Tag Archives: beans

Kayaks Spell Summer Fun, Garden and Flower Update

I have been coveting a kayak for quite some time. I eyed them longingly when shopping at Costco.  I could never convince myself to pull the trigger, $300+ is a lot of money for one kayak.  Recently I received a hot deal coupon for Dunham’s.  They had several models of kayak selling under $200.  I had planned on getting a future beach mariner 10.4, but changed tack and purchased a Pelican Ultimate 100 sit on top kayak.  My thinking was that it would be easier for the kids to enter and exit the kayak with a sit on top style.  I also purchased a Lifetime kid’s kayak from Sam’s Club for under $100.  Two kayaks would certainly be enough for our family, as we could take turns, and life would be good.  Right?

The kayaks themselves performed flawlessly.  The Lifetime kid’s kayak was great.  It came with a paddle and is extremely stable.  The kids are able to stand up on it without tipping it.  And it is highly maneuverable, allowing the kids to turn on a dime.  The Pelican is equally as fun.  It did not come with a paddle.  It is much faster than the smaller kayak, and is quite stable as well.  None of us have tipped the kayaks when we haven’t been trying to tip them.  The kids enjoy using them at my parents lake and they both seem quite durable so they should offer years of boating fun.

Now for the bad… two kayaks is clearly not enough for my family.  In talking with my wife and mother, we were all in agreement that more kayaks would be ideal.  A solution was crafted.  My parents would buy a full sized kayak, the one that we brought with us.  They would have it to use for themselves at all times, but it would allow for another kayak while we were there.  We would buy another Pelican to replace the one my parents bought from us, and another Lifetime kayak so we would have two kids’ kayaks.  This solution allowed for me, or my wife or mother, to go for paddles on the lake with the three oldest kids.  So far, this solution has worked out well.  I can still see situations where another kayak would be helpful, and that Future Beach Mariner 10.4 keeps tempting me…

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Our watery playground
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Kayak fun
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Pure Joy

The wildflower garden that I planted around our septic tanks continues to fill in.  It is quite beautiful now, and the variety of flowers is pleasing to the eye.  I am glad that I gave it more time before plowing it under and starting again.  I may still add some more seed to it, but it is definitely getting there.  The kids and I are having fun searching out the new flowers that seem to be blooming every day.

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The garden keeps trucking along, weed choked though it is.  The grass and weeds obscure the view of the vegetables in many areas, but time has not allowed for any sort of weeding to be done.  I am lucky if I get the 21″ mower down there to cut some of the paths between rows.  Despite all this, the garden is producing.  While we were away this past weekend, the zucchinis blew up into club sized squashes.  The tomatoes are also starting to ripen, and are delicious.  I have even gotten a handful of beans despite very limited trellising. The one thing I did today was to set up a sprinkler.  The rain has stayed away for over a week for the first time this summer, and as such things are starting to thirst.  I purchased a tripod sprinkler that covers about 80% of the garden.  It will have to do for now.  I had plans of getting a drip tape system set up, but that has joined the other projects that will have to wait for next year.  It is rewarding to know that the garden is providing healthy food, despite not having as much time as I would like to devote to it.

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Chipping Away at the Garden

This evening after bringing Homestead Boy #1 home from swimming there were a couple hours that I could possibly get some work done in the garden, if the weather cooperated.  I really didn’t have a choice.  If I don’t keep working at it, the garden will get away from me.  A storm had just passed by, so I listened to see if the thunder was far enough away to go pound T posts.  Nothing like holding onto large metal rods in a thunderstorm to ruin your day.

I decided to cut grass for a few minutes.  I have been taking bags of yard clippings and feeding them to the steers.  I have read that it is ok to do that as long as you spread them out so they don’t mold.  I haven’t been spreading them on the ground, but I have been putting them in the feeder I made so they get plenty of air circulation.  Not to mention that with five hungry steers it doesn’t last long enough that it could mold.

I also used the mower to “weed” some of the garden.  Where the space between the rows was big enough I used the mower to cut down the grass and weeds.  It is only a temporary measure until I can get enough mulch to keep the weeds down.  It isn’t great, but it’s what I had time to do.

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After mowing I was able to get five T posts in the ground over the beans.  I used twine and ran it around the posts to use as a trellis.  The first line of Kentucky Wonder beans I planted had already started trying to use long grass and my blueberry bushes as trellises so this was long overdue.  After getting the twine strung up, Homestead Boy #2 and I were able to string some of beans through them.  It should work well.

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The blueberry bush being choked, I saved it. I think that makes me a hero

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I need to get the tomatoes trellised ASAP as well as getting anything that will produce food sprayed with an organic copper fungicide.  With all this water, fungal problems are a likelihood.

While I was in the garden I noticed that they blueberries are starting to look blue, and I found a baby watermelon.  Fun times.

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