Thursday, May 2, 2019

Checking in on my New Years' Resolutions and Store Announcement | Vinny

2019 is flying by pretty fast, wouldn't you say? 1/3rd of the way down and 8 months left to go. Let's see how I'm holding up against the resolutions I made back in January, what to expect coming in the summer months, and an important announcement at the end of this post.

Resolution #1: Weekly blog posts
I had promised at least 1 post per week in my resolution, as I count now, excluding the video recap posts and individual posts for the Trader Joe's Beers, I'm up to 15 posts, which you can count to check my math by clicking here. Considering that 18 weeks have already passed, I'm a little behind schedule. Oops. The good news is that I have a lot of new ideas for blog posts and videos coming up. With summer approaching and my living circumstances now different, you can look ahead to a fresh new garden. I'm really excited about being able to grow again.

Resolution #2: Biweekly Videos
Now here's a resolution I can safely say I'm keeping up on. So far I've been able to pump out 21 videos this year. So I've doubled down on this resolution. If you consider a video a blog post, then yes, I have been satisfying resolution #1 above.

So far the YouTube channel has been going as I expected it to go; it's tough. It requires a lot of work. But a few of our videos uploaded this year have been noticed by the "algorithm" and have started getting coverage. Namely, the video based on the most popular article on this blog, 7 Plants for 1 Gallon Container Gardens. The YouTube channel also broke the 100 subscriber milestone last week! Yay!

Video making can be grindy, but I've started to develop a system of shooting footage, editing footage, creating thumbnails, and thinking up descriptions and video tags, and things started to get easier and more fun. I have learned a lot on this journey in these short 4 months and I will be using my newly knowledge to produce better videos. I am also considering buying a legit DSLR camera to enhance production quality. You can check out our YouTube channel by visiting this link.

Resolution #3: Hydroponic System at full production
This is where the resolution falls apart. I mentioned before that I ended up moving, and I have not been able to get the NFT system reestablished. Where I have currently relocated, it feels like it'll be too much effort to get it setup and running. For now, I still need to finish my build guide which I have promised for so long, but haven't had the opportunity to complete. The current system is sitting disassembled. Ideally, I would like to sell it to someone who is interested in using it to grow some vegetables, as this design is awesome and not too expensive to build. When my living situation changes again, I could build myself a new system using the plans I've written up on it.

Although I likely won't be reactivating the hydroponic system, I do have access to a sideyard with much better sunlight exposure and as I mentioned above, I will be planting a new container garden to compensate for this change. Will I be able to grow enough vegetables to sell though? I've got some ideas that could make that possible.

Resolution #4: Build a Kegerator
I would consider this resolution dead in the water ever since I relocated. Beer brewing is going to take a hiatus with the weather is hot outside, but I may sneak in a batch or two of mead.... I should also mention that I sold two of the kegs I bought from Craigslist, but for what I sold them and the carboys for, I've broken even on the initial deal. The remaining two kegs for now will be used as longer term beer storage.

Resolution #5: Expand my Lunch Cuisine by Meal Prepping
In regards to this resolution, I did end up modifying a recipe that I've used a few times, the Turkey Chili. I really like this recipe and I wish I could find the time to make it more often. These recipes are a bit harder to track down and document, but if something comes my way, I'll be sure to write about it.

Additional Announcements
If you may have noticed, there is now a store tab at the top of the sidebar. Personally, I wanted to have some branded Greens and Machines clothing to wear when shooting video and for wearing around in public. So I had a print-on-demand company make me a few to see how they looked. They actually didn't turn out too bad at all, so I decided to offer them up to the readers of our blog. If you too would like to get your hands on a Greens and Machines T-Shirt, check out the store page for the designs we are currently listing. We would receive a portion of the proceeds, which in turn would go towards funding the activities of our blog. I really like this method of support better than soliciting donations as you as the buyer actually get to keep something physical out of this! More designs will be listed in the future!

If T-Shirts aren't your thing, you could support us with one of these stickers. I was disappointed with the shipping prices that Teespring was quoting for individual custom branded stickers. So I had a different company do a production run of them for me so I could offer them cheaper. I already love them and those who I have sent some to love the design too. If you would like to get a sticker or two, head on over to this page and place an order.

So that's news for my half of the blog. I'll have @diecaster_d give us an update with how his resolutions are going within the month. I know he's been busy with life and some bigger projects, so stay tuned!

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