Monday, January 14, 2013

Progress and What I'm Thinking About

To help me keep on my fitness goals, I've decided to keep a spreadsheet. Because I'm a bit of a geek for this kind of thing, rather than fill in a boring spreadsheet, I put it in Google Drive, and made it a survey. This way, I have a link on my iPad, I click the link and fill in the survey (Weight, belly measurement, mileage and "did I eat drivethru this week: Y/N). It automatically timestamps it, and adds each response to my spreadsheet. Cool, huh?

Technically, I don't have enough data to actually confirm anything (two weeks), but I'm happy to report that both weight and belly are down! I am trying to do the measurements at the same time, but I didn't, so it could just be the difference between evening and morning.


On a wildly unrelated note, I spent my downtime this weekend thinking about my Garden! Why? That and running are the two things that de-stress me. Since I don't have much to actually DO in the garden just yet, I've been planning. What to plant, when to plant it, where to plant it, what to start indoors and when, what to plant stuff in when I plant it indoors... there's lots to think about, especially because I'm still learning.

I ended up dwelling on what to plant stuff in. Last year, I used left over plastic pots, and a few coir (coconut hull) pot strips that you're supposed to plant directly in the ground. The plastic pots didn't fit together well under my lights, and wasted space, and the coir pots were a pain in the a$$ - they didn't separate easily, and they didn't break down in the ground.

My alternatives are to buy more plastic pots that would fit together better, or buy peat pots that would (in theory) break down in the ground better. Then I came across this concept:
Photo Credit: Lee Valley
It's called soil blocking, and I'd seen it in my Lee Valley catalogue before, but it looked scary. Scary as in: :that looks like it could be a lot of work, and you must have to buy special fancy soil. But wait a minute, I LIKE doing this kind of stuff! And, after a little research, I'm pretty sure the soil for this won't cost any more than I would spend on soil anyway.

The more I look into it, the more appealing it is. The first thing I like about it is that the size of the blocks fit into my trays (and thus under the lights) better. Second, it seems that it creates very healthy root systems, which is really the main goal of starting plants early. It also minimizes transplant shock, because you put the small blocks into the big blocks, and the big blocks go straight into the ground. Lastly, if I buy these instead of peat pots, the tool pays for itself by the second year (based on how much I plant).

I think I've found a good use for the loose change I've been collecting.