Tag Archives: amazon item fo the day

Frontier Co-op Organic Valerian Root – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Frontier Co-op Organic Valerian Root.  Before we continue due to the content below I have to give a disclaimer, I am not a doctor, I don’t even pretend to be one on TV.  While I am a life time user of herbs, I am also not a certified herbalist, nothing I am about to say should be seen is medical or nutritional advice.  It is just my personal experience.

So about two years ago I set out to create a “bed time tea”, my goal was a tea that would set the mind at ease and get you to sleep fast.  I built this tea on valerian root for many reasons.  You can find a wide range of Valerian’s uses at Web MD, chief among them though are insomnia and relaxing muscle and relieving aches and pains.

Now there are a ton of teas out there with Valerian in it, but I like to mix my own teas, simply put buying herbs in bulk saves money and you can make custom blends.  Last week I mentioned in my interview with herbalist Cat Ellis that I had a “night time tea that tasted like gym socks but would knock you flat out” and that resulted in a ton of requests for the recipe.

So I decided to feature Valerian today and give away that recipe, all but two ingredients can be purchased at Amazon, I’ll give a few sources for them in the P.S. below.  Note that the parts below are by volume, not weight…

I make this tea at about 2 heaping tablespoons to the cup, note that this doesn’t taste good.  Frankly it isn’t that bad, I am setting the expectation bar low however, unlike my other teas you are not drinking this one for the flavor.  I do sweeten this one with honey.

I can’t explain this but if you want this tea to work my best results seem to come from going to bed within 30 minutes or less of consuming it. If you wait much longer the effects seem to change to relaxed but alert.  However, if you go strait to bed you generally crash and sleep solid though the night, at least I do.

It also for me seems to increase the vividness of my dreams.  Note that I am a long time student of lucid dreaming and have trained myself to recognize dreams and awaken within them.  This is beyond the scope of this review but there is lots of info online about doing it.   I will talk just a tiny bit about it in today’s on air IOTD segment.

So if you want to give this a try, you can simply mix it up and give it a go, but I will caution that I take no regular medications and I don’t know what interactions these herbs could have with pharmaceuticals.  So please check with your doctor before using these are any herbs if you have any physical conditions or side effects.  Again I am not a doctor or certified herbalist, I am not giving medial advice, I am just telling you my personal experiences.

So check out Frontier Co-op Organic Valerian Root today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – The herb you can’t get on Amazon for some reason is Damiana Leaf.  You can make the tea without it, it will still work.  That said it is a wonderful herb that in my view really enhances this tea.  If you skip the Damiana increase the Valerian to 4 parts to rebalance the recipe a bit.

P.S.S.  Here is a simplified recipe if you just want to give it a try without all the other herbs.  Go with 2 parts of Valerian to 1 part of mint.  This will be a quite sedative tea and aid in falling asleep for many people.  Again I recommend hitting the pillow no more than 30 minutes after consuming it.

The FURminator deShedding Tool for Dogs – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the The FURminator deShedding Tool for Dogs.  We first learned of this tool from our vet back when we had our Siberian Husky named Lakota.  Let me tell you there is shedding and then there is Husky Shedding.  It is like living with two Chows, a Sheep Dog and a German Shepard at one time!  How one relatively small animal can make so much hair is beyond me.

So our vet proceeded to brush him and we were sold, enough fluffy undercoat to make a small pillow came off in a few minutes.  We bought one, of course the mark up was very high.  When we later found them in pet stores they were still very expensive.  We started using some off brand versions, and most were good, not as good but good enough.

Now this is why I love the free market.  FURminator was able to keep its hold on some of its really unique stuff with patents but the basic concept is pretty simple.  So a bunch of Chinese hack shops and creative American entrepreneurs emulated it and sold a good product for a much lower price.  Instead of acting like a child and suing over an “idea” FURminator understood they were no longer alone in the market, adjusted pricing, still charges a bit more but now their price is fair for the product.  Well in almost every instance.

For some reason they are still charging 45 dollars for the “Giant Size Short Hair” version the good news is you don’t need it, and it isn’t that much bigger than the Large Size anyway.  For some odd reason the long hair giant one is no where nears as expensive.

So how much is the large sized one now that I scared you with 45 bucks for a freaking dog brush?  Try this, $14.89 while similar knock offs like the Brandismo Groomer sell for just a couple dollars less at $12.97.  It is almost like the free market works or something crazy like that.

So why not just save the buck ninety two and buy the knock off, I mean a buck is a buck right?  Yes but the FURminator is better and more that two dollars so.  The first reason is unlike the knock offs the FURminator can be bought for short or long hair dogs.  You make that call this way, if your dogs majority of hair (specifically undercoat) is 2 inches or longer buy the long.

If it is shorter on average buy the short version. In my experience if you are borderline buy the long.  What you don’t want to do is use the long version on a truly short haired dog or it can irritate the skin.  Personally we have the giant long hair model (17 bucks) for Lucy and Max (she is only 50 pounds and he is about 150) and it works fine for both of them.  We have a large short hair model (like 10 bucks) for Charlie.  Unless your dog is really small the large size seems best all around to me.

The amount of hair this thing removes is unbelievable.  The image below is from a Amazon Customer’s Review.  It is not an exaggeration, trust me we find dog hair in birds nests around our farm when Dorothy bushes Max during his spring blow outs.

There are a variety of sizes you can select from Extra Small to Giant.  The price changes with options of short and long as size but everything is in the 10-17 dollar range except the short hair giant one which again is 45 bucks.  I think the people at FURminator still haven’t gotten the memo on that one!  The rest are just great and very good values for the price.

The other big advantage of FURminator over knock offs is the hair removal button.  You push it with your thumb and a mechanism pushes the hair out of the fine comb.  You still need to pull it out by hand but it makes getting the comb fully clear a lot easier.   And that is the key to getting the most out of brushing your pups with the FURminator, clean it out as you go often.

So if you have had enough of dog hair or cat hair, yes they work on cats too and even have a cat specific model (though I think it is just the small dog one in a different color, marketing and all you know), check out the FURminator today.  Keep in mind this is a product with 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 10,000 yea, 10 fricken thousand reviews on Amazon.  Add to that it has a A grade on Fakespot and it is hard to find a product more well loved by its customers.  Try it and you will understand why.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – This is a great video showing this product work.  The resolution is poor and the music is like really bad 70s porn or something but this is the best video with the most variety of dogs being brushed I could find, yea it really and I mean really is the best thing on the market.

Gaia Herbs Echinacea Goldenseal Propolis Throat Spray

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Gaia Herbs Echinacea Goldenseal Propolis Throat Spray.  I just used this product for the past week and I am more than a little impressed.

This spray is made of three main ingredients and all are immune boosting power houses.  Of course due to the dot gov I have to say the following.  First I am not a Doctor, I don’t even pretend to be one on TV, like say Dr. Oz does.  So anything I say in this review or at any time is only my personal opinion, not a prescription for the use of any products.  Any claims about what they do are based on credible sources with citations of said sources.  The claims are not my own.

DON’T YOU JUST LOVE THE GOVERNMENT’S CONCERN FOR YOU?

Anyway here are the three ingredients…

    • Echinacea – Has been shown in some studies to boost immune response, reduce the occurrence of the common cold and increase white blood cell count.  Source – The Lancet
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    • Goldenseal – Has been shown to have a number of immune enhancing effects in clinical studies. However, in relation to this product the most important component is likely that goldenseal contains, “phytochemical alkaloids that produce a powerful astringent effect on mucous membranes, reduce disease-causing inflammation and have antiseptic effects.”  Source – DrAxe.com
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    • Propolis – Propolis does has proven antibiotic and antiseptic properties and may also have antiviral and anti-inflammatory – Source DrWeil.com

I personally feel this product is best used as a preventative or at the very first signs of a head cold, throat problems etc.  My personal results were quite good, but my use was delayed far more than it should have been.  I had been dealing with symptoms for about four days before beginning using it, laryngitis as you know if you listen to the show had set in pretty hard, I was having trouble sleeping due to sinus drainage etc.

I had used a spray in the past that was mostly just echinacea which had worked well but I realized I was out of it and that it is no longer made.  So I found this option gave it a shot.  Echinacea is well known in the herbal world as an immune booster, as is goldenseal. Both are used often by herbalists and are well thought of.

What I really loved though was the addition of propolis, propolis is basically “bee glue”.  Bees make propolis to seal up any unwanted holes in their hives.  This is one reason it is an anti viral and anti biotic, it is simply evolution that bees came up with this as it helps protect their hives.

Here is what even WebMD has to say about propolis…

Propolis has a long history of medicinal use, dating back to 350 B.C., the time of Aristotle. Greeks have used propolis for abscesses; Assyrians have used it for healing wounds and tumors; and Egyptians have used it for mummification….

Propolis is used for canker sores and infections caused by bacteria (including tuberculosis), by viruses (including flu, H1N1 “swine” flu, and the common cold), by fungus, and by single-celled organisms called protozoans. Propolis is also used for cancer of the nose and throat; for boosting the immune system; and for treating gastrointestinal (GI) problems including Helicobacter pylori infection in peptic ulcer disease. Propolis is also used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

In short if it is good enough for Aristotle I figure it is good enough for me.  Anyway my results again were quite good, I got my voice back sooner than expected.  The bottle advises three sprays to the back of the throat each hour when you have a cold or throat problems, that is what I did.

I tend to deal with a lot of cold issues this time of year, the combination of the changing seasons, travel, large events, etc. seems to be a common theme in such things.  I plan to use this 2-3 times a day while well though this season this year and see how it works.

It seems like a natural preparedness item as it will store well and is made of three well known immune supporting components.  What about the taste though?  Well let me relate a story, one time I cam in from working though I had not worked that hard.  I told the wife I think I need a shower and she said as follows, “well you don’t smell bad, but you don’t smell good either”.  That is a perfect description of the taste, “the taste isn’t bad, but it ain’t good either”.  It does have a bit of heat to it, so that might make it harder to get kids to use.  It goes away fast though.

The burn is likely because this product is a herbal tincture meaning it is a concentrated herbal formula using alcohol, about 60% alcohol in this instance balanced by water.  The amount in a few sprays is insignificant in alcohol’s effects on the body but I did want to let you know that it has alcohol in it since some of you refrain from any and all uses of said same. 

Anyway Gaia Herbs Echinacea Goldenseal Propolis Throat Spray has found a home in my herbal tool kit and my winter regime.  Consider adding it to your home this year.  I think this one is going to be on par with Dr. Christopher’s Tissue and Bone for happy stories from the audience.  Yes it seems to be that good.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Outdoor Edge RB-20 Razor Blaze Knife – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Outdoor Edge RB-20 Razor Blaze Knife.  Man this thing is slick!  I picked on up right before my recent hunt and  I’m glad I did.  I was hunting with about 14 other people at a ranch in the Texas Hill Country and was surprised to see about half the people there with one version of other of this knife.

The premise is simple your blade is always razor sharp because when it gets dull, you toss it out and replace it with a new one, new blades cost about $1.60 each.  The blades are made with an inexpensive steel called 420 J2, which has poor edge retention but sharpens very easily and is extremely resistant to coronation and rust.   This steel until these knives came out had two primary uses.

  1.  It is used by many high end knife makers as liners, springs, etc in their folding knives, due to high corrosion resistance.
  2. It is used by many makers of surgical scalpels.  Generally scalpels must be incredibly sharp and are used one time in surgery and deposed of.  Inexpensive steel that stands up to harsh chemicals for sterilizing and gets incredibly sharp easily is perfect for this application.

Given the above I think 420 J2 is perfect for what Outdoor Edge is doing with this knife.  Let me tell you what everyone with one at this hunt had it primarily for, one thing, skinning.  I am big on not letting a knife get dull in the first place, using a good sharpening steel you can keep an edge for a very long time, if you are patient and keep touching it up.

However in the real world hunting makes a man tired, stuff slips and next thing you know it is 9PM, you haven’t had dinner yet, you have a half skinned deer or hog and dull ass knife.  In a word this SUCKS!  If someone said, here is a razor sharp blade for a buck 60 you can have right now, you’d hand him a 5 and tell him to keep the change!

While I didn’t charge the guy this did happen at this last hunt.  I met a really cool guy who had brought his God Son on a hunt with him.  The boy shot a beautiful Aoudad, really beautiful.  The man was really taking his time skinning this animal because it was going to be mounted.  I could tell that it was really important to him to do a good job.  I could also tell his knife was getting dull but noticed a Outdoor Edge Knife sitting on the ledge next to him.

When I asked him about it he said they were great but he forgot to get extra blades.  I asked if he wanted a blade for it and thought he was gonna stop and hug me he was so happy.  He finished up and we talked while he did.  Turns out this guy is the type that hunts all over the world, hunting is pretty much all he does.  He is retired very young, mid thirties.  He invented a stem cell technology that he sold to Cancer Treatment Centers of America and well, he is set for life.

He had just come back from Tajikistan from a sheep hunt that is considered one of the most challenging hunts in the world.  He has hunted in New Zealand, Australia, Russia, etc.  And yea for skinning he carries a 35 dollar knife with a disposable blade!  Why?  It works and it always works.

Just unlike him pick up a pack or two of extra blades!  They are only 9.99 with free shipping on prime.

Let me be clear, you can absolutely use this knife for anything you’d use any similar knife for.  It simply though screams out, use me for skinning, and that is why I have one.  Skinning is hard on an edge and you simply need a razor sharp knife to do it right.  With this you always have one.  Again I know how to sharpen knives and do a good job of it, but at 9:30 PM on a hunt, I want to be kicking back at the fire with a beer and belly full of deer heart off the gill, not sharpening a knife and looking at a half skinned animal.

So check out the Outdoor Edge RB-20 Razor Blaze Knife all the other hunters in camp that had them, loved them, and I think you will too.  I find the knife a great deal with 6 blades included for only $34.95.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – The other knife I considered for this use was a Havalon Piranta but I felt the blade shape just wasn’t enough like a “regular knife”.  The blades cost less for sure in fact about half the price but again they are not optimal in my personal view.

One gentleman in our camp had both the Outdoor Edge and the Havalon Piranta and said he preferred the Outdoor Edge for a few reasons.  One is the over all feel when cutting, related to the blade shape.  The other is that the blade is much easier to change in Outdoor Edge and you are likely to cut yourself changing the blade in the Piranta.

The thing he liked better about the Piranta is it is easier to clean.  I can seen in the design why this is so.  However when I got home, I just removed the blade from my knife, tossed the frame into the silverware thing on the dishwasher and it came out clean as new!  I personally prefer the Outdoor Edge but wanted to bring the Piranta to your attention because the long term cost is lower.  However how many big game animals do you skin in a year?

Nebo 6350 Larry Work Light – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Nebo 6350 Larry Work Light.  I have to say this is one of  the most unique ways I have ever come to learn about a product.

I received an email from a guy that said he found one of these up in a drop ceiling doing some work at a customers building.  Given it was long abandoned with dead batteries he took it home.  Found that it took 3 AAA batteries and popped a set in, his first thought were “man this thing is bright”, his second thought was I wonder how much they cost.  A simple web search led him to find this amazing little light is only about 8 bucks.  He then emailed me about it.

I ordered two, and now I will be ordering more.  This little thing is just slick, super light weight and fits in a shirt pocket easily enough.  The base is flat so it will stand up on any flat surface and the clip has a magnet so it will both stick to metal or you can hang it on anything convenient in the area.

Many years ago (like in the mid 90s) I did a lot of cabling work in buildings for computer systems, I can tell you exactly why this thing was up in a ceiling, it would be GOLDEN for work like that!

How bright is this thing, try 170 lumens with only three measly AAA batteries.  To really get how bright that is see the video below.

One note, for some reason the description of this light says it is made with aluminum and that the base is magnetic.  There are definitely errors there.  The body is a good quality plastic and the magnet is in the clip not the base.  I checked and there are other colors of this light on Amazon, there are also like 4 packs of various colors.  None of those listings have these errors.

So why am I linking to the one with errors?  First because I do believe it is an error not a deception.  I have learned that this light is very well known in the electronics and computer world so I doubt they are trying to trick anyone.

The bigger reason is because this one is the BEST PRICE I can find, that is why.  The price on this is 8.53 with free shipping.  All the other single listings are over 9 bucks.  So this is simply the best deal.

Well unless you want 4?  Pretty close to the same price but you can get a 4 pack in 4 different colors 32.99 with free shipping, which is 8.24  piece.  So the 4 pack would save you $1.13 on four.  Not huge but a buck is a buck and likely you are going to want 4 of these things, I think they should be in every tool box, tackle box, range box and glove box personally.

So whether you just want to pick up 1 or 2 for 8.53 a piece, or you want to get a 4 Pack for 32.99 check out the Nebo 6350 Larry Work Light, it deserves a place in your kit and on your homestead.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

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Litom 8 LED Solar Wireless Security Light – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Litom 8 LED Solar Wireless Security Lights.   I previously reviewed the 20 LED version and promised a follow up of its little brother.  Well here it is, these are excellent and very much a half sized version of the larger light, with one big difference.

The key difference is where as the 20 LED version is powered by a single 18650 Lithium Ion Battery the 8 LED version is powered by a single 14500 Lithium Ion Battery which has a capacity of 800mAh 3.7V.  Clearly running less light requires less battery so this makes sense.  In any even with the super efficiency of LEDs this is plenty of light.

Fully charged I got 8 hours out of them in steady on high mode.  They got though the night fully on low power mode and frankly I use them on motion sensor mode only, and that is the main thing I want out of them anyway and it makes the most sense to me.

As previously mentioned I ordered 4 of them and put them around my duck pen on the fence on the western side where we had most issues with predators approaching.  The entire east side is covered by the 20 LED version for our benefit during evening and night visits.

I have now had them working for about two weeks and no issues.  They will definitely deter predators as none like light suddenly on them.  They also paid off a few days ago when my young farm hand screwed up one of his tasks (yet again) and grounded out our electric fence wires.  The lights made the fault easy to find and even easier to correct.

Since the first time I reviewed these lights I have installed 4 more of them around my garden pond, I have them set to full power mode and always on once darkness comes.  They do a fantastic job of setting a great mood at the pond and attract bugs for the fish to eat.  I have been outside as late as 4am and noticed they were still on.  So far with 12 deployed only one has had its battery go bad, which is impressive for no name batteries.

The other difference is the price, as they are smaller they cost less.  Where as the 20 LED ones are 34.99 for a two pack the smaller 8 LED model is 39.99 for a four pack, just a bit over half the price.  They are also available in units of one if you only need one or two.

They both work exactly the same with three modes…

  1.  Steady On Dim – The lights come on at dark at about half power (200ish lumens), they will last 6-8 hours of steady on before draining the batteries.  Of course as a solar light that will be based on how well they charge the day before.  In this setting they are plenty bright to see where you are going.  They also switch to bight mode when they sense motion.
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  2. Steady On Bright – The lights come on at dark at full power (440 lumens), they will last 4-6 hours of steady on before draining the batteries.  Of course once again as a solar light that will be based on how well they charge the day before.  In this setting they are very bright for a solar powered light.
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  3. Motion Sensor Mode – The lights will charge during the day and come on at night when they detect motion.  The manufacturer says they will detect motion up to 26 feet away.  My testing confirms this, of course how high you mount them, what is in the way, etc. will effect this distance.  This is my preferred mode and with the power the batteries hold you will never have a dead light unless the batteries have given up the ghost and need replacing.

So which is right for your needs.  Well the little ones are damn bright but the light only carries so far.  They are best for areas where you just need to see what is going on, or for use as security and predator protection devices.

The 20 LED models are as you would expect twice as bright, so I have one at our front gate to the property, and one at the front of the house.  And two by the pool to light that area and the area at the main gate to the duck pen.  The 8 LEDs would be fine in the second area but for our gate and where we unload our vehicles I would stick to the 20s.

Litom also makes a huge 54 LED Model that I am sure is very bright and based on their other products I am sure it works well, it just seems a bit of an eyesore in the day time to me?  But if you need a lot of light check it out.

Otherwise if you just want to light up some areas with motion lights and want maximum bang for your buck with out sacrificing quality check out the Litom 8 LED Solar Wireless Security Lights today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

The American Boy’s Handy Book: What to Do and How to Do It – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the book, The American Boy’s Handy Book: What to Do and How to Do It.  This book was published first in 1882 and of course that is long before the days of every kid getting a trophy and wrapping a child in bubble wrap before he could ride on a swing.

In other words it is about the real world and the real things that real boys like to do especially in the out doors.  Translation the Politically Correct and the Safety Police will loose their minds over it, that alone means it should be on your book shelf and in your kids hands.

I first leaned about this book many years ago, I would say about 1997 from my late friend named Kurt Knothnagle whom I worked at Lockheed with.  He actually had a very worn but quite readable original copy.  I was fascinated by it and tried to buy it off him but he had no interest in selling it.

Later I learned that this book had become a public domain book no longer protected by copyright it was released as a reprint.  I of course picked up a copy as soon as I learned it was available.

This book is both cool for the things it explains how to do like making a sling bow with a sapling and shooting it more like a spear gun than say a typical bow.  What is more interesting to me is the attitude people had at the time.  We are talking about a book that teaches kids to make hot air balloons using real fire for instance or how to trap an animal, kill it and mount it with taxidermy and apparently everyone was okay with it.

I really recommend this book to read with your boys and frankly your girls too, though there is also a book called, “The American Girls Handy Book” which I haven’t read but will be getting a copy for my granddaughter as she grows up.

So if you have kids in your life be they your own children, your grand kids, nephews, nieces etc, consider getting The American Boys Handy Book and spending time reading it and helping them actually pull off a few of the projects in it.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – DO NOT BUY THE KINDLE VERSION OF THIS BOOK.  It apparently has horrible formatting problems.  If you read the negative reviews you will see they all focus on this issue rather than the content of the book.

 

Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator.   There are a lot of options from Excalibur but I am going to confine my recommendations to just two models.  Those are the…

So what is the difference between the two.  Mainly that the heater, the thermostat and the fan are all a bit more beefed up in the 3900 and the 3900 comes with a 10 year warranty vs. the 2900s 5 year warranty.  Given the two are only about 60 bucks apart in price, you might think I would just say “buy the better one” but it isn’t so simple with this decision.

Personally I do own a 3900 but something changed in it since I bought mine.  The temp range of the 2900 is 95-155 degrees and the 3900 is now 105-165 degrees.  My older model 3900 ran 95-165, I am not sure why they made this change.  But here is my rule on dehydration, dehydrate as LOW as you can to get the job done.

So I now tend toward recommending the 2900 and saving the money but let me tell you the difference so you can make up your own mind.  Basically in addition to the warranty being 5 years longer, the main differences are as follows…

The 3900 has a “better”…

  • Heating element
  • Fan
  • Thermostat

Better in that they are higher rated and have a longer MTBF specification.  What is MTBF you ask?  Well, that is “mean time between failures”, meaning if you run them non stop the ones with higher MTBFs will last longer on average over time.  Here is the deal though, how often does the average person use a dehydrator?

Some people use them every week or multiple times a week, if this is you, I would recommend the 3900.  Most people, such as myself use them say 10-15 times a year, if that is you, I recommend pocketing the 60 bucks, getting the lower cost model and having the ability to dehydrate at 95 degrees.

What about the fact that the 3900 can go up to 165 degrees you say?  This point is irrelevant in my opinion, as there is NEVER any reason EVER to dehydrate anything at 165 degrees, EVER and yes that includes jerky.  Dehydration is dehydration, not cooking!  I recommend making jerky at about 130-140 degrees.

Again dehydration is dehydration, not cooking.

So here is my logic on this with the lower cost item.  First for the next 5 years, if anything does break Excalibur will replace it anyway.  All these parts are easy to swap out, if you can work a screw driver you can do it.  And if say in year six, your thermostat takes a dump, you can buy one for 30 bucks and replace it and still be 30 dollars ahead, IF it even fails.  Again if you use your dehydrator 10-20 times a year, it likely won’t.

In the end though if you are someone who is going to say, run a small business making beef jerky from your home, well, I would go with the unit with the 10 year warranty.  Personally though I do prefer to dehydrate vegetables at as low a temperature as possible.  So if I didn’t own one already and was buying for the first time today, I would buy the lower cost item.

Regardless though of which you buy, let me say this, in dehydrators at the consumer level, there is Excalibur and there is everyone else!  In my honest opinion frankly no one else even comes close!

I tend to be far away from being a “brand snob” I mean everyone knows I love Dewalt tools for instance but I will still recommend brands like Rigid and Porter Cable in some instances.  However when it comes to Excalibur they are so much better than any competitor there is simply no good reason to buy anything else.

Lastly, I know some will ask about some of the higher priced Excaliburs, my answer is buy what you want but I would not go above the 3900B for any reason.  Yea it is cute that for instance you can get a clear door, but I am not paying for that, it doesn’t do anything useful at all, if you want to see inside take the damn door off.  Watching a tomato dry isn’t actually exciting enough to gaze at for more than 30 seconds.

As for the model with a timer, no way in hell I am shelling out more than 90 dollars over the 2900ECB for a timer when I can get a Century 12 Hour Mechanical Countdown Timer for fricken 12 bucks!  A timer which can be used for other things by the way, then just my dehydrator.

A final word on dehydration for the homesteader.  Dehydration is a great way to go over say canning for a lot of gardeners.  Lets look at say tomatoes for instance.  How do you dehydrate a tomato?  Slice it, put it on a tray, stick it in the dehydrator for 6-12 hours and you are done.  Now many home gardeners end up with say a dozen or so extra tomatoes a week or every 2-3 weeks, are you going to can 12 tomatoes?  Does that make any sense?

As to longevity, I have not canned a jalapeno in over 6 years, why you ask.  Well because 6 years ago we had pepper harvest like this one, several of them.  Dorothy and I spent the better part of a week slicing and drying jalapenos, and we still have several jars of them left!  They seem just as good as the day I put them in the jar.

So if you are in the market for a dehydrator, I recommend choosing between these two based on your needs and either way you will not be let down…

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Many vegetables like peppers and tomatoes can simply be sliced and put into your dehydrator, others require blanching which is a short duration steaming them or boiling them.  If you are new to dehydrating I recommend Tammy Gangloff’s YouTube channel called Dehydrate2Store.  She stopped posting videos about 3 years ago but it is still the best how to dehydrate resource on the internet in my view, akin to a free ecourse in it.  Tammy also appeared on TSP all the way back in 2010 on Episode 367, so you may want to give that a listen.

P.S.S. – Want a great use for your dehydrated veggies, take some like say tomato, sweet pepper, a bit of hot pepper and spinach, toss them in your trusty Coffee/Spice grinder, make up some Yogurt Cheese with this powder mixed in, it is amazing and a tip I picked up from my buddy David last year.  And hey for a final note you can actually use your dehydrator to make yogurt!

Starwest Botanicals Organic Lemongrass – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Starwest Botanicals Organic Lemongrass.  This stuff is a key ingredient in my “Jacks Morning Blend Tea” which you can find outlined below.

I decided to list it as an item of the day today though because something different all be it similar is in my tea cup on my desk today as I type this.  Today I looked into my last jar of Jack’s Morning Blend and sighed as there was but a bit of dust in the bottom.  Same as the day before!  Yesterday I just went out an grabbed a handful of mint from the garden for tea.

Today I stopped piking and went upstairs to make a new batch, and realized strait away I piked out also on ordering new herbs!  Very little mint, some chamomile, bit of lemon balm, decent amount of green tea and a ton of lemon grass is what I had to work with.  So I scrapped the mint and lemon balm and changed the ratio.

I came up with what I am now calling “Lemongrass 321 Tea”  Simply 321 is for a 3-2-1 ratio of three ingredients.  Here is how you make it, all parts measured by volume, not weight.

Jack’s Lemongrass 321 Tea

This may seem way similar but it is totally different and far beyond simply removing the mint and lemon balm.  First the star of the show is now the Lemon Grass, moved to first chair violin position it dominates the blend.  With a wonderful lemony taste and a grassy for lack of a better work character.

The Green Tea is in second chair now, bringing tannin and balance and a bit of caffeine to the party.  Everything is rounded out by the buttery finish of the Chamomile, which is about the only thing really similar to the original morning blend.  This is another one of those teas you have got to try.

Note that  you could substitute blackberry leave in the above 321 blend as well to go caffeine free but I have yet to try that.  Personally I think it would be good but not as close a substitute as the morning blend because the green tea in this plays a much bigger role in things.  For those that want the original morning blend recipe here is that one as well.

Jacks Morning Blend – Nine Mile Farms Tea

Let me tell you though why when there are so many options I choose Starwest Botanicals Organic Lemongrass over other brands.  It as always comes down to quality and value.  First at under 16 dollars a pound it is cost competitive with anything out there including many non organic options.

The big thing to me though is the product itself.  I have tried a lot of lemon grass that is supposed to be “cut and sifted” that looks a lot more like the siftings than the cuttings!  Not this stuff it is large and in charge, cut to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces with almost no dust at all, not even in the bottom of the bag!

And folks a pound of lemon grass is a LOT of lemon grass, and this stuff does make a great tea all by itself by the way.  Don’t get me started on the packs of dust sold as “lemon grass tea” for 3-4 times the cost of buying this in bulk.  Not to mention that ground up powdery crap clogs up infusers and french presses and ends up with a bunch of it in your final product as well.

I like this so much right now I am working on a formula for a Lemon Grass Ginger Mead, but that recipe will come down the road and likely make use of some orange and lemon zest.  In any even check out Starwest Botanicals Organic Lemongrass today, I think you and your family will really enjoy it.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

Easy Weight – Fermentation Weights – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day are Easy Weight – Fermentation Weights.  I really like these things, though I have yet to order them.  They started turning up in my sales reports and I have done enough research to recommend them.

Frankly the idea is so simple that it really doesn’t seem much could go wrong with it.  In the past I have reviewed many products for fermenting in jars including the FermentEm 8-Piece Fermenting Kit and the Masontops Complete Mason Jar Fermentation Kit.  Both are great products that let you ferment with standard mason jars.  The MasonTops product also offers what they call pebbles, small round glass weights to hold your ferment under the brine, I have them, I really like them, but I don’t love them.

Why do I like them but not love them?  Well, they are smooth and a bit hard to put in nice and level and a bit of a pain to remove as well, as they do fit so perfectly.

Frankly I think I am going to love the Easy Weight – Fermentation Weights because they offer the function of the pebbles with the added feature of something as rudimentary as a handle.  This idea is so simple you wonder why someone didn’t do it sooner.

When you are fermenting the biggest rule to follow is “keep it under the brine and everything will be fine”.  These guys let you do that and make it convenient too.  At 21.99 per four they are quite affordable at about 5.50 a piece.  Do note they only come in one size, wide mouth mason jars.  Frankly I don’t use anything but wide mouth jars for fermentation anyway, so check out Easy Weight – Fermentation Weights today and make your fermentations even better than they already are.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.