Gardening Tools: The Cell Phone

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Sporting 50 individual mini plots, of one square foot each, and five planters, each about a foot wide, this year’s vegetable garden actually be a couple feet smaller than last year’s. That said we’ve planted a greater variety of vegetables this year.

One of the many ways we’ve managed this is by reducing the number of both potato planters and potato mini plots. We plan on growing around the same amount potatoes though for two reasons: 1) we bought inferior quality potato seeds and 2) I didn’t tend them anywhere near as well as I should have.

Buying better potatoes was the easy part. The tough part is making sure to be on top of burying the new growth of the potatoes every day to maximize the fall harvest. (*Here’s a youtube video if you’re curious.)

Missing even one or two days can have a major impact on the yield for the fall. This is especially true in the spring and early summer.

What does this have to do with using a cell phone?

Well, if you’re like me you have all your appointments on your phone. Your doctor’s visit is on Tuesday at 11:00. Your english class is on Mondays and Wednesdays at 12:00. Bonus points if daily appointments, like work, have been listed.

My point is you know where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be there. And just as importantly you know what you’re supposed to be doing when you get there.

It just takes a few seconds to enter into your phone 5 minutes a day for weeding, watering, and yes, potato burying.

That, a bucket of dirt with a water resistant hand trowel situated right next to my garden, sums up my potato burying strategy.

Do you have any tricks for using your phone as a gardening tool? Tweet them an tag me @ShiftsThinking. I’d love to reblog them for my followers.

Have fun, happy gardening, and remember:

Slow deliberate steps are the secret to creating a new habit.

Creating new habits are the secret to getting Closer to Green.



*This video was made by SFG, not me. They are not a sponsor but I do endorse them.

5 Reused Items: Office Organization

One way to get closer to green by reusing before recycling.

Here are 5 reused items to help organize your office or study space.

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The most common repurposed item is a coffee mug storing pens and pencils. Why be common? Try stepping out of the coffee rut by thinking about both form and function.

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Large shot glasses are a masculine or modern way to organize small items like paperclips, thumb drives or an old school rubber band ball. It’s also a great way to corral small crafting and DIY items like jump rings, beads or screws while working on a project.

On the other hand, teacups, and even small planters and vases, are a more delicate or old world take on the same tasks.

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Some of the best “secondhand” finds come from our own kitchens. This vintage looking jar held cheese spread one Thanksgiving around the turn of the millennium.

I’m not saying jars as interior design are right for every home. (Our home just happens to have a bit of a cottage vibe.) My point is “shop” your home first before buying stuff. It just doesn’t make sense to buy something you already own, works with your decor, and isn’t already in use.

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Sometimes a thrifted container has the look you want but has too big of a mouth or is just not organized enough for your taste. Cut out a piece of cardboard to use as a divider.

Think of the clear container above as one of those seethrough plastic animal models in your biology class.

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There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to find a charger for a dying device. And if you’re like me you’ve received a few dozen makeup bags over the years.  Problem solved. I like using a clear vinyl bag to organize my various charging cords.

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It’s a good idea to keep receipts handy just in case you need to return that pair of shoes that looked soooo much better under the influence of your shopping buzz.

Admittedly this final look is a very specific esthetic, but bear with me for a minute. Yes this box says “Lashtastic” on the top, but it’s the blank purple on the side I want to draw your attention to.

Stored sideways like a book, this box can hold receipts, rebate forms, or other small important pieces of paper.

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With a bit creativity and a sense of your own style, try to find a new use for an old item in your home. If you do tweet me a pic. I’d love to share it with my followers!