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Winkler's Lawn Care, LLC
P.O. Box 1045
Platte City, MO 64079

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

25 November

Hillcrest Food Pantry Drive 2014

 

Hillcrest Ministries food drive Platte CityGreetings,

Will you partner with Winkler’s Lawn Care & Landscape to help meet food and hygiene needs in our local community through the Watermelon Wagon?

Two years ago, Winkler’s launched its first supply drive via the Watermelon Wagon. With the help of our Platte City customer base, two truckloads of goodies were collected and distributed to those in need by local food pantries. This year, the Watermelon Wagon will be cruising the streets of Platte City and helping to restock the Hillcrest Transitional Housing Pantry. If you can, simply fill the bag we supply with items listed below, and we’ll return the following week to pick the bags up!

Target Bag Delivery Day(s)- December 3rd, 4th, 5th

Target Bag Pick Up Day(s)- December 10th, 11th, 12th

(Pickup will be pushed back to the following week if a snow storm occurs between the dates above.)

SUPPLIES CURRENTLY NEEDED:

Meat-bacon, hamburger, chicken, sausage, etc
Sandwich bags, Storage/freezer bags, Plastic food wrap, Aluminum foil
Plastic silverware (especially forks-use for resident events)
Toilet paper, Paper towels
Cleaning supplies
Body wash
Pepper
Vegetable/cooking oil
Powdered sugar
Pepper
Cake mixes, Pie crusts-graham cracker, etc
Pancake syrup
Canned fruit (not cranberries)
Salad dressing
Crackers
Taco seasoning
Refried beans
Enchilada sauce
Taco shells
Tortillas
Chicken broth
French fried onions
Juice-any type
**The Hillcrest Pantry has A LOT of beans, soups, and canned veggies at this time**

15 September

Table ready Watermelon

table ready watermelon

Harvest time of the watermelons brings a certain joy to the dinner table. Last year, my son and I, blew out a candle for my birthday in a watermelon turned “birthday cake.” It made for a good memory and one that Caleb recalls quite frequently anytime the topic of birthday comes up. We hope that Watermelons from Watermelon Wagon Farms aren’t just a joy for how family but yours too.

Looking back over this season, there are several things we would do differently to help boost the yield. We were late to plant, over run with weeds, and the cooler temperatures and more frequent rains kept back the sweetness from truly developing. Now, all things considered we still had about a truck full of watermelons to sell. In just a few short days the harvest was bought up by watermelon lovers here in our fine city-Platte City.

The goal in growing and selling watermelons is to create an opportunity for one or several local high school students to attend YoungLife summer camp who couldn’t afford to do so otherwise. Camp, all included, costs around $700-750 per year.

With the help of our community, we were able to help 1 more student to YoungLife this season who wouldn’t have been able to. It’s neat being able to partner with caring folks of Platte City.

8 August

August 2014 Watermelon Update

2014 Watermelon Update

It’s getting warmer and we’re getting excited. The watermelons are starting to really take off out here at Watermelon Wagon Farms. This guy here is about 14″ in length already. He and several of his buddies are tipping the scales at around 10-15lbs or so. Now, we were late to get our mounds made and seeds in the ground this spring, but with the unseasonably cool temperatures and continued rains… well, all things are looking good still.

Watermelons need about 1″ of water per week to grow. As they get closer to harvest, the heat and less frequent rains will help the watermelons become sweeter. So, while the recent rains have helped a few weeks of drier and hotter weather is really what we need to get the melons as juicy as possible.

Keep in mind, all those melons your seeing at the store right now. Well, odds are they are imports. It’s just too early in the season to be biting in to a locally grown ripe watermelon.

Before you go getting your watermelon fix this season, hold out a little while longer for some of Platte County’s finest watermelons. Watermelon Wagon Farms Watermelons are a charitable contribution to the Platte County YoungLife organization. Winkler’s Lawn Care & Landscape is committed to helping build a stronger community full of great kids. Watermelons are just one of the ways we do that. Click here to read a recent YoungLife article coming off this season week long camp trip.

As for now we’re back to weeding the crop and keeping the watermelons growing. Hopefully in 4-6 weeks we’ll have another harvest!

25 July

Sweet Corn Please

Sweet Corn Growth Watermelon WagonWatermelons and sweet corn… now that’s a combination about as American as baseball. The downside? Well, our sweet corn is turning out to be more like the Kansas City Royals rather than the Yankees or some other team with deep pockets. Why? Poor soil and bad timing. It wasn’t really the plan to plant sweet corn this season, it just kind of happened. That’s true of most things around Watermelon Wagon Farms- they just kinda happened.

You see, Brian Schaeffer, area director of Platte County YoungLife, kept telling stories of his grandpa’s 4 row corn planter and how they used to grow sweet corn. In a certain way he challenged me that it would be a good fit for our garden/field. I liked the idea of working the ground over with a old fashion tractor and 4 row corn planter, plus I’m not one to really let a challenge go… so we planted sweet corn.

At first my wife and I planted by hand-that was hard. Then we planted some more sweet corn using a tractor and two row planter-that was easy and fun. Then it rained. Then I wasn’t able to spray in time to control the weeds. Then I learned the soil didn’t have any nitrogen. Then I learned there were bugs… and so on.

There’s a ton of things we would do different in hind sight. My futile attempts to grow sweet corn this year really remind me of the parable of the sower in Matthew 13.

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

There’s times when I have had to personally experience something to learn from it. There’s other times when I’ve been able to watch and learn from others. This can be spiritual things or just life things. I knew what it would take to grow sweet corn and receive a beautiful harvest, but I didn’t do it. I appreciate how clear scripture is for us regarding the things we should do or shouldn’t do.

In view of the parable of the sower, I would like to think I’m “good soil,” but there are times I can relate more to the seed described in verse 22.

22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

I get trapped by life or caught up in self inflicted rhythms. Rushing to meetings and hanging onto “to- do lists” rather than the Holy Spirit. It’s those times when I really feel unproductive and it’s hard to see any real fruit in what I do.

I’m grateful that God is gracious and patient. I’m confident He’ll draw near to me as I draw near to Him. If I’m lucky, I might even get a taste of some home grown sweet corn and watermelons. If not, I’ve still got a beautiful sunset to watch over the rows of the corn and the watermelon patch.

Watermelon Wagon Farms Sweet Corn Results

 

 

28 June

Dirty Hoe & Melons

Dirty hoes and melons

My wife and son were recently out of town visiting some family and I was left feeling a little restless. To keep out of trouble I spent some time with a dirty hoe and some melons. Now with most guys, this would get them in trouble… but I’m referencing a garden hoe and watermelons, so we’re ok.  

To be honest, I’m a bit of a workaholic. Growing up I saw my role models, guys like my dad and grandpa Winkler always hard at work. I followed the same path. At age 11, back when Winkler’s Lawn Care first started, I began carrying the same posture. It was hard to pass up an opportunity to make a little money or get my hands dirty. I enjoyed work. So much so, I was often able to talk my best friends into working along side me. This continued through high school and into college. While I thought I’d finish at Northwest Missouri State University with a Secondary Math Education degree, God had a different plan. The truth is… the classroom wasn’t for me. I was restless. I dabbled in youth ministry still thinking I wanted to work with kids, but that too left me a little confused and hardened.  During that time the business was in the background and recently married it was time for me to make a decision career wise with the business… go big or go home. I put my head down and started to grow the business focusing solely on it as my vocation and letting go of the thought to teach. I quickly added a handful of employees and the my role began to change from being a owner operator to crew leader to relationship building guy(I hate saying “sales rep”) to a business owner guy.

I’m now 15 plus years into this journey of being a business owner. I’ve hired and fired. Had partners. Bought and sold businesses. Threats of lawsuits. Made money and lost money. I think it’s fair to say I’m seasoned. The season I’m in now, well, it’s great.

See, early on I thought I would get to work with high school age kids while teaching math. Now I get to work with high school age kids, college age, fellow business owners, and retirees. I thought I would get to do ministry with younger kids. Now I have the opportunity to share Jesus through those I come in contact with as a result of the business. I’ve accepted my calling as a landscaper, both plant wise and spiritually. The sphere of relationships is a lot larger than I ever imagined and at times overwhelming. I’m a young buck. I love the way Paul passes on the teachings of Christ through his relationship with Timothy-a fellow young buck.

12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.         – 1 Timothy 4:12-16

Even though the season I’m in has been great, I still grow weary. Being a Husband, Father, and Landscaper during the spring is like burning the candle at both ends. It’s during times like this that there is a temptation to slack, neglecting the gift I’ve been given and forgetting to focusing on and spend time with God the Father. My time in the garden this weekend was refreshing. It was work, don’t get me wrong. But a peaceful kind of work. The garden is a place that I can go to rest in Christ and soak up his glory.

So, while I spent some time with a dirty hoe… the garden was right where I needed to be. I hope you have that kind of place. If it’s been a while since you had an experience like that, what’s holding you back? 

-Josh Winkler