I was just in Indonesia and had the chance to interview a farmer on how he dried and cured his tobacco:
Really simple. 4-days and it's done.
As healthy and natural as it's possible for tobacco to be, I guess.
I've grown my own tobacco off and on over the years. It's hard to find good info on sun-drying methods so I was happy to meet this guy and get a full demonstration. Previously I've pinned whole leaves on strings and hung them out for months and months to dry and cure. I'm going to try this sun-drying method next time I have some growing.
You guys should appreciate the method I share in my latest video:
I have pictures of piles built this way on my website. Just set it up, then ignore it for a few months, then pull it apart and sift out the compost. Works great, especially when you're farming on land away from home.
They do make for amazing trees, great for shade, except during the fruiting season when they drop hundreds of pounds of fruit, only some of which survives the fall.
I love the way they look large, and I would love to get some mango lumber to do woodworking with at some point. My slice of the tropics is only a half-acre, though, so I'm sticking with heavy pruning for now.
I think it would be possible to get a wide range of tropical fruit year round if you have irrigation. The dry season shuts a lot of things down.
As Paul and Shawn rock the world with their successful kickstarter campaign, I am pleased to announce the upcoming release of book 4 in the Good Gardening Series, "Free Plants for Everyone: The Good Guide to Plant Propagation."
"Do you want to grow apples from seed? Or learn to graft? Or germinate seeds from that awesome old honey locust tree in your Grandpa's backyard?
In Free Plants for Everyone, you will learn tried and true methods of plant propagation that will allow you to grow pretty much anything you like without giving your hard-earned money to plant nurseries. Gardening expert David The Good takes the mystery out of plant propagation and shares propagation secrets from the nursery business as well from his many years of experience.
Whether you're interested in starting a plant nursery, saving money on gardening, saving old fruit tree varieties or simply want lots of plants to give away, this book is for you. Start plants from cuttings, seeds, division and more. Includes information on propagating and saving seeds from 101 different species, as well as pen and ink illustrations by the author."
A lot of books take the ease and fun out of growing plants by making things too complicated. If you're tired of being told it's not worth it to start trees from seed or that this or that is "too hard" to grow, this book is for you.
This is the ebook version available for pre-order, with a release date next week. The paperback version is still in progress - I will share an update when it's out. Getting pre-orders will help the book fly up the rankings when it's officially released on Amazon.
I am a big fan of ginger and turmeric, but you are too cold for those. Under my hackberries in Tennessee I had a profusion of wild violets which were very nice for eating and making tea. Wild garlic also grew there, and I also planted Jerusalem artichokes at the edge of the canopy. They didn't grow as big in half shade but they still bore roots.
I would get a guy with a sawmill lined up and have him cut them into boards. Seriously - that could be a lot of good lumber. You could turn around and sell the boards if you didn't need them all, but I've found having some wood around is always a good thing.
I made friends with a local sawmill guy and have literally found logs by the side of the road, had him cut them up, then used the wood to make furniture.
I started on a sea grape wood spoon last night. I sawed off a nice limb at the beach, then got it home and found that it definitely does not want to split in straight splits, instead, choosing to crack in fractal twists all over the place, so I gave up and chopped out a spoon blank on the miter saw before I ruined the whole piece. The rest of the carving is all by hand, though.
And yes, the wood is actually pink. It's really pretty stuff - looks like it belongs on a beach.
I cheated on the bowl and used my Dremel after cutting my hand in the exact same spot as Nicole. BLOOD BROTHERS NOW!
That wood is beach hibiscus, which carves easily and it pretty strong but tends to be a bit thready.
After working on that one, and then losing it when the children cleaned the porch, I tried to go all by hand last weekend at the beach, carving a piece of seagrape wood. That didn't work out, as I had the same problem as Raven. It was invisible until I started carving, but sea grape also has pith through the middle. My piece of wood was looking very nice... and then I hit a very soft core and found out it was worthless for a spoon.
I'll try, try again. I'm using a Mora knife that Marjory Wildcraft sent me as a gift. It holds a very nice edge, but I think a blade with zero curve would do even better.
I also found my first spoon again and am going to work on it some more.
I've saved some cow bones so I can try to make flutes like these:
I attempted one from a goat bone two weeks but couldn't get it to whistle.
I also am going to use portions of them for guitar nuts and saddles. I know I can make guitars.
When I was a teenager, I used a big leg bone from a dog to make the handle of a knife. The blade was made from a ground-down file, then I carved the handle to fit and epoxied it together. It looked decent, though it wasn't a work of fine art.
I made about $1000 per month (averaged through the year - nothing was happening in winter, lots in the spring and fall) in about 1/10 acre of nursery space. Hit two farmer's markets a week and moved a lot of plants. Find a good niche. Mine was perennial vegetables, rare edibles, and fruit trees.
I went on a hike Sunday afternoon and found a strange plant. I live in Central America. Anyone know what this thing is? The tree is short and almost looks like Asimina to me, but we're way outside that range. I couldn't find any seeds. Fruit bats or rats must have eaten them with the pulp.
The amazing thing about that fall in the river was it was completely unplanned. I was standing on top of an old dam, running the camera when I saw Christi slip and fall in the river. My heart jumped in my throat as I feared the worst - the rocks were mean, and I imagined she might have gone down on her head. I left the camera and started for her - carefully, because everything was slick with algae - and then she popped up again, laughing. Whew. When we reviewed the footage, we both laughed, and hence the "coordination" line was added.