Friday, December 22, 2006

New Deep Fork River Boat Ramp

Deep Fork River Boat Ramp
Originally uploaded by FreeWine.
Dianne and I recently took the kayaks out to a spot we visit pretty regularly on Hwy 266. Between Dewar and Grayson they replaced an old metal bridge over the Deep Fork River with a modern concrete eyesore. In the process of doing this they cleared the log jams out of the water and created a large level parking area between the old bridge and the new one. Dianne and i like to paddle this bit of flatwater because it offers easy excercise that is free and close to home.

A few weeks ago the Powers-That-Be decided to add a lovely concrete boat ramp. Now, you can put lots of different types of boats into the Deep Fork here and we can paddle it without even getting our feet muddy! On our most recent trip we saw three different groups of boaters taking advantage of the new river access point.

It was a very gusty day when we paddled this river last, but one of the benefits of paddling crooked rivers like this is that they offer quite a bit of windbreak. Anyone else find any good paddling spots recently?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Shiitake Mushroom Farm in Perkins

Lost Creek Mushroom Farm
Originally uploaded by FreeWine.
A Fungus Among Us for Christmas

I must admit that the recent bad weather, combined with the seasonal round of colds, has kept our family from enjoying many adventures lately. Since we have started to get a little cabin fever, Dianne and I decided to use our Christmas shopping excursions to see a little more of the diverse wonderland that is Oklahoma.

For the most part, we shop online extensively before venturing out to actually start buying. While I was searching Amazon's massive inventory for gourmet coffee gifts and paddling gear I stumbled across a vendor selling Shiitake mushroom innoculated logs. My Dad gave us a few Shiitake logs one year and we enjoyed having the ample supply of tasty, healthful mushrooms. We pretty much just kicked them out into shady parts of the yard and let the rain water them. This was several years ago back when it used to rain occasionally in the Sooner State. Even being totally ignorant about how to care for them, we raised many pounds of shiitake mushrooms.

I was excited about finding a new source for Shiitake logs, but even more excited by the opportunity to have Amazon manage shipping them for me! Even better, when I researched the seller I learned that these were Made-in-Oklahoma Shiitake Mushroom logs! Once I told Dianne she insisted that we make an Oklahoma Road Trip out to visit the Lost Creek Mushroom Farm in Perkins, Oklahoma.

We met Sondra Williams, one of the owners, at the Lost Creek Mushroom Farm and she was kind enough to walk us through the process of creating the innoculated logs. She also took us through her greenhouse and their Strawbale Construction Barn. It was fascinating to learn how this Oklahoma couple launched their own small business that helps people, is not harmful to the environment, and requires such an amazingly low level of technology.

Both Sondra and her husband Doug have become fountains of interesting shiitake facts and lore. Sondra explained to us that shiitake mushroom sold in most stores are grown in sawdust rather than logs. This makes them cheaper to produce but less healthy and flavorful. Here's something else Lost Creek taught us about the health benefits of shiitake mushrooms:

Shiitake Mushrooms have natural antiviral and immunity-boosting properties and are used nutritionally to fight viruses, lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure. Lentinan, an immunostimulant derived from shiitakes, has been used to treat cancer, AIDS, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibrocystic breast disease, and other conditions with impressive results. Researchers S. Suzuki and Oshima found that a raw shiitake eaten daily for one week lowered serum cholesterol by 12%. --

Like my Dad's Elderberry Wine, this is an agricultural niche product that is well suited for the extra attention that only a small business can offer. Unlike Dad's Elderberry Wine, the Shiitake Mushroom Logs from Lost Creek Farm are Made-in-Oklahoma products that can be sold and shipped nationwide. The Williams family provides the low tech, land and labor while Amazon provides the high tech infrastructure for this 24/7 fungus marketplace.

Visit their website to learn more about the amazing Shiitake Mushroom.

14-15" Shiitake Mushroom Log with Soaking Tray

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

OKC Holiday River Parade Dec 16, 2006

Mrs Robbin
Originally uploaded by halschmidt.
Don't let the winter weather keep you locked up inside your home. The winter season offers its own delights to those who venture outdoors to witness it. The recent snow here in Okmulgee made for some lovely bird watching days and soon it will be time venture into the night and light up the river in OKC.

The 3rd annual Holiday River Parade on the Oklahoma River will light up downtown OKC on Saturday, December 16th, 2006. Over 30 boats, decorated in holiday lights, will parade the river as a spectacular fireworks display adorns the sky. It is an amazing sight to behold and you can't beat the price!

The parade viewing areas will open at 3pm on Saturday, Dec. 16th. Activities will begin at 4pm, and the parade starts around dusk with the fireworks display scheduled for 6:30pm. Admission and parking are both free.

Want to Enter Your Boat in the River Parade?

The deadline to have your boat entered in the parade is noon on Wednesday, December 13th. Entry forms are available from most metro area boat dealers or you can click here to get your Holiday River Parade entry form online.

Technorati Tags: , , ,