Welcome to the PlayHaven Green Building Project website!
My name is Bobbi Walker (the Owner/Designer of Intuitive Design). I have spent the last 30+ years dreaming of the day when I would be able to build an earth-friendly home. When I first started researching the possibility, there was very little available to give me hope that it could ever be accomplished... unless I was willing to do it all myself.
Over the years, hope turned into optimism and optimism has turned into joy. Now, there are:
The PlayHaven Green Building Project is the culmination of those dreams. In addition to being our home, it is so very much more than that!
This all being said, the PlayHaven Green Building Project is available (by appointment) for physical tours; both during renovation/construction and ever after. AND, this website provides virtual tours for anyone interested in what we're doing but who are unable to make the trip to the Kansas City MO (U.S.A.) area.
The "Description" Section details the plans and goals for both the Green Renovation of PlayHaven East and the New Construction of PlayHaven West. It also provides a bit more background information.
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.
"Project List" Section will give you the details and photos of each project.
Check out our "PHGBP Blog" for ongoing tips and projects that you can do for little or no cost. I've started with ways to adopt a sustainable lifestyle and how I got started.
May 20, 2013
This weekend we heard a sound that we did not recognize right away... it was the Weather Alert. Last year was so odd, we were in something the meteorologists called an 'anti-cyclone' and also experienced extreme drought; so there was no reason for the Alert to 'go-off'.
Well, things are pretty normal again and this is storm season. We are getting rain on a pretty regular basis and, until yesterday, it has been coming down in a nice soaking-in way. Saturday we had .75 inches of rain in about 20 minutes and the ground was already saturated from the .5 inches we had on Friday. We also had Thunderstorms and Tornado Watches all weekend. Which brings me back on topic (LOL)...
Sunday afternoon tested the EggMobile for HIGH WINDS. We were lucky that there were a few breaks in the weather on Sunday... after we had a downpour which included pea-size up to quarter-size hail, there was time to go out and move the hens' waterers and feeders INTO the EggMobile and Chicken Tractor. The forecast said up to 80 mph winds were heading our way and WHAM! Not long after we got the 'hatches battened down', the air pressure dropped suddenly and it sounded like we were inside a drum... I wasn't kidding with that WHAM! comment.
During a severe thunderstorm, we are supposed to stay away from windows, but I couldn't resist watching out the little window in the bathroom to see how the EggMobile and Chicken Tractor would do in the wind. I was also concerned about if and/or where the hens and pullets had taken shelter. During the hail, I could see the Hens under the EggMobile.
I am happy to report GREAT NEWS! The EggMobile and Chicken Tractor stayed right where they are and had no problems at all. In fact, even with the heavy rain being blown almost side-ways, there was no water in the EggMobile. The Chicken Tractor is not water tight (to say the least) and the seed in the feeder did get wet, but the pullets were huddled in the back corner as usual and were nice and cozy out of the rain.
I thought maybe the hens would take cover in the Chicken Tractor with the pullets. So during a break in the weather around 9:00 pm (definitely after dark), I took a lantern with me to close up the mobile coops for the night and saw only pullets in the Chicken Tractor. I decided to open the door to the EggMobile to see if the hens were there and THEY WERE! All present and accounted for (and quite a bit of grumbling about the light).
Nature never ceases to amaze me. People often declaim chickens as being stupid, but they were smart enough to head to their nightly, protected roosts during daylight before the storm's winds blew them away. More proof that we humans need to provide the basics and get out of the way to let natural instincts do what they do best.
In case you missed the last update, I got to buy an electric mower as a Mother's Day present for myself. Long story short... You can read my review on the Sustainable Living: Yard page (click here).
It's a good thing when there is nothing to report regarding cattle (LOL). All is well and the cattle are growing from eating all that lovely grass (et al) in the pasture. The strip grazing is working nicely and in another couple of weeks they will shift from the pasture at PlayHaven Farm East to the pasture at PlayHaven Farm West. The hubby will open the fence between the two lots and then close it up again... you don't always have to put in a gate.
We aren't sure if Ferny has bred the heifers yet, but we don't think so; that's OK cuz it means the calves will be born later in the Spring (10 months from the time they are bred.) You can get to the Cattle page by clicking here.
As I shared above, the EggMobile proved itself in severe weather conditions. YIPPEE!! You never really know if a design will work in real life the way it appears it will on paper.
After leaving the pullets in their own fenced space for several days, we put them in the large fenced area with the hens. There was some posturing and chasing, etc. by the hens to make sure those young 'uns know who is boss, but they have pretty well settled into a routine now.
We were laughing at how we now have Hens and 'Mini-Me' hens... a nod to the Austin Powers movies. New photos for you to enjoy. You can get to the Chicken page by clicking here.
The first batch of Dark Cornish chicks (our meat birds) are doing very well in spite of spending an extra day in shipping because they missed the window for delivery on Saturday. We were sure we would lose some... they were pretty darn thirsty... but we were lucky and only one did not survive. The Spring temperatures have been unusually high and we have gone from worrying about chicks getting too cold, to chicks getting too hot. I opened all the windows and put in an oscillating, elevated fan to move the air in the brooder and we only turn the heat lamp on when the temps go into the 70s. In another week, we should be able to move them out of the brooder and into their Chicken Tractor (assuming the temps don't head back to the Arctic weather we had the first week of May).
Officially, the deadline for ordering meat chickens has passed... but I did order some extra chicks, and am happy to sell the resulting flavorful, juicy meat birds to you this year. Use the order form and contact me (Bobbi). I'll need to have your information and reserve the birds BEFORE we process them, so don't wait!
I'm still working on the revamp of the website... amazing how little time I have to work on it now that Spring has come. (Plus I'm finding lovely ways to avoid working on it, LOL.... like drawing with graphite.) It's getting closer to the unveiling, so don't be surprised if it looks very different the next time you visit.
Check back to find out the progress of our efforts.
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