Tomato Mania 2015

The 2015 Tomato Mania sale at Cal Poly is underway. I serve as the faculty advisor for the project. Yesterday much of the set-up took place. This morning I got to campus before the sale started to make sure things were on track and to lend a hand (and buy some tomatoes).

Preparation for the sale.

Preparation for the sale.

The calm before the storm.

The calm before the storm (sale begins in minutes).

Sale in progress.

Sale in progress.

Sale in progress.

Sale in progress (the guy in the center is wearing a very appropriate shirt for a tomato sale).

It was a good day. I also managed to sow tomato seeds for a grafting lab that I’ll teach later this quarter. When I left the sale I purchased five plants. The sale continues tomorrow: 10 am to 4 pm at the Horticulture Unit on campus. Come on out and pick up some tomatoes! I recommend ‘Artisan Purple Bumblebee’ if you want an interesting cherry tomato. There are all sorts of options: ‘Bloody Butcher,’ ‘Mr. Stripey,’ ‘Banana Legs,’ ‘Alaskan Fancy,’ ‘Chocolate Cherry,’ ‘Mortgage Lifter,’ and ‘Red Robin’ to name a few of the 67 available (well, it started with 67, some have sold out already).

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The Blood Moon on April 4, 2015

This morning I woke up at 4:40 and decided to walk outside onto the street to look at the lunar eclipse. It was pretty cool to see. I had a great view from the middle of our street. (In other news, I got hit by a car yesterday–not while standing the in the street watching the moon. A student hit me in a crosswalk, but thanks to my spiderman-like moves I was able to parkour off the hood of the car to escape injury. Pretty fun stuff. Had I not been agile I would be in a hospital right now.)

The blood moon viewed from Arroyo Grande at 5:00 am on 4/4/2015.

The blood moon viewed from Arroyo Grande at 5:00 am on 4/4/2015.

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The Lifewater 2015 Walk 4 Water

Last Saturday the Lifewater Walk 4 Water took place in San Luis Obispo at the Mission Plaza. Pam and I were there bright and early in the morning to help set things up and staff the event (Pam more so than me). I wandered around and took pictures after things were up and running.

A balloon archway, early in the morning.

A balloon archway, early in the morning.

Jerrican rentals (for those who were up for the challenge of making the walk carrying water).

Jerrican rentals (for those who were up for the challenge of making the walk carrying water).

People begin to arrive and peruse the displays.

People begin to arrive and peruse the displays.

The registration line begins to form.

The registration line begins to form.

The walk took place in downtown SLO, with volunteers holding signs with water facts to guide the way.

The walk took place in downtown SLO, with volunteers holding signs with water facts to guide the way.

The walk was an easy one, but much more difficult for those carrying water in jerricans.

The walk was an easy one, but much more difficult for those carrying water in jerricans.

People carried jerricans on their heads, shoulders, backs, and in their hands. One person also carried a baby.

People carried jerricans on their heads, shoulders, backs, and in their hands. One person also carried a baby.

The Lifewater Walk 4 Water.

The Lifewater Walk 4 Water.

It was a beautiful, fun day for a wonderful cause. More than $65,000 were raised for water, sanitation, and hygiene programs in southern Ethiopia. Pam and I comprised Team Hoover–thanks to everyone who sponsored us!

Walk4Water_125

A photo of Pam and me taken during the event by SLOtography.

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PLANET SCD 2015: Raleigh, NC

I coach the Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) Student Career Days (SCD) competition team. The event is an annual national landscape and horticulture Olympics-style competition. This was my third year as a coach. Two years ago we went to Auburn, AL. Last year we went to Fort Collins, CO. This year we went to Raleigh, NC.

Our team consisted of 8 students. We competed against 64 other schools in 19 events (Business Management, Irrigation Design, Maintenance Cost Estimating, Annual and Perennial ID, Exterior Landscape Design, Irrigation Assembly, Plant problem Diagnosis, Computer-Aided Landscape Design, Interior Plant ID, Hardscape Installation, Woody Ornamental Plant ID, Turf and Weed ID, Wood Construction, Interior Landscape Design, Landscape Plant Installation, Skid Steer Loader Operation, Landscape Maintenance Operations, Personnel Management, Truck and Trailer Operation).

Thank You Card Final

There will be no PLANET team next year, since PLANET is changing its name to the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP). The SCD event will be be called the National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC). So now I get to call myself the coach of the Cal Poly SLO National Collegiate Landscape Competition Team.

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Sugar in Breakfast Cereal

I’ve been thinking about sugar. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about the high level of sugar that exists in the typical American diet. I’ve been examining labels and tracking my sugar intake. As a breakfast (cold) cereal aficionado I’ve spent some time reading the sides of boxes.

I find it interesting to see what percentage of the cereal is sugar by weight. It’s a bit depressing. I now understand why Honey Smacks used to be called Sugar Smacks.

Breakfast cereal percent sugar on a weight by weight basis.

Breakfast cereal percent sugar on a weight by weight basis: the top five and bottom five of the cereals I analyzed.

Calories are another interesting thing to analyze with sugar.

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Breakfast cereal calories and sugar per cup plotted for some common products.

I’ve also looked at sugar and protein, which I plan to post about later. Right now I don’t have time to develop this post any further. . .

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