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Kayaking Through Duckweed

June 28, 2013

I recently bought an inflatable kayak for twenty bucks at a yard sale. Yesterday was the first day I had a chance to pump it full of air and try it out… naturally on one of my duckweed ponds. Once snugly cocooned in, I experienced my duckweed world from a whole new perspective. A still, green carpet stretched out before me- total sensory overload.

I paddled slowly around the perimeter of the pond, drinking in the sight of millions of  bright green mother/daughter clusters of Spirodela polyrhiza and hundreds of millions of tiny Wolffia glistening in the afternoon sun.  Although a bit leery of the resident snapping turtle/Loch Ness monster that claimed this pond as his territory, I found myself dipping my hand in the water over and over to collect and inspect handfuls of thriving duckweed.  The water was warm but if I reached a few inches deeper, the cooler water was a delightful contrast. I found myself suspended in time, light, color, and sound. Connected.

Paddling back to shore, I thought about Henry Thoreau’s Walden Pond.  I, too,  have such a retreat now.  Mine is  filled with sun drenched dragonflies, herons, and fascinating ponds brought to new life with duckweed.

Come visit and replenish your soul.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2013 3:07 am

    I agree with Craig, it would be great to see the perspective from the kayak. You often don’t get the opportunity to see it from that angle.


    • July 20, 2013 11:54 am

      OK Kevin, Craig, Susan- here are some pics of my Walden Pond.


    • July 20, 2013 11:56 am

      Kevin, I went to your inflatable kayak site. LOVE IT. When I need a new one, I’m buying from you.


  2. Mizi permalink
    July 11, 2013 9:38 am

    Hello Tamra! I am an outdoorswoman from S FL who has been gradually losing heat tolerance until almost any outdoor exercise or gardening in the summer brings on asthma. After reading Eric Toeonsmaire (sp?) Perennial Vegetables I turned most of the city veggie garden into water gardens, using tubs and growing canna, society garlic, water parsley, sweet flag, sagitifolia (spelling? Wapato or duck potato,) neptunia, lotus and water chestnut. Actually the water chestnut and lotus were from last summer and got such good yield I really expanded this year. And of course, duckweed, and water meal. After reading Green Dean’s website, he warned against excess or raw eating due to oxalic acid. I believe it is better raised in a soft water environment (S FL has karst landscape, as does KY, with high water calcium levels) so have been trapping rainwater. The person who sold me the water meal sent a mixed bag of Florida Mud Midge wolffia (looks like a mosquito underwater) and water meal. So far I have only devised one recipe- goat cheese and duckweed/watermeal phyllo dough pie- with the water greens sautéed in butter prior to eating. Any other recipe suggestions other than enriching batter??(pANCAKES, muffins etc) Do you know if “mud midge” is edible also?? And yes, have been using duckweed to mulch the wild everglade tomatoes and yardlong beans and Malabar spinach that about the only thing that survives a zone 11 summer.


    • July 11, 2013 4:28 pm

      Mizi, here is a gourmet recipe link via Wayne’s Word for Wolffia:

      Your recipe sounds out of this world as I love goat cheese (even though I am on week 5 of a vegan diet) Just be sure to grow in REALLY clean water and cook before you eat it. I have to agree on the oxalic acid being an issue in high calcium water bodies but it is species dependent as well as environment- dependent.

      Love your energy and open mind to try new things. Sorry to read you have issues with hot summers. Maybe there is a natural remedy for that.


  3. Susan Munroe permalink
    June 29, 2013 9:27 pm

    Oh, RATS! I can’t find a kayak that fits in the little wading pool. *glare*

    Yes, we need pictures!



  4. June 29, 2013 3:05 pm

    Thanks, Craig. Will do. I had no idea that an eye level perspective would be so spectacular or I’d have brought my camera.


  5. June 29, 2013 11:19 am

    Beautiful post! Would love to see some pictures from the kayak perspective


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