Courtesy of Dan Corriveau
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING A COOLER
Whether you're camping, hosting an outdoor barbeque, purchasing frozen groceries during the peak of the summer or taking a road trip, having a good cooler can come in handy. With so many coolers on the market, finding the right one for you can be a big task. Determining your needs is key. If you’ll be using a cooler for camping, fishing, etc. your needs will be different than if you’re using one for transporting groceries or heading on a picnic. Also consider that you may need different coolers for various situations. There are a few things to consider when purchasing the right cooler for you: • Handles – long handles on a cooler make it easier to transport when you have two people, but are a bit of a hinderance for one person to lift the cooler onto a table for instance. • Wheels – you can easily move long distances (and over rough terrain) when there are wheels to help you pull the cooler, but if they break you may be stuck carrying it back. • Drainage – you don't want the cooler to leak, but you also want to be able to easily empty melted ice so a drainage spout can come in handy. • Lid insulation – the lid will be the part of the cooler most exposed to sunlight if it's sitting outside so make sure there is decent insulation in the lid. Another handy feature to look for is drink holders or compartments on the lid. • Size – obviously large coolers hold more and can double as an extra table or seat in a pinch, but they are also harder to move and store and may not fit easily on your boat, in your camper, etc. Two smaller coolers that can stack may be more practical. Further elements to consider are cost, durability, what it’s made of, if replacement parts are available and overall design. Hopefully once you narrow down what your needs are, you can find the perfect cooler, or coolers, for your summertime adventures.
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MIDSUMMER PLANTING Most gardens at this time of year are in full bloom and/or almost ready to harvest, depending where you live across Canada. However, you may be surprised to know that it's not too late in the season to plant some seeds to still take advantage of the summer sun. Whether you just moved to a new home, finally have some extra spare time or are just simply curious about gardening, here are a few things you can look into planting this time of year. • Carrots – if you plant baby carrots, they should be ready in time for a fall harvest. • Loose leaf lettuce – lettuce tends to grow quite quickly. • Winter vegetables – those that you sow now and will be ready in the spring like turnip, kale and winter cabbage. • Onions – depending on the type, onions can be planted at any time of the year as long as the ground is thawed • Pumpkins and squash – depending on where you live, you should be fine planting in July for a fall harvest. Note, you won’t win any “largest pumpkin” contests, but should have a decent sized gourd or two for eating or carving. If you’re unsure or want more information, contact your local nursery or gardening center. Experts will know your area and can help you determine what will and won’t grow. Furthermore, consider planting your new seeds in pots that can be transported to a warmer area (like a garage or basement) if cooler weather hits early. You can also set up a greenhouse where conditions can be kept more stable for a short growing season. And, if nothing sprouts this season, there’s always next year!
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