Bobbi's Blog
Updated November 18, 2014


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, I think you will find this website has lots and LOTS of great information about both topics ... and more!

It should be very easy to navigate 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.

The four (4) text links at the top of the page are quick links to primary pages:

  • "Status Report" is where you find out what is new or has been added in the current update (the date at the top of the Home page). It has links to the pages that have been updated so you don't have go searching to find them.
  • "Project List" Section will give you 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 (if you are so inclined).
  • 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. I've closed the 'blogspot' account and moved those entries here.

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. :)

At the risk of appearing vain...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 such as 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 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!) I am now working in graphite (which translates to: pencil) and AM LOVING IT! I hope to have my better pieces available for purchase in limited editions soon. When I do, you'll find a link to them added to this website.


Get On the List for the 2015 Order Form and Newsletter

You will need to contact me so I can put you on the books to get the 2015 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?)

I've had so much interest in the Grass Fed Beef that I am selling shares early to be sure I have enough for everyone. If you want to buy your 2015 Cowpooling Share before next Spring, YOU CAN!

Deposits are required with your 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".

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. (I do, however, make my way into the Kansas City Metro area on a regular basis and am happy to meet you on the Missouri side [*to deliver EGGS only*].)

Remember, farming is primarily SEASONAL. The hens lay eggs all year, so those are available round the calendar. Everything else has to "grow up", so while you are putting in an order now, you will have to wait until everything else is ready to be harvested.


House Renovation - the Green Way

The farm has taken all our money and energy in 2014. Join me in believing 2015 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!

Check back to find out the progress of our efforts.

Contact Information

The Resources Page has our Contact Information - Bottom of the Page.


StatusReport

November 18, 2014

Sorry to be two (2) months between Status Reports.

This has been a tough fall for me. Soon after the last update my older Newfoundland Dog girl (Isabeau, turned 10 in October) came down with a limp and that took a bit of time away from the farm to get diagnosed and treated. Long story short, it turned out to be a fast paced growth around her bone on her right rear leg near the hip (we did not do a bioposy, but assume it was cancer). The pain became untreatable and so we did the hardest thing for us and the best thing for her and released her spirit from her body on October 25. Still can't write about it without crying.

Anyway, between that and trying to figure out what to do about meat chickens in 2015... it's taken me this long to get back to the website.

About Meat Chickens in 2015

As you may have read (it's on the Previously page, the 9-12-14 status), I was VERY frustrated by customer interactions regarding the meat chickens this year and had decided to NOT sell meat chickens in 2015 unless I could fix the problems encountered in 2014.

Well, I believe I have come up with solutions that will allow me to continue raising meat chickens.

To purchase meat chickens from PlayHaven Farm requires two (2) commitments in addition to monetary payment:

      1. Attend and help on at least one (1) processing morning.
      2. Pick up your vacuum packed chickens at the scheduled date and time.

These are not unusual requests. Many CSA programs require their customers to work on the farm for a set number of hours during the season as part of their commitment to supporting the local farmer; while also requiring the customer pick up their produce at set times and places.

There are no exceptions to these requirements; however, you may send someone else in your place. If you order chickens, but do not fulfill your obligations; you will forfeit your chicken order and any money already paid.

Processing dates and pickup dates will be pre-determined and listed on the order form so that you can choose the date you will help and the date you will pick up.* They will not be the same date, so you are committing to come to the farm twice: once to help with processing (in the morning) and once to pick up your chickens (in the late afternoon/evening).

*A limited number of chickens will be processed on each processing date. In the event that the date you have chosen has already been filled by other customers, you will be given the choice of choosing a different date or cancelling your order.

There will be a limit on the total number of Dark Cornish chickens that I will raise... that number is 100 (12 per customer maximum)
The meat chickens can't keep up with the strip-grazing cattle any more (more cattle means quicker movement through the pastures); so they have to rotate around a separate area (while the hens follow the cattle). The pasture needs an average of six (6) weeks to recover before any livestock goes back into the same location. Therefore, I will have to put the meat chickens on their own area of pasture and limit the number.

On the bright side... in 2015 I can offer Stewing Hens. I'll have about 50 hens (6 per customer maximum) because in 2015 I have to replace the older hens with younger hens. The name tells you how to cook the meat of an older chicken (like in a stew where you cook the meat with wet heat at a low temperature for a longer period of time). All my hens are considered 'heavy' birds, so should be at least five (5) lbs after processing.

The Moowers have a Second Addition!

Nike had her calf: a girl! It was September 24 about 8:15 pm. Gary was there to assist her with clearing the sac from it's nose. More story (including how Ferny decided to go traveling) and Photos here.

And Then There Were MORE Hens.

I made an executive decision (easy to do since I'm the only executive, LOL). Since I supplemented the meat chickens with those awful Freedom Rangers (was going to keep them all for myself, but one of my customers was interested in them so I shared) that meant I got to keep a bunch of the Dark Cornish for myself. I already knew that a few were females (it happens even when you ask for all males) so we separated them from the boys before processing and they are happily living with the rest of the hens. I guess there are six (6) or seven (7)... they aren't known for egg laying, but they DO lay eggs. Unhappily, I discovered when we moved the hens to their overwinter pasture that two (2) of the Dark Cornish are NOT hens but are in fact ROOSTERS. OY VEY, here we go again. Well, it must have been meant to be. We'll see how they do with the hens and if they are as rough as the Light Brahma rooster was... into the next processing they will go.

Speaking of the overwinter pasture. The hens are moved just in time for the first cold bought of the season. I've adjusted it some after last winter's experiences.

Also info about feeding Japanese Beetles, the Turkeys and whatever else was on my mind... LOL. Photos and stories on the Chicken page, here.

My Artwork

Once again, I have to report no progress in this area. Gee that irritates me. BUT, tomorrow is another day (she says optimistically).


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