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Worked in yard yesterday; Fruit, herb & vegetable garden; Final weeks of cut.

Monday, March 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


Yesterday was the last day of my vacation, and the original plan was to spent it up in the theater being lazy. Of course as soon as I stepped outside and saw what a beautiful day it was my plans changed in an instant. It was a warm day, but there was a nice breeze blowing and that made being outside very comfortable. I just can not be indoors when the weather is like that!

If you saw my March 25, 2011 blog, you know that I’ve recently developed an interest in growing my own herbs and vegetables. With the warm semi-tropical weather we have here, my green thumb, our big back yard, the soaring costs (and declining quality) of fresh produce, my healthy lifestyle and my love of cooking, growing my own fruits, vegetables and herbs makes all kinds of sense.

Pond landscaping expansion - sod removed, berm shaped

Pond landscaping expansion - sod removed, berm shaped

So yesterday we were browsing around at a local nursery, and they had Cavendish Banana trees (technically they are plants) on sale: 3 for just $20! We spend $3-4 a week on bananas, so we decided that growing our own makes sense. We picked up the plants and headed home to get them planted.

We’ve worked too hard on our landscaping to simply dig 3 holes “wherever”, so we spent a good deal of time figuring out how to work them into our pond’s existing landscaping. We decided to expand the area behind the Sago on the North/Northeast side of the pond. The Banana trees will each grow to 8-10 feet and provide a nice, lush, tropical backdrop for the rest of the plants in the landscape. I created a berm about one foot high to plant the banana trees: this berm gives the banana plants excellent drainage and some added height. Digging up all the sod brought back memories of last summer when I built the pond and prepared the huge surrounding area for landscaping. This difference yesterday was that it was not nearly as hot as it was last August, and so I actually enjoyed the work. In the picture to the right you can see the expanded area of the bed just before planting began.

Expanded pond landscaping after planting

Expanded pond landscaping after planting

I spaced the banana plants four feet apart on the berm that I created. There is Orange African Bulbine, Yellow African Iris and White Society Garlic all around the Banana trees and the Sago. Also visible in the aerial shot to the left are Amaryllis, variegated Asiatic Jasmine, Asiatic Jasmine (on the waterfall berm), Firecracker Plants, Queen Palms, Spring Song Roses, Cascading Roses, Blue Daze, Crape Myrtle, Primrose Jasmine and various pond plants (water lilies, cattails, water iris, etc). If you’re interested, I posted more pictures on Facebook and also in my gigantic New Home Construction Journal (upgraded membership required).

So now we’re growing our own bananas, lemons, basil, rosemary, cilantro, dill, tomatoes and jalapenos! I am already finding this new adjunct to my gardening hobby to be fun, relaxing and rewarding. It’s nice to save money (the money we’re saving on basil alone has paid for the small start-up costs), and it feels good knowing exactly what I’m eating and where it came from.

Baby tomatoes!

Baby tomatoes!

I had to post one final picture, which I took just moments ago. As of this morning we’ve got several brand new baby tomatoes on our tomato plants, and there are literally dozens upon dozens of yellow blossoms all over the plants that will soon become tomatoes. I can not wait to harvest these!

Moving on to another subject. If you read my weekly progress report yesterday, then you know this cut is winding down. I’m at 7.9% body fat, and have less than 2 pounds of fat left to lose. I doubt I’ll hit my goal by next Sunday, so I’m thinking two more weeks and I’ll be done. I’m very serious about maintaining sub 10% body fat year-round from now on, and so I’ll be continuing with my Sunday progress reports indefinitely. Those weekly “check ups” are the best way to ensure I’m staying on track.

Also, you can expect to see many, many healthy new recipes in the coming months (after my cut). Part of my strategy for staying in single digit body fat percentages is to downplay all-out “cheat” meals like pizza and other junk food, and focus instead on creating and trying dishes that are healthy, flavorful and delicious!

This is my first day back from vacation, and I’ve got a lot of work to catch up on so I’d better wrap this up. Thanks for reading!

John Stone Fitness Comments

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