For all of you Crown Hill gardeners out there, here’s a tip for improving your conditioning and reducing the chance of injury as you sprint out for the precious few available gardening hours between snow storms. This comes from Ann Lovejoy’s excellent article on the Ozette potato in the former PI. I don’t know how long it will be available online at the PI website:

I recently learned of another way to enjoy potatoes that doesn’t involve eating or growing them. A friend shared the following suggested exercise for seniors to build muscle strength in the arms and shoulders.

The original article suggested doing it three times a week. It’s so easy, I thought I’d pass it on.

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface where you have plenty of room at each side. With a 5-pound potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, then relax. Each day, you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.

After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-pound potato sacks. Then use 50-pound potato sacks, and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-pound potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute.

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each of the sacks.

And if you’re looking for music to memorialize the death of the PI,  former Seattle-ite Heidi Muller has this finely crafted contribution “Goodnight PI” to mark the passage.