Tag Archives: produce

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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A Visit to Welcer Farms

I had the opportunity last weekend to catch up with my good friend Scott Welcer of Welcer Farms.  I met up with him at his farm location and between raindrops he and his dog Kahlua gave me a tour of his operation.

I had not caught up with Scott in person in quite a while, years actually, but we had talked through texts, email, facebook, and on the phone.  One thing that is evident no matter how you communicate with Scott is his passion for growing good food, locally.  He is passionate about getting people to eat healthy, locally grown food, and finding the best way to do so.  Up until two years ago the extent of Scott’s garden had been the backyard plot that he had grown.  That changed when he borrowed some land from a friend and starting growing on a larger scale.  Two years ago it was one garden plot, last year it grew to three, and this year he has seven plots that he is gardening.  Last year he was even able to start selling to a local restaurant despite it being only his second year.  His produce is now featured in special dishes at three area restaurants including Toasted Oak, The Garage, and Diamond Jim Brady’s.  That taste of success has driven him to expand, and start to think about the future of Welcer Farms.  He is continuing  to sell produce to restaurants and is looking for ways to spend more time on his farm.  As anyone who gardens knows, you need to spend time on your plants for a great garden.  Despite working around 30 hours at his “regular” job, he spends at least that making sure the farm is tended to, chores are done, and he has freshly picked produce for his customers.

For me, the thing that struck me was not so much how quickly Scott has expanded his farm, but how excited and passionate about farming he has become in such a short time.  Scott is quick to thank all the people that have supported him, helped him, and mentored him.  It is pretty evident that Scott will be farming for the rest of his life, providing local healthy food to all those he can, and someday soon I am sure he will be mentoring others on how to replicate his success at Welcer Farms.

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