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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Human Powered Gadgets

I have heard about these before, now I want one, it's called a Vortex Blender. This is a food blender that is human powered. It appears to be sturdy, it's a 2 speed affair. I understand that it's a bit noisy on high speed. You clamp it to a table or other sturdy surface, fill it, cover it and crank away. This was originally created for tailgaters and campers, while I do not fall into either category, I know I would put it to good use. Does anyone reading this have one or have used one? If so, what do you think of it?

I have a wimpy hand crank food chopper/mixer (not a slap one), it looks like a food processor, has three blades in it, it does ok on soft foods, but it would never work for real food, or ice... 

The other thing I have thought about was getting an old electric food blender in a second hand shop, and trying to convert it to human power blender,  maybe with a flywheel and some gears... I did a quick Google search but didn't find much for DIY hand cranked blender, I got mostly articles about the Vortex Blender. Surely someone has done this, I'll keep looking, if I find anything, I'll post another message about it.

I think it would be great to have a table set up with interchangeable, hand cranked kitchen goodies... yup, I dream big and sometimes complex...  I'll toss the idea to MMB, if anyone can do it, he can.

All written text and audio podcast from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment., but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission.

properly pronounced wreetha (included for the text reader),

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's Officially Cold

Last night was officially below freezing, at least according to my thermometer. It got down to 28.9 F outside, inside the sky castle was 37.4 F. Yep, we let it get that cold inside. Why you might ask? We decided last winter not to kill ourselves trying to keep the sky castle warm. Here's the deal, if you have a warm, toasty fire in the wood stove, you go to bed with things being warm. The fire dies out long before morning, so SOMEONE has to get up at least once during the night to stoke the fire, or allow it to go out, halfway through the night, the temp drops to shivering cold, so you start looking for more blankets, wish you had worn warmer jammies, or suffer. We discovered if you go to bed with the appropriate warm clothing, and warm blankets, it's quite easy to stay warm in bed all night. Fortunately where we live, no matter how cold it gets over night, once the sun comes up, as long as the sky is clear, it warms up into the 50s and 60s, typical high desert. Open the curtains on the east side of the room, the sun shines in and you have instant warmth.

Last night, before it got really cold, I went under the sky castle to look for something to snack on in our stash, that space is unfinished , but the walls are thick concrete, the floor is still dirt, I noticed that even with the openings to the outside, it was significantly warmer down there than it was inside the sky castle. MMB and I talked this morning about finishing the bottom floor space and using that as the winter bedroom.

Before someone suggests that we insulate the sky castle, it's something we are going to do, for now it's uninsulated, and that is just how it is.

Now I have to go make breakfast, pancakes and fried Spam. :)

All written text and audio podcast from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment., but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission.

properly pronounced wreetha (included for the text reader),

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Looney Tunes: Old Glory (1939)

As many of you know, I don't own a TV (gave it to our neighbor), I get most of my entertainment through the internet. I don't watch a lot of TV shows, fortunately the ones I do like are streamed over the 'net. Tonight while checking out Fancast, I found a Looney Toons section, I love the old Bugs Bunny cartoons. I found this particular cartoon, it's too bad that this isn't shown like it used to be. Anyhoo, watch, enjoy, remember...

All written text and audio podcast from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment., but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission.

properly pronounced wreetha (included for the text reader),

Thanks for visiting!
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tough Times Survival Guide vol 1 – book review

Reading, learning, it’s what I enjoy doing. Before the internet, I would go to the three local libraries in my hometown, I would check out as many books as each on would allow, take them all home, read-read-read until I had gotten through all of them, then I return the books to their respective homes and start all over again. I tended to read non-fiction, I preferred them over fiction most of the time. With the exception of a few notable authors such as Stephen King, Jean M. Auel, and such…

With the advent of the internet and ebooks, I mostly read what I can get in digital format, including audiobooks. So these last couple of books I’ve read, I have held in my hand, turned pages, it was quite old-school for me. J I love it. Now, on to the book review.

Tough Times Survival Guide Vol. 1

Have you ever listened to a compilation music CD? You know the kind that has multiple artists on it; they usually take the best or favorites from each artist from a similar genre and put all on one CD. With compilation CDs, they give you the chance to listen to a variety of different artists in the same genre, this exposes you to artists you may have never heard of before, chances are you probably wouldn’t have picked up their work unless you had heard the song on that compilation CD first.

Well that is what this book is like, instead of being written by a single author, Paladin Publishing took the best from a multitude of authors and combined it to make the book Tough Times Survival Guide Vol. 1. Just like compilation music CDs, getting this book will allow you to read the works of many different authors and you just may find a few that you are very interested in, you really like what they have to say and now you can find more works by this author.

Tough Times Survival Guide Vol 1 is a compilation of 25 different authors who write about making do, finding work, staying safe and becoming more self-reliant. This book focuses on money related/financial subjects. But it’s not what you might think. You will not find stock tips in this book, instead you will learn different ways to stretch your money, how to live on very little money, how to survive in these perilous times.

One of my favorite chapters is the first one, it’s about fixing things instead of replacing them. Mr. Romney gives some very good tips about repair trade secrets; I especially like the epoxy tips, such as fixing engine motors and such, the formulas and exact products are listed making it easy for you to find exactly what you need to make these repairs, and much more. Who knew you could do so much with epoxy?

Gleaning and scrounging are other subjects discussed in this book, I got some ideas that I might not have come up with on my own. Of course another favorite was the author of Rancho Costa Nada: The Dirt Cheap Desert Homestead, that was right up my alley.

If you are willing to roll up your sleeves and swallow your pride, you can find lots of useful stuff in dumpsters, much more than trash. You’d be shocked to see what people throw away, perfectly good electronics, foods that have gone out of date (but are still good), clothes…  With the tips and tricks in this book, you will learn the ins and outs of dumpster diving, which ones to look in first and which ones to stay away from.  You can not only furnish your own place, you can find and repair items (electronics, gadgets and such) and sell the refurbished items for cash, or trade or barter with it.

Another good chapter is written by one of my favorite DIY authors, James Ballou, I did a review of one of his books Makeshift Workshop Skills for Survival and Self-Reliance. His chapter in this book is about homemade drills, a very handy thing to have around.  I highly recommend  James Ballou’s books, read my review of one of his book here: http://www.off-grid.net/2009/10/03/makeshift-workshop-skills-for-survival-and-self-reliance-book-review/

How would you like to learn how to build your own computer, or better yet be able to find free computers?  You can learn about tent living and how and where to get free firewood & other fuels. There’s even a chapter on how to live on the streets, something I hope I don’t have to do but it’s still good knowledge to have. It may even make you look at street people with a new eye.

Ever heard of the “underground economy”? Learn about alternative employment, from self-employment to the tax-free underground economy. There are many ways of making money besides the regular 9-5 job.  You’ll find tips on how to get a job, what industries to look at when looking for quick employment…  You’ll learn some banking tips that will help you keep more of your money instead of lining the pocket of the bankers.

In this book you’ll find:
1. The fine art of gleaning food
2. Full-time tent living
3. Secrets of haggling
4. Bill collector psychology
5. Free fuel for cold times
6. Where to find free computers
7. How to get a job in a war zone
8. The lucky 7 dumpster diving spots
9. What to do before you’re fired
10. The top 10 websites for getting by in tough times
Plus 15 more essays written by top Paladin-Press authors or specially commissioned for this book.

If you are a survivalist, homeless (or about to be), living on the edge, unemployed or underemployed (and who isn’t?), this book is for you, it contains useful, easy to implement ways to save and keep more of your hard earned money, and who doesn’t want to do that?

You can find this book, as well as the next version of this book here:


Click here to listen to a podcast interview with some of the authors of this book.

Read my other book reviews here:
Click here to see my other book reviews

Click here to read my book review process. 

All written text and audio podcast from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment., but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission.

properly pronounced wreetha (included for the text reader),

Thanks for visiting!

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ain't It The Truth

I found this on another blog, (thanks Hermit),

As I grow in age, I value women over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, 'What are you thinking?' She doesn't care what you think.

If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it's usually more interesting.

Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40.

Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, 'Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? Here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!

For the record, I'm 44 and proud of each and every one of those years, wrinkles and gray hairs, I wear them as a badge of honor.

It would seem that this has been attributed to Andy Rooney, but after an unsuccessful search for the video to accompany this text, I find that Andy Rooney didn't actually write this, Snopes link,  it seems that this was taken from here http://www.suddenlysenior.com/praiseolderwomen.html written by Frank Kaiser. No one seems to know why it was attributed to Andy Rooney, including Andy Rooney himself.

All written text and audio podcast from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment., but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission.

properly pronounced wreetha (included for the text reader),

Thanks for visiting!

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Makeshift Workshop Skills for Survival and Self-Reliance - book review

 I typically do reviews on eBooks, but a while back I was contacted by James Ballou to do a review of a hard copy, Makeshift Workshop Skills for Survival and Self-Reliance, published by Paladin Press. Of course I was thrilled to review his book; honestly I had seen it previously and had been interested in reading it, so I jumped at the chance. It turns out that my instincts were correct, this is a great and useful book!

I contacted Paladin Publishing and they not only sent me James Ballou’s book, but a couple of others as well, I will be posting those reviews soon.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a hard copy book, with the advent of the internet and the digital age, I have long since converted to eBooks and audio books. It’s good to have hard copies of books; digital copies can be lost, corrupted or otherwise unreachable, if you don’t have your computer or mp3 player handy AND charged up, then you are out of luck. It’s nice to take book in hand, turn the pages and read, no batteries required.

When I received James Ballou’s book, the first thing I noticed was the quality, this book is big and the print is easy on the eyes. It is a paperback, but a very well done paperback book. There are lots of illustrations and pictures for those of us who enjoy visuals (I am included in that group).  There are 208 pages, 9 chapters and lots of reference materials and sources. James is not afraid to give credit where credit is due.

This book is essentially a set of instructions that show you how to create tools, how to repair and construct many useful items using little more than salvaged materials that you probably have laying around. The following will give you an idea of what this book contains, it merely hits the highlights of each chapter, James explains things in detail, but in a manner that most of can understand, this book was written for the common man (and woman), you don’t need to be a rocket scientist or have a degree with an string of letters following your name to understand this book.

In chapter 1, James starts out with the basics, from rocks and clay, animal products (horn, antler, hoof, bone, leather, sinew…), wood, plastics and metal. Talk about the Stone Age, Fred Flintstone would have been proud!  James even gives a recipe how to make your own plastic out of milk of all things.

Chapter 2 contains information about rope and cord. The different types of rope and cord, how to make your own from various materials. He discusses knots and their uses; I especially enjoyed the section about net making.

Chapter 3 is all about makeshift metal work. James explains how to create a forge, it looks fairly straightforward to make one, and James is a master at making something that could be complicated look easy to make. Metalsmithing is one of those things that we typically send out to someone else to do, with the knowledge in this book, and a bit of skill and a willingness to learn, this is something that many of us can do.

Chapter 4 is the chapter that I enjoyed greatly; it is all about improvised tools. You will find no power tools, cords or batteries here, just straight forward, simple yet extremely useful hand tools that you can make yourself.  Need a rasp, a saw or drill? No problem, make them yourself! How many times have you used all of your clamps to hold a particularly complex wood project together and you needed just one or two more? No problem, just make another, it’s very likely that you already have the materials to make all the clamps you need.

Chapter 5, expedient repair methods. Nothing lasts forever, that is especially of a tool or other gadget that you need to use right now! Sometimes it’s not convenient or possible to run to the store to buy a replacement; James shows how to repair many things using what you already have around your home. He explains the different methods and materials to do the various repairs you may run into on a daily basis. Glues, tape, cord, wire and more, James explains each material and gives examples of how each of these materials can be used to repair the various things that can and do break.

Chapter 6 is all about soldering, brazing and welding. This is another set of skills that most people don’t think they can do, it’s usually considered easier to send your broken items out to be fixed, usually at a premium price.  If you are willing to learn, it is possible to do this yourself, especially soldering and brazing. Though honestly, unless you have the proper equipment for welding, this may be one area that is best left to the experts. But after reading this chapter, at least you will be familiar with the different types of welding, techniques and such, it is good knowledge to have, and it may be something that you are willing to tackle yourself, it would certainly be a valuable skill set to have.

Chapter 7, things you can make out of other things. After reading this chapter, you will see your environment with new eyes; you will see the potential in everyday, ordinary objects that surround you, the potential to make something else out of what is already there.  Breaking things down to their component parts and using those parts to make or repair other things. Wire coat hangers and metal coffee cans can be repurposed to make dozens if not hundreds of useful items.  Wooden dowels, broken steel files, nails and a multitude of other things can be remade into more useful items, tools and such. You can even make a set of sandals made from an old tire. James gives a very good list of makeshift items that can substitute for other items.

Chapter 8, practical tips for the craftsman or handyman. This chapter shows you the tips and tricks of the trade, things that the experts already know but you might not necessarily be privy to. Some of these you might already know, but there are a lot of tips & tricks that will save you time, save your fingers, tools, and sanity. You will hit yourself in the head and say, why didn’t I think of that before?  Such as how to drill or cut in a straight line (it’s not as easy as it first appears), the proper way to pull out a nail (how to get more leverage and not damage your walls), an ingenious way to remove rust from metal (hint, it doesn’t require much elbow grease at all), and much, much more.

Chapter 9, theorems and formulas for inventors and builders.  This is a very good chapter for me; it contains mathematical formulas for many handy things. Temperature conversions, determining the mechanical advantage of pulleys, block and tackle, incline planes, gear ratios, calculating dimensions and more, you will find it in this chapter.

The final section contains a comprehensive list of resources and reference materials compiled over the years, books as well as websites are listed here.

All in all, I give this book 2 thumbs up, it contains very useful information that will save you time, money and headaches. Mountain Man Bob was also very impressed with this book, and that means a lot! It’s difficult to impress Bob, who is the ultimate do it yourselfer, James managed to do it and he did it with style! In fact, the reason it took me longer than usual to write this review was because I had to pry the book away from Bob!

Another thing that is clear to me is it appears that James has actually DONE all of these things, he isn’t just spouting theory or repeating what someone else has done.

So whether you are a survivalist or a weekend warrior, you will enjoy this book, and you will learn a great deal, I highly recommend this book.

You can purchase this book from Paladin Press, don’t forget to check out the other books they publish as well, including James Ballou’s first book, Long Term Survival in the Coming Dark Age.

James was kind enough to answer a few questions, enjoy!

Mini interview

First I want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to review your book, it’s been a real pleasure to read and I know we will be using the info contained in this book.
Thanks, Wretha! I am honored and grateful that you’ve taken the time to review this book, and for your overall positive take on it.

What made you decide to write this book? What was your inspiration?
Years of camping, hiking, experimenting with things, searching for creative ideas, and contemplating all sorts of survival scenarios more or less channeled this kind of “make-shifter” mind set I’ve acquired, and at some point I envisioned a kind of niche for a book like this. So I began gathering ideas, researching certain related topics, and experimenting with projects and techniques until it all more or less came together in the form of this book. I will admit that I have never seen another book quite like this one in so many ways.

How long did it take to put this book together?
This project took more than a year to finish. I tend to approach these things slowly and methodically, but every part of this book was enormously fun for me.

Is there going to be a part two to this book?
Yes! The second Makeshift book is somewhere close to being halfway complete right now. Isn’t it amazing how sometimes you think you’ve jammed every idea you’ve ever thought of for a particular topic or category into a list, but the list still never stops growing? That’s how it is with this subject matter – it really is endless.

I know this will be like asking which child is your favorite, but humor me… For you personally, what would you say is the most useful thing you have in this book?
Believe it or not, that little cord wrap trick I attempted to illustrate on page 115 is one that I use routinely, perhaps more than anything else described in this whole book. I realize it’s sort of common knowledge, but it is an incredibly handy (and easy to apply) technique for things like whipping the ends of rope with small cord, attaching wire eyes to a fishing rod with strong thread, binding all sorts of different things together and so on. With a tight wrap of cord, it creates a very strong and enduring, neat wrap that requires no bulky knots.

Did you grow up with tools and the knowledge of how to use them or was this something you learned as an adult or later in life?
My Dad always had some tools and a workbench all the time I was growing up, and he encouraged my brother and me to use them safely. Even with all of his emphasis on safety I still managed to clobber my fingers with hammers and run sharp chisels and gouges into my hands fairly often. We would get really creative sometimes, making our toy guns out of wood and things like that. I never perfected any special skills with tools, but I experimented a lot.

What books are you working on now?
As I indicated, the second Makeshift book is a work currently in progress. I am really excited about it, and I tend to let myself become consumed by it at times – developing ideas, attempting to build weird projects, researching different creative how-to subjects and skills, and then putting everything into some kind of order so that others can pick it up more easily. We’ll see how it turns out.

Is there anything you would like to add, this is the place to do it.
I would just like to encourage readers to adopt this make-shifter’s mind set and go out there and get creative. What could possibly ever be more fun?

Click here for James Ballou’s book Makeshift Workshop Skills for Survival snd Self-Reliance

Click here to listen to a podcast interview with the author.

All written text and audio podcast from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment., but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission.

properly pronounced wreetha (included for the text reader),

Thanks for visiting!

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A Rip Roaring Funny Blog

I am in such pain, it's just not fair... I have laughed until I hurt! If you have ever been curious about what tickles my funny bone, you have got to visit this blog http://thecookshack.blogspot.com/
Grab some tissues, don't say I didn't warn ya. :) Let me know what you think. There is some adult content, but Cookie warns ya ahead of time.

All written text and audio podcast from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment., but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission.

properly pronounced wreetha (included for the text reader),

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, October 9, 2009

More Privacy Protection

More on privacy and those pesky Feedjit type sites.

I am still waging a battle against Feedjit and other sites such as Maploco, yes I do track my visitors, BUT the stats are not readily visible to everyone. I also have no problems with the owner of a site being able to privately track me while using their site. Public trackers are paramount to going into a store and over the door, for everyone to read it shows how you got to that store, the name of the town where you live, and where you went after you left the store. Not a pretty thought... I visit a LOT of blogs and other sites, I live in a very small community, I do not want the name of the town where I reside posted publicly on any website just because I visit the site, especially if it says where I came from and where I went after leaving. So I have tried many different ways to block these sites from being able to capture that information. Here is what I do now, and it seems to work.

I use Firefox as my browser, it allows me to use add-ons, one that is a favorite of mine is called "NoScript", this prevents active content from running on a site, if it's a site I trust, then I can click a button to allow active content to run, I can either choose individual content or allow everything to run. NoScript remembers what I have allowed and what I have blocked so I only have to mess with it the first time I visit a new site, after that it remembers. This has saved my butt from malicous or annoying content from messing with my computer. It's especially good when going to potentially "questionable" or high risk websites.

The next thing I added to my add-ons is called Adblock Plus, this also blocks things from running, though it's not proactive, you have to tell it what to block, and that's fine, I rely on NoScript to catch things first, then if something is particularly annoying (not necessarily an ad) then I run my cursor over it and if Adblock can block it, it shows a little tab that says "block", once I click on it, it's GONE, never to be seen again. I don't do this to block ads, as someone who uses advertising myself, I have no problem with ads, like I said, it works on more than just ads.

Next, I use a program called Avast, it's not part of the browser, it's an antivirus software and it's free. I have been using it for quite a while, when I noticed the other day a feature on it that allows you to block URLs. Well, I decided to try it out tonight, I put in *feedjit* and *maploco*, I was on a site that uses maploco, until now, nothing I did would block maploco from posting my town name. Until now... I put in those two URLs to be blocked, as soon as I refreshed the page, poof, the maploco icon was gone.

So, that is what I have so far, I will continue to look for problematic trackers that publicly show the name of my town when I visit and I will continue to look for ways to block them.

All written text and audio podcast from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment., but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission.

properly pronounced wreetha (included for the text reader),

Thanks for visiting!
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Grow Your Own Tobacco – Book Review

A while back, I had some trouble with the government about buying cigarettes from outside the country (USA), it is perfectly legal to order cigarettes for import into the USA for personal use. I assure you that the cigarettes I ordered WERE for personal use, I did not trade, sell, barter or in any other way distribute these cigarettes. After receiving a threatening letter from the Dept of Homeland Security, a very scary thing to find in your mailbox, especially for a law abiding citizen! I decided that I needed to find a better way to get smokes without having to pay an arm and a leg, or having the threat of the government over my head. I found an alternative way, it’s legal and it should be doable by nearly anyone.
Another note of interest, in the USA, the government is trying to make it illegal to buy cigarettes through the mail, so no matter what your source, whether you are buying overseas or buying domestically or from Native American reservations, if the powers that be have their way, this way of buying cigarettes is about to become illegal. So what can you do about this?

You can grow your own tobacco plants. I immediately started a search for information on how to grow your own, as well as how to process it to make a smokable product. It turns  out that there are not many sources with good info readily available on the internet. Fortunately I was able to find this source, it not only teaches you how to grow your own tobacco plants, but how and when to harvest, how to dry and cure your tobacco, and much, much more. Here is my review on this book. I hope to have a follow up interview with the author, when I have it, I’ll post a part 2 to this article. The link to the book can be found at the bottom of this article.

Growing Tobacco in the Home Garden
The Little Handbook

As a smoker, you go out, you buy a carton or pack of cigarettes, (after you get over the sticker shock!), you open the cellophane, tear off the foil, you tap out a cigarette, you put it to your lips, you light it and inhale deeply. You fill your lungs with smoke and it’s good… or is it? What are you getting besides the nicotine your body craves? There is a whole laundry list of chemicals and toxins that you are also inhaling, what’s worse, these chemicals and toxins are not naturally found in the tobacco, these things are ADDED to the cigarettes by the cigarette companies. Why is that?

What if there was a better way? If you grow a vegetable garden or grow plants in containers, then you are already half way to a better and healthier way to smoke tobacco.  If you have been following my cigarette saga, then you already know the troubles I have had with the government about buying cigarettes overseas, so in an attempt to work around the problems, I investigated growing my own tobacco. It turns out that it is perfectly legal to grow your own as long as you are not selling, trading or bartering with the tobacco.

I found a seller on eBay who sells tobacco seeds and promptly ordered a set of 3 different types. I still didn’t know how to grow tobacco, how difficult (or easy) is it to grow? What are the best conditions to grow tobacco? How long do you allow it to grow, when do you harvest it? What do you do after that?

It turns out that the tobacco plant is fairly easy to grow, it is related to tomatoes, peppers and potatoes, it’s in the nightshade family, if your local conditions permit you to grow these plants, then you should be able to grow tobacco as well. But there are some steps that need to be taken to grow the best plants and know when to harvest them, and most importantly, to know how to dry and cure the leaves to get the most out of your tobacco plants.

I searched the internet and I found only one source that gives you step by step information on growing tobacco, everything from where to get your tobacco seeds, how to choose the varieties of tobacco plants to best suit what you want in a smoke and your growing zone, how to get the seeds started, how to transplant them, how to care for the plants (fertilizing, pest control…), when and how to harvest the leaves, how to dry and cure the leaves for the best quality in the finished tobacco.

This information is not a big dark secret, nor is it impossible to do, the hard part is just FINDING the information, the big cigarette companies don’t want you to know how this works. They have huge farms with proprietary processes, not to mention all the chemicals and garbage they add to the tobacco. Wouldn’t it just be better to grow tobacco in your own backyard or on your patio? Yes, you can grow tobacco in containers. It is a pretty, tropical plant with showy flowers and large leaves; many people grow it for purely decorative reasons. Another reason besides smoking to grow your own tobacco, it is used for natural, organic insect repellent in gardening.

I found a great illustrated eBook that explains all you need to know about growing your own tobacco plants.

Where to get your seeds
How  to start your tobacco plants
How to transplant them
The best conditions for them to grow
How and when to fertilize
Pest control
How and when to harvest the leaves
How, when and IF to prune
How to dry and cure the leaves for the best flavor
You will learn how to choose from the different varieties of tobacco
You will learn about the different blends of tobacco for flavor
What to do differently if you want to harvest the seeds for next year’s plants
How to troubleshoot common problems and issues

One question that many people ask is how many cigarettes or cartons worth of cigarettes will I get from one plant? This is a good question to ask as you will want to determine how many plants you need to grow to accommodate your personal smoking needs. You will learn the answer to this all important question within this eBook.

In this eBook you will find (table of contents)

1. Introduction to Tobacco
2. Different Types of Tobacco
3. Choosing Good Tobacco Seeds
4. Germinating Tobacco Seeds
5. Soil Types for Growing Tobacco
6. Planting Tobacco
7. Maintenance and Fertilization
8. Harvesting Tobacco
9. Drying and Curing Tobacco
10. Different Tobacco Uses
11. Interesting Facts about Tobacco

Thanks so much to Benjamin for sharing this invaluable information with us, I have searched high and low for the info contained in this eBook and so far, this is the only place where I have everything needed to grow your own tobacco plants and everything else involved in the process. With this information, you will save a lot of money by growing your own tobacco, not to mention the fact that the tobacco you grow is free of additives.

I do not condone smoking or tobacco use in any form, if you are not a smoker or tobacco user, DO NOT START! I can’t emphasize that enough, there is no such thing as healthy tobacco use. If you are already a smoker or tobacco user, of legal age, then please consider growing your own, it is “healthier” for you in the fact that it will not contain additives or extra chemicals, you KNOW what is in the tobacco that you grow yourself.

I almost forgot to add, the author of this book is also including a free book on homebrewing your own alcohol, it’s an infomative book all about the ins and outs of homebrewing.
If you smoke cigarettes, you need the information in this book.

Click here to get your copy of this informative book.


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