Greenhouse – Regulating Temperatures

My greenhouse has become a favorite place for me to work on most days. From watering, seeding to transplanting there is a lot of activity in the greenhouse.

But I am struggling with keeping my temperatures within an acceptable range.

When it was cold I had to add a heater to keep the temperature above 40.  I let the temp drop into the 30s one night and lost the tomato plants I had in the ground.  This of course is a manual process and adds the cost of electricity to my gardening efforts.

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heater on a metal chair so I don’t burn the place down

When the temperature gets too hot I have another problem.  The greenhouse will heat up in a hurry and the extreme temperature will kill off any tender seedings, and even some things in the ground.

I have a window that opens when the temp gets above 75 degrees and will leave the door open for ventilation.  I have a small fan in the greenhouse to help with air flow, but it is not really big enough to keep the temps down.

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what a great invention – opens and closes around the 70 degree mark

Today I added a shade cloth that is supposed to block 70% of the sun’s rays.  Too early to tell if it will be helpful, but got to try something!

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10×20 shade cloth covers most of the greenhouse

I also have a thermometer that registers the high and lows.  This is helpful as a reactionary tool, and give me some insight as to what is happening in the greenhouse.

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I can set the indicators to show the last low (green) and high (blue).  Actual temp is red arm. 

These are my attempts and regulating the temperature in my greenhouse.

I would love to hear what methods you use to keep things around an optimal temperature.  Drop you comments below if you would……

 

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Plant Based Diet – Greenhouse

I have enjoyed the new foods I have found and eaten on my plant based diet. I do like a good variety of fruits and vegetables.  The only thing that will make me feel better about my plant based diet will be to eat the fresh fruits and vegetables from my own garden.

So to increase my possibilities of fresh veggies that I know are grown organically, I built my own greenhouse.

This rest of this post is to show some of the stages on how we built the greenhouse.  I want to thank a few folks who helped make this dream a reality.  My dad helped me more than anyone and worked tirelessly with me till it was finished.  My son helped weld the cattle panels.  And lastly I got the inspiration and blueprints from TexasPrepper2.

We started with a 2″x8″ foundation that is 16’x7′
The framework is made of 4’x16′ cattle panels
My son welded the 4 cattle panels together and then we stapled them to the 2x8s.  I also have some rebar drove in the ground and attached to the 2×8 for stability.
We started our wooden framing with a window on the south wall and a door on the north.  Notice we also have wood chips down so we can work without getting so muddy.
The trench for both water and electricity in the greenhouse.
We used pallet boards for the shelves.
All ready for the plastic!  The edge of the cattle panels we cut a used water hose to be sure the plastic doesn’t get caught on the wire and tear.
Finished product!  My dad and I spent over 12 hours building this greenhouse, and it ain’t perfect but it sure will suit my needs!!

Plant Based Diet – Business Travel

This week I had to travel to Nashville for work. I was gone three days and dreading what my meals I would wind up eating.

Lucky for me I wound up eating by myself for supper both days – so I was feeling good about my chances.

I was able to have a salad at all meals that I ate. So I had good options for greens and fiber!

I did find a great little restaurant close to my hotel. PDK Southern Kitchen & Pantry had a nice little southern charm menu with locally sourced foods. They also had free little New Testaments where you place your order! I will visit again if I have the chance.

So I was not as tight with my meals as I would be at home, but still pretty good for me. And better than I usually would eat.

Plant Based Diet – Back on Track

So my pause from the plant-based diet was to enjoy the festivities of my son’s wedding. And boy did I enjoy!

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My son’s wedding cake just oozing with chocolate goodness.

I ate pizza, macaroni and cheese, sweet tea, brisket, pork, cakes (it was a wedding already!), ice cream and all sorts of other goodies during the wedding weekend.  I did not really push away from anything to eat the whole weekend – which started on Thursday.

Friday night I actually got sick with diarrhea. Not sure if it was the MSG on the brisket or all the sweet tea I drink that day, but something just did not agree with my system.  So the day of the wedding I was in recovery mode not eating a lot, and drinking lots of water.

There were left overs on Monday and I worked through some, but found my way back to eating more plant based food.  And then on Tuesday I was back to just plant based meals.

What did I learn from this pause?

I learned that I do like the taste of cakes and ice cream, but it leaves me feeling empty and sort of sick inside.  I guess I have finally pushed through the sugar withdrawals and can do without sugar.  When I do eat or drink those things I just do not get the same satisfaction as I used to.

Eating those kind of processed foods also make my body feel sluggish.  I did not feel as sharp as I do while eating a plant based diet.

So now I continue my journey of eating a plant based diet.  I am not perfect, nor am I super strict about what I eat, but I am doing much better than I was when I first started this journey.  I look forward to learning more food options and how these foods affect me.

The way I really feel is this – I like to release pounds from my body more than I like to eat empty foods.  That has been my biggest and best eye opener!

I just started reading Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live, and it is really revealing about why we should be eating a plant based diet.  With all the big money that surrounds the food industry it is no wonder that this message will take a long time to get out and be adopted in American culture.

Not sure who I heard this from, but I thought important to share because it really helps with my mindset.  I am not becoming a vegetarian, but rather a nutritiocian!

 

Plant Based Diet – Pause

I am taking a few days break from my plant-based diet. I have a huge family event this weekend, and know what to expect from the food being served.

I will try to watch what I eat, but want to enjoy all the festivities that will be taking place.

I have concerns that I will gain weight. I have concerns that I will lose any moment that I have gained in my body’s biology. I have a concern that I will lose the taste for plant based foods.

But I have hope that these concerns will not be realized in a few days, and that I will be able to enjoy this weekend with family and friends.

Plant Based Diet – Anticlimactic Meeting

Well my doctors visit was nothing short of an anticlimactic meeting.

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I started this plant based diet for a few different reasons, and one of the main reasons was that I want to get off the blood pressure medicine that I currently take.

I know that I cannot just stop taking the blood pressure medicine, and I do agree that my doctor needs to help me decrease the dosage until I can stop taking it.  So I was hoping my diet change would help my blood pressure.

I have been actively measuring my blood pressure on a somewhat regular basis for about 3 months now.  With the help of fasting I have been able to release weight and lower my blood pressure.  I have also added different vitamins to help with my cardiovascular system.  (Dr Ohhira’s probiotics, RegActiv, Kyolic, and magnesium)

Armed with my documentation and new diet that is making changes with my body I was looking forward to seeing my doctor.  I was hoping that he would see my hard work in documentation and dietary changes and would rave at my efforts.  I was even hoping for a good conversation about what dietary disciplines would benefit by blood pressure and overall health.

The day of my appointment I was at the doctor’s office a bit early – I was anticipating this visit.  I came into his patient room and the nurse took my weight and blood pressure – both which had improved since the last visit!  So I just knew this was going to be a good meeting with my doctor.

Then he finally comes in and asks the normal questions.  I start to talk about my new diet habits and he continues on with checking BP and heartbeat.  I show him my documented weight and blood pressure chart and within 30 seconds he hands it back to me.  He says looking good – keep up the good work.  Reduce my blood pressure medicine by half and come back in six months.

Anticlimactic!  All that I hoped for in the visit was just a flash.  No substantial talk about diet over medicine.  No talk of diet at all.

To be honest, I didn’t really expect a lot from my doctor.  Today’s American doctor is trained to diagnose the symptoms and prescribe a medicine.  No direction for diet is addressed – that would be for a dietician – not a doctor.

Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”  But Hippocrates is not a modern day American doctor.  I don’t fault my doctor, he is just working within the guidelines that he has as an American physician with our current healthcare system.

My takeaway is to invest my efforts in improving my own health.  No one cares anymore for my body than I do.  So, my search for knowledge and understanding of the human body continues!

 

 

Plant Based Diet – Intermittent Fasting

I need to come clean about something.  My success so far with the plant based diet has been augmented with intermittent fasting.

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So what is intermittent fasting?  Intermittent fasting is an eating style where you eat within a specific time period, and fast the rest of the time.  My intermittent fasting schedule is 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating daily.  I am not able to do it every day, but I certainly have been trying to the past 2 weeks.

The first thing every morning I drink 16 ounces of water.  I will then take my vitamins and blood pressure pill, and a shot of a apple cider vinegar and juice mix.  I might take a cup of coffee next, or just off to work with water.

I will drink water and coffee right up to 10:30 or 11:00.  I will eat a snack at that time, and will continue to eat as I want or can until 6:30 or 7:00.

I am still learning about fasting.  I have discovered it hard to find good information on fasting, and I believe simply it is because it is difficult to make money from fasting.  People eat less – not more or even any specialization foods when you fast.  You just don’t eat.  There is no money in that you see.

I have found some good research and reporting from a Dr Fung.  He has several videos on YouTube.  One that I have learned from is here.  If you are even half way interested in what I am saying about fasting – then take some time to listen to him and keep learning from others.

I am also a fan of multi day fasting, but I will save that for a different post.  But just want to say that you have to learn to get past the pain of hunger at times knowing that you will not die or starve to death.  I now understand that hunger pains let me know that I am on the right track.  Feeling bloating from eating too much would be at the opposite end of the spectrum of sensation.

I will continue this regimen for at least two more weeks.

 

 

Blackberry Wisdom

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