Monthly Archives: April 2009

How does your garden grow?

It is spring time in the mid-atlantic states and that means time to plan and plant your garden.

I gave my brother a book for Christmas titled “All New Square Foot Gardening”.  I skimmed through the book to make sure it would be something that he would like and was so intrigued by the process that I went out and bought my own copy.

Being the procrastinating self that I am, I waited till the last minute to put in my garden.  Part of the square foot garden is to build boxes.  I already had a garden bed so I decided to use that.  Also, there is “Mel’s Mix” soil.  It consists of 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 vermiculite.  Well, I had no problem with the compost and peat moss but I could not find the vermiculite locally.  I thought this was really strange because it is a natural resource of Virginia!  So I used “Jeff’s Mix” which is Mel’s mix without the vermiculite.   I will try harder next year!

Jeff's Mix

Jeff's Mix

An interesting note about compost.  The book suggest that you use 3 to 5 different kinds of compost because the make up is different by manufacturer.  Mixing them gives you a better compost.  I could only find 3 different kinds so I am hoping for the best.

Blocking the Weeds!

Blocking the Weeds!

I use weed block fabric to cut down on the weeds.  It seems like I have an over abundance of them and they find there way into my garden in no time.  I used this 2 years ago and it really helped so I was hooked.  The pavers are for walking on and holding down the fabric.

My Garden

My Garden

Here is my garden all complete.  This year I am growing Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Green Beans, and Beets.  I also threw in some marigolds.  I read somewhere that they emit a scent that destructive bugs do not like.  Plus it brightens the place up a little till the veggies get big and tall.

Well, I will post more when things start to grow.


Welcome to Earth day 2009!

39 years ago some people got together to protest
environmental issues.  What an impact they had!

Growing up in Maine, the environment was always a topic of conversation.  There were many battles between conservationist and industry.  I believe they have achieved a good balance. 

This morning started with a rain shower.  I guess Mother Earth was cleansing the area for the day.  It amazes me that, as much crap as we throw at her, she just keeps on churning along.  I believe that nature has time on her side.  No matter what we do, she will bounce back eventually.  This process was happening billions of
years before man and no doubt that it will be happening billions of years after we parish of the face of the planet.  I hate to sound morbid but it is the cycle of life.

I started the day driving my SUV to work vice the “Rocket” (My 3 cylinder 1993 Ford Festiva)  Which was not too green on my part.  The Rocket is my commuter car that gets 40 mpg and proves that you don’t need to fit in with the “Starbuck/Mac/Prius” types to do your part. 

There were a lot of jokes that floated around the office about the Rocket until Gas reached $4.00 a gallon.  I had hopes that there would be new designs in drive trains and alternative fuels would become main stream but as gasoline prices tumbled, so did the excitement of alternative energy.  We have hybrids in the market but I think hybrids are a lot of hype and marketing (I am still wondering what we are going to do with all those batteries!).

I challenge everyone to do something for the environment today.  Whether it is cleaning up a wetlands area or just promoting awareness among your coworkers.  Don’t just sit there, do something!

Love her!  One Planet, All People!
(Borrowed from the Earthworks T-Shirt that I am wearing today) 

Tour De Cure 2009!

Team Madison participated in the Hampton Roads Tour de Cure 2009 this Saturday.  We had 3 riders and raised $1248.00 for Diabetes Research!

My 2 Daughters rode the 10 mile family fun ride and I did the 100 mile century ride.  This was my first century ride and did I ever learn a lot!  My bike was too heavily loaded and I did not start training early enough.  The guy at the bike shop was right when he told me there was a big difference between the 30 miles I did last year and the 100 I did this year.  My time was 10 hours!  I crossed the finish line 1 hour after the course was closed.

The hardest part of the route was the 20 miles between rest stop 3 and the half way point.  I seriously started to doubt that I would actually finish.  I kept pushing on and was making all the minimum times to stay on the 100 mile course.  On the last leg, a SAG motorcycle pulled up next to me.  I was expecting them to tell me that I had to stop but all he asked was my rider number and them proceeded on.

My bike was outfitted with a 2 meter twin lead J-pole antenna.  It was good to listen to the hams over the entire course.  I would stop and talk with them at the rest stops.  I also had an Etrex Legend GPS unit on the handle bar to make sure that I stayed on the course.  Next year I don’t think I will carry the tires, tubes (well, maybe the tubes), and all the tools that I had.  I could have totally dissassembled the bike with what I had onboard.  I was ready for any emergency.  I guess I just over engineered the process. 

My GPS unit when dead about 5 miles from the finish.  I did have some fresh batteries but at that point I knew I was close to the finish and did not want to stop.  I was hoping that they had at least kept the signs up.  I almost missed the second to the last turn because there were no signs but I saw the paint on the road and made the turn.

All in all it was a good day.  I am looking forward to next year and hoping our team will be bigger and we can raise more money.  I really appreciate the support we received and look forward to continuing that next year.