The Funny Farm

Butler, MO US

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Farm Description:

I am a small start-up and 2013 will be my first year as a WWOOF host farm. I have 7.5 rolling acres in a rural area, right outside the small community of Butler. I am going to be following organic and sustainable growing practices as much as possible but am not going to be pursuing organic certification. I want my place to be fun, with plenty of interesting things to do, learn, see, pick, pet and experience. I have been a WWOOFer myself and it's always been a wonderful experience. I've met some very nice people and made some lasting friendships through WWOOF.

I have a lot of projects planned to make this place into what I see in my dreams: a large garden, berries, fruit and nut trees. You would be helping prepare areas for a number of permanent plantings. There is a lot of brush to clear, trees to trim, retaining walls and paths to be built.

I'm planning to build a small greenhouse out of salvaged windows. That might be something that I will need a WWOOFer to help with, so any building/construction skills will be most welcome and useful. I have a few tools and need to get more, but I do have a small chainsaw, a weed-eater with blades, a shredder/chopper, a rear-tined tiller and a zero-turn mower. If you are comfortable using power tools and observe good safety practices, these may be some items I can use your help with. If not, no problem, you can act as "backup" while I operate them and we will still get a lot done.

I will be getting a couple of goats in early 2013 - one to milk and one for company. I may have a pig - as a pet. I may have rabbits and/or a donkey - or not. I do have laying chickens and plan to get a few more baby chicks in the spring of 2013. All of these animals will need to be cared for on a daily basis.

In the spring or summer of 2014, I will be hosting a workshop to build my main, principal residence: a 1,000 sq. ft. strawbale house. I hope to install off-grid solar and rainwater catchment. I currently live in a 12 x 28 ft. cabin. It's been quite an experience down-sizing to such a small space after living in a 2,000+ sq. ft., 3 story house for several years!

I want to install a labyrinth on the property, which will be a lot of work. The area will need to be cleared, the path drawn out and the brick path laid. I'd like to have a sitting area in the middle, with possibly a pergola and plantings.

I'm by no means a slave-driver and I'm not much of a "morning person". We'd probably start each day around 9:00 am or so unless there's a very good reason to start earlier. Some days we may work 8 hours, some we may work 2 or 3 or not at all. I would expect no more than 30-35 hours of work a week. I believe that if I get one meaningful thing done per day, it's been a very good day. If the garden is producing well, we may need to spend time canning. If the wild blackberries I do have are ripe, we'll spend as much time as we can picking and putting those to good use. If we're really lucky and the garden is producing extra, we may set up a table and participate in the (very small) Farmer's Market Butler has each Thurs. afternoon on the town square.

I have a brand new barn that will be set up with an upstairs apartment for WWOOFers. It will have a bathroom with a shower, sawdust toilet and sink. There will also be a small refrigerator, a toaster oven and maybe a microwave and/or hotplate. I would be able to accommodate 2 males, 2 females or a couple (although the plan right now is to have a bunk bed in the apartment). If you'd rather camp, there's plenty of room to pitch a tent. Meals will be provided and vegetarians are welcome. I'm not very well-versed in providing for vegans so that could be an issue unless you are willing to teach me. I would be more than willing to learn but I do eat meat and I make no apologies for it.

Since I am limited to English, I have to ask that any applicants have a very good command of English so that we have no misunderstandings. Sorry, pets are not an option since I have farm animals and there are already too many loose "neighborhood" dogs (and the occasional herd of horses) running around the area. I would happily welcome LBGT, older, younger, all faiths (or none). I was raised Methodist but haven't had a "church home" for a number of years now.


Length of stay can be anywhere from 2 - 12 weeks (or even longer if things work out well) between the first of March and end of October.


Butler is the county seat of Bates county and has a population of around 4,200. We're about an hour and a half from Kansas City, Joplin and Truman Lake. Although I've not visited it yet, I believe there is an Amish settlement just about 11 miles south in Rich Hill. There are several churches in Butler and a bowling alley about 8 miles away in Adrian. Since I'm still new to Butler, I have yet to discover everything the area has to offer. Some day trips might be on the agenda since my daughter lives in Kansas City and I need to make periodic trips for supplies I can't get in Butler.

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2013-02-14 13:02:36 message sent
2013-02-14 18:36:36 message sent