Tag Archives: zucchini

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…

Our watery playground
Kayak fun
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.

IMG_6855 IMG_6851 IMG_6852

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.


Catching Up, Garden Planting

A lot has been going on here lately.  I helped a friend thin out her raspberry patch by digging out a bunch to add to my patch.  So my red raspberry patch went from about six plants to around 60.  My boys were a big help, especially Homestead Boy #2.  He was out there pretty much the whole time I was planting.  Unfortunately they got planted right before a frost and the nice lush green leaves have started to wilt.  I am going to give them a bit to see if they come back, but right now it doesn’t look promising. If not, I will cut them off a couple inches above ground level and wait for them to grow back.

All of the raspberry plants
The wilted raspberry plants already planted


After that frost, which should be our last, I started planting warmer weather crops such as tomatoes.  Over the past couple days I, with varying degrees of help from the kids, have planted 122 tomato plants.  That is a lot more than I thought we would have, but who doesn’t love tomatoes?  Most of them were seeds started in the barn, so we will see how they do as this is the first time I have started plants inside.  I also planted 11 green zucchini plants, as well as 8 eggplants.  I got some pumpkin/squash volunteers from a friend that I plan on getting in the ground tomorrow.  We also added two more blueberry bushes.  And, I found our first strawberry of the season.

Blueberry bush, looks cool right?
The new blueberries
The start of the tomato rows
All the tomatoes planted
Zucchinis in foreground, everything else in background




The only starts I have left inside are zucchinis, melons, and peppers.  The melons and zucchinis may go out soon, but the peppers are still pretty small so I will probably put them out to harden during the day and under the lights at night before planting them in a week or two.

I have to say, the kids have been great helpers.  Most of the time they find their way to the garden to see if they can help, and after helping for a few minutes, get bored and mosey away to doing something else.  Some are able to keep their focus longer than others, but all the help is appreciated.  Even the three year old helped.  But keeping her from walking on the already planted tomatoes became difficult so after letting her dig some holes and plant some tomatoes I convinced her that Mommy might need her help more than me.

With any luck, more of these plants will grow than don’t and we will have an abundance of food this summer and fall.  It has been a lot of work getting the plants in the ground, but it is fun, and hopefully it has a big payoff in the end.