I know what you are thinking.
CARDBOARD boat???? You can't be serious. Cardboard soaks up water -- you'd be nuts to make a BOAT out of cardboard!!!
Well that is exactly what I thought too.
But to participate in the Morgan County 4th of July Cardboard Boat Regatta, you have to make a boat out of cardboard. The other thing you can use is duct tape -- which we feel is the real secret to success. The more duct tape the better. (In fact sometimes I think the better name should be the Duct Tape Boat Regatta.) But before I tell you all the secrets, first I will tell you about how the whole thing got started.
One thing you should know about The Compost King he that he is full of ideas. (Some of them are brilliant, and some of them are crazy ;)). He also is involved with the Morgan Area Chamber of Commerce. Four years ago, the chamber had a meeting and were trying to brainstorm ideas to improve the County's Fourth of July Celebration. The Compost King said, "I have a great idea that I think would be really fun and work well because of the river that runs right through the fairgrounds and park. I can tell you the idea, but I am so busy with other things right now, I cannot do anything to help make it happen."
They wanted to hear the idea.
"A cardboard boat regatta. The boats could be in the morning parade (thus adding to Morgan's Fourth Parade), and the boats could run the river in the hot afternoon. It would be fun for spectators and participants alike."
Then he left the meeting.
The people in the meeting loved the idea, and it took off like wildfire! Several people called him that first year and said, "You won't believe what you started with your idea!"
Though I must admit, when he first told me about it, I thought he was crazy.
The first year, most of the boats went down pretty fast (as in sunk underwater!), but there was one boat (the winning boat) that made it to the end all in one piece -- and with the riders still dry! So then we knew it was possible and everyone really seemed really excited to scale it up for the next year.
That second year Wild Valley Farms entered it's first boats. We did two. A LARGE BARGE and a WOOL SKIFF.
At first we looked it upon online and considered boat patterns and designs. But when we finally got down to it, we had to make do with the cardboard shapes that we had. And we just started covering everything in duct tape!!!
The WOOL SKIFF did so well that afterwards we put it on a shelf in the shed and saved it. This year the boys wanted to lengthen it (hoping to stabilize it better). So we added a little more cardboard and a lot more duct tape.
Then they hopped in.
Cardboard and duct tape. Down the river. Dodging boulders and low hanging tree branches.
This event was fun to do and fun to watch.
This post has had little to do with gardening, but what I wanted you to learn from it is this:
1. Don't be afraid to speak up and plant a little seed of an idea (even if your wife thinks you are crazy), you never know what it might become. :)
2. Things that you think are impossible may be possible with enough duct tape.
I hope that you had a fun and adventurous 4th of July. I hope you are finding a way to stay cool and that you are keeping all your plants hydrated and lush and enjoying the beautiful sunshine.
Happy Gardening and Happy Fourth. I love this country.
-The Compost Queen