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My Own Personal CO2-to-O2 Conversion System

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Friday, February 27, 2009

My Own Personal CO2-to-O2 Conversion System

I've been getting a number of care packages from my family and friends. Dave and the boys, my in-laws, Paul's family and Wendy's family have all sent goodies and they've all been awesome. The snacks, books, magazines and drink mixes have been greatly appreciated!

This post today is about one particular...unusual...item I received at the end of January.

A Chia Pet.

And not just any Chia Pet:

From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

How cool is this? It came from Paul and his family and I was very excited to get it. Folks who work near me who saw me unwrap it agree: it's a cool gift! Paul and his wife Louise must have been sympathetic after reading how excited I was about a pathetic little patch of foliage -- the first I had seen after several days here.

I'd given Dave a Chia Homer before, 2-3 Christmases ago. I remember the issues we had keeping his head completely filled with water, the very top of the head is higher than the water outlet, so the very top of the head never gets any water and therefore doesn't grow.

Sounds like a challenge to me!

So here we go! I started this project in Feb 1st, so you'll see 4 weeks worth of growth! It's like one of my traditional craft blog posts! Fun fun fun!

First things first: GO SOAK YOUR HEAD! As is always the case with terra cotta, a good soaking will help the pot retain moisture.

From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

I had difficulty finding a container to use, but with some ingenuity, I come up with this:
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

See how nicely Homer fits inside?

From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

Next, we start the seed mixture soaking. Chia puts the seed in some sort of stuff so that when you soak it, it becomes a gel that will adhere to the terra cotta easier.
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer



From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer



...and you let that stuff soak for a "few" hours. I had instructions that said "overnight" and the seed packet said "1 hour". So I went middle-of-the-road and let it soak for the duration of my weather shift, probably about 9 hours.

So now spread the seed gel stuff over Homer's head:

From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

And there you have it -- Homer's Gellin' (2 Feb):

From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

Now enjoy some time-lapse photos of Homer's growth, starting with 4 Feb:

From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer


6 Feb:
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer


8 Feb -- yeah I started remembering to rotate him after seeing this directional growth:
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

9 Feb (do you sense a lack of lighting?):
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

Let me pause here and address the lighting issue. You see, Homer is a thirsty son-of-a-gun. I was giving him some 4 oz. of water per day, so I needed to keep him in plain sight so I can remember to water him. Unfortunately, I work overnight, so Homer spent time in a flourscent-lit room while I work, and I kept the room dark during the day while I sleep.

It was at about this point that I told myself "Forget that!" and moved him to the windowsill on the OTHER SIDE of my light-blocking curtain.

The point of this picture below is to show how sparse the growth is on the top of the head. As mentioned earlier, Homer is thirsty, so the seeds at the very top seldom were watered, it was very difficult to keep the water levels that high.
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer


13 Feb -- looking a bit like Don King:
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer


After moving to the window, Homer started doing MUCH better. Unfortunately, I can't enjoy him the same since he remains on the other side of the curtain from me.

27 Feb:
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer


Showing the root growth down the back of Homer's neck!:
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer


So now what? With all the growth, it's now more difficult to keep Homer watered. He's consuming 6+ oz. of water every 24 hours, in part from evaporation through the terra cotta, in part from what the foliage requires.

I'm probably going to scrub down Homer and start again for the month of March, this time taking better advantage of the sunlight on the other side of the curtain earlier in the process.

That should leave enough seed for Paul to generate his own oxygen source once he gets here in the next few weeks.

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3 Comments:

At Friday, February 27, 2009 at 5:22:00 PM CST , Blogger Paul said...

I don't know if I want to grow it...it looks kind of creepy. Maybe I'll bring some grass seed with me and make lawn Homer.

 
At Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 10:40:00 AM CST , Blogger Susie PSU said...

What a comical post! However, I don't like the Simpsons at ALL, so I would have just left him in the diaper wipe container. Indefinitely.

 
At Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 3:52:00 PM CST , Blogger Christina said...

Love the Homer! This has to be one of the coolest care packages ever! :-)

 

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