Year of Firsts: Lazy

Hello Friends. I  haven’t forgotten about you and I hope you haven’t forgotten about me. This is a long post and mostly because I have been lazy. Shame on me. Here it goes…

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5/5 Stars. Would drink again.

July 19thimg_51551img_51531 Found these gems. I’m not sure if I would buy it again, but it was delightful. I’d certainly recommend you giving it a try if you find them in stores.

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I love mochi and admittedly picked these up bc they’re cute, but I have to say I was a little disappointed. They weren’t very pink and the strawberry flavour was lacking.

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First time taking a Snapchat selfie.

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Went into Wawa for an iced coffee and this is the first time I have been left confused by a coffee machine. How does this thing work? There were no buttons or tabs or anything. There were nozzles for the coffee to come out but no way of getting the coffee out. Help!

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First time trying watermelon flavoured frozen yoghurt. It had a very Italian ices texture to it. Totally worth it.

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Didn’t even know lavender melon was an option.

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I’m not too sure how to feel about these. The first few taste kind of funny. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but then my tastebuds got used to it.

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It’s the season for watermelon flavoured everything and I’m not complaining.

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Who knew you could buy banana bread without walnuts? I like it more with walnuts but this was still pretty tasty.

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I love kombucha and love this new green flavour I found at Trader Joe’s.

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This was a massive disappointment. I followed the directions exactly. The cookie part didn’t spread out so well. The brownie part was super thin. The flavour was lacking. It didn’t taste good and it smelled weird while baking. Strong pass.

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I didn’t realize how much I loved peanut butter filled pretzels until now.

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I know that juices and smoothies are packed with sugar and while this is nice to have as a treat, this sugar content is insane!

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This is one of those things that end up in your house but no one is quite sure how it got there. Not my cup of tea, let’s say.

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Eurotart is officially my favourite frozen yoghurt flavour ever.

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This is the first time that I’ve been in a public restroom that has an enforced time limit. The world is crazy.

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This is the first time I’ve knowingly committed a fashion crime. Socks and sandals! I know, I know, it goes against everything I believe in. I have an excuse, but it’s not a good one. I was on a train and their compression socks and it was a long ride and my toes were cold and… I’m sorry.

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I’ve officially watched all the Leprechaun films. They’re quite special.

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This is the first time I’ve gotten words of encouragement from money. Thanks, I think.

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Whole Foods really missed the mark on this. First, the burrito was mostly rice and second, whoever cooked this batch of rice has clearly never made rice before. The rice was not cooked and was rock solid.

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First time having Easter chocolate this late in the year. It’s still ok, right?

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First time visiting the Bridgewater Mall. They have this Lolli & Pops store. It’s candy heaven.

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This is the first time tracking my cell phone screen time. Interesting findings.

 

Well, that’s all for now. Until next time…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

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Year of Firsts: So Behind

I have been away from my Year of Firsts updates for so long. Just because I haven’t been updating doesn’t mean that I broke my New Year’s Resolution. Recap for those of you who haven’t been here, I made a NYE Resolution to have one new experience a day for the entire of 2018. No matter how big or small the experience, it all still counts.

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I’m going to jump right into it and hopefully catch you up to where I am now while explaining why I’ve been away.

February 5th-

As some of you may know, I was diagnosed with a sizeable yet benign myofibroma in the roof of my mouth. It was an active tumour and was growing. It was eating away at my bone and am told that I was close to developing a fistula, as it was growing into my nose. February 5th was my surgery date. I was so nervous. I’ve had surgery before, but nothing this extreme. Moments before the operation, I was in a room with medical staff running here and there. It was super busy and others were getting surgery and it’s hectic. So hectic that it contributed to my anxiety. My blood pressure was through the roof, so they opted to give me some Valium before the surgery to chill me out. It was weird. I felt that drug hit me within minutes, it was administered via IV so that’s not surprising. But still, I felt like a drunk person. It was so weird.  I remember being wheeled into the operating room and there was an entire wall of shelves with what I imagine was supplies. After they put me on the bed, I don’t remember anything. I was out. Next thing I knew, the anaesthesia was wearing off and they were preparing to take me out of the operating room. They had these blood pressure sleeves on my calves and as they were taking them off, I told them, “No leave them on, It feels like a massage.” Everyone laughed. For next couple of hours, I felt in and out of consciousness, I guess. Strangely though, by the time it was for me to get home, I really felt good enough to drive myself home. I don’t know if it was the morphine or what, but I didn’t feel pain. I wasn’t dizzy. I just felt pretty normal. When I got home, I was normal. I was sitting around and talking as though nothing happened. The only thing that was really different was that I have a huge chunk of my head missing, mostly in the maxilla region and that meant I couldn’t eat.

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February 6th-

Which brings me to the 6th. Sleeping was kind of tough and the pain was manageable at this point. But what was the most interesting as it was my first time being on a strictly liquid diet. Before surgery, I had prepped by buying a lot of meal replacement drinks, protein drinks, juices, Gatorade, Pedialyte, etc. They only foods I could have were yoghurt and ice cream.  So I had tons of that around. I don’t want to jinx it, but I thought that I’d get really hungry not being able to eat, but I have to say these meal replacement drinks work. The weird thing was that my mouth was starting to miss the actual physical action of chewing.

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February 7th-

Now, this First was not happy. This is the day where the pain and shock really set it. I don’t know if maybe the anaesthesia and morphine took a while to wear off and maybe the whole experience didn’t feel so real, so now is when it all became real. I can’t even explain to you the pain. Putting anything in my mouth, including water was so painful. So the 7th was the day that I got serious about keeping track of my meds to ensure I don’t miss a dose. But the sort of fun part of that was that I had ice cream all day. I’ve never done that before. A whole day of ice cream. So good!

February 8th-

The 8th was when the boredom really started to set in. I became really familiar with the app store and started downloading apps like crazy. Most of the apps I tried were pretty thumbs down. But it gave me something to do. It was the first time I tried a role-playing game. I didn’t really get too into it. The storyline I was given was bland, but I imagine there are better ones out there. I’m open to suggestions.

February 9th-

Because I’m still on the liquid diet lifestyle, I had someone make a trip to Arlee’s and pick me up some green juice. Up until now, most of my liquids have been on the sweeter side, so I needed something green to break up all that sugar. Good stuff. It burned a little, but what doesn’t burn my mouth at this point?

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February 10th-

Our house has been kettleless, since the last relatively new kettle we bought, was forgotten on the lit stove and burnt to a crisp. So now we get to try and have tea from a ceramic kettle. I’ve never had a ceramic kettle before.

February 11th-

I was introduced to clove tea for the first time. I’ve had cloves in many other ways, in cooking and in my toothpaste, but never on its own as a tea. It was miraculous in my mouth. With a little honey, I drank the cup in no time. It had the power to numb my entire mouth. I felt no pain. It was beautiful!

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February 12th-

Even though I’m supposed to be on a liquid diet, I started craving food. Not out of hunger, but out of the desire to chew something. I thought about it and decided maybe a frittata was a good way to eat something, but have it be soft enough. Let me tell you, it is tough to eat without the roof of your mouth. I have no hard palate, so the food falls into this grand canyon that exists in my mouth. And when that bite of food finally met the bottom of the canyon, man, it hurt. I figured it was worth a try though.

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February 13th-

Since my tumour removal was in my hard palate and nose and that whole area in between, the tumour had also grown into my bones and around my teeth. That being said, after removing the tumour, the doctor warned me that my teeth were going to be super sensitive. Oh my God, was he right. I felt like my teeth were and still are pounding all the time. ALL THE TIME. That being said, brushing my teeth is super tough. Sometimes I have to put some Orajel on my teeth just so I could brush them. Even then, commercial toothpaste was way too harsh on my wounds. Because my surgery was done through my hard palate, there were no stitches because there was nothing to stitch it too, so my entire wound/incision was cauterized. That being, my entire mouth was burnt. Imagine putting your regular everyday toothpaste on a burn. You wouldn’t. So I did some research and found this natural toothpaste. It seems to clean my teeth well without irritating my wound.

February 14th-

Singles Awareness Day, one of my favourite days of the year. It’s the day I buy myself a gift and tell myself how incredibly amazing I am. LOL. Because I’m amazing, I thought I’d give another go at eating. Tried out these broccoli-cheese tots. Their gooey texture made it a bit easier for my mouth to handle. Everything still gets lost in there and I felt a bit icky eating the entire tray, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t so bad.

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February 15th-

I went to a follow-up appointment with my surgeon. He said things were looking good. Knock on wood. Thank God. Don’t jinx me, please. At this point, I was in way too much pain. I hadn’t been able to drink water for over 12 hours. I thought maybe I had pushed my mouth too far the day before by trying to eat because my mouth was so irritated. to my dismay, when I asked the doctor when things will start to feel better, he said they really won’t. And by that, he continued to say that it will take 3-6 months to fully heal, but in the meantime, it is going to hurt and it is going to be very painful. What really got me upset was when I asked why the pain was getting worse and not better, he told me that there will be no consistency. Some days will be good, other days will be bad. It’s not like any other type of surgery where with time things get better. It’s very possible things could get progressively worse. And that my friends is a serious bummer. In the meantime, he gave me this thing called Magic Mouthwash. You read correctly. Magic Mouthwash. Coincidentally, or maybe not coincidentally, my insurance doesn’t cover this mouthwash “because it’s a compound.” I don’t even know what that means or what that has to to with me. It costs $50, so I had to make some phone calls and ask for money for others, which I HATE to do. I’m unemployed and certainly didn’t plan on getting ill in this way. It’s absurd that insurance doesn’t cover it. Anyways, this Magic Mouthwash is supposed to be magic. It’s typically used for cancer patients that experience mouth sores due to radiation. It’s made up of Maalox, Benadryl, Lidocaine, antacid, antihistamine and anaesthetic. It really was like magic. I’d just swish it in my mouth and my entire mouth was numb. It was a miracle. The prescription says I can only use it four times a day, but I really wish I could use it every second of the day.

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February 16th-

This day’s First was scary. Super scary. I was in bed after getting ready for bed. It must have been around 11 PM. I tasted something super salty in my mouth and had no idea what it was. I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. My mouth was full of dark blood. When I spit, I spit out nasty and huge blood clots. The clots I assume were responsible for my cauterised mouth. I rinsed my mouth with water and didn’t think much of it. The doctor said there would be blood, maybe this is what he meant. A couple of hours later, I felt that salty taste in my mouth again. I went to the bathroom and was bleeding from my mouth, much like a bloody nose, but from my mouth. Because of where the blood was coming from in my mouth, putting pressure on it with just my mouth wasn’t working. So I got an ice cold glass of water and kept the water in my mouth as long as I could and then would spit out. Put the water in my mouth again, spit out. Again and again and again until I got the blood to stop. I didn’t know what else to do or what I was supposed to do, so I went back to bed. A couple of hours later [again] I felt the salty taste in my mouth again. This time was different because, by the time I got to the bathroom, the blood was pouring out of me. I looked like a Carrie doomsday horror movie vampire fountain. Blood was shooting out of me as though I turned on a sink faucet on high. It was scary. I started to shake and felt so weak. I had some gauze and put it in my mouth, trying to put pressure on it with my tongue. In less than 10 minutes, I went through more than 10 pieces of gauze. The gauze wasn’t just soaked, it was swimming in a pool of blood. It was crazy. I went to the ER, it took more than a half hour to stop the blood. At the ER they applied some lidocaine and epinephrine to my mouth. Apparently, epinephrine acts as some sort of vascular restrictor? Or so the physician’s assistant told me. By the time I was discharged and got home, It was around 6 am. I got in bed and hoped that nothing like this will happen again. Positive vibes everyone. Positive vibes.

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Until tomorrow…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

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Year of Firsts: Table Cough

Thursday’s First was hyped up in my mind. I wanted it to be elaborate. I wanted to leave with a finished product. I wanted to leave accomplished.

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Thursday’s First was my first time at How To Clinic at the Home Depot. It was supposed to be part of the Do-It-Herself series in which women teach other women to build things. This months clinic was Hot to build a Stacked Tote Tower.

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I had seen pictures online of these workshops being well attended and kind of a big deal, but as I stepped inside the Home Depot to ask a couple of workers where the clinic was, they just threw up their hands and said, “It’s here.” img_2419.jpg

I WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT SHOWED UP! The only one! And the two guys teaching me how to build this table had only found out about their having to teach the workshop moments before I arrived.

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The event was marketed differently than it turned out. There was supposed to be hands-on experience and such, but what I really got were these two sweet older men, possibly grandpas, trying to talk me through the directions on the handouts.

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As I started asking them questions, they then realized that some of the blueprints were off and that the guys who built it in the lumber department had taken a few shortcuts. The table really was pretty and I could kick myself for not taking a pic of it. I definitely want to make one now.

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It wasn’t that big of a deal. I tried. It was nice. I left motivated and the people were cool. If only I had space, I’d start buying up power tools and building all sorts of tables.

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Next month’s clinic is about how to build a spice rack, I’m not sure that’s my deal, but who knows how I’ll feel in a month.

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Friday’s First was so simple and so satisfying.

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I’ve had this cough. This stubborn, persistent cough that makes me want to stick my hand down my throat to personally remove this little bugger from my life.

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Now, I’m not doctor or nutritionist, but I do read lots of health-related sites, pins, books etc. I decided to come up with my own cough remedy concoction. And I think I may be onto something because my cough cleared up almost immediately. It did come back later on in the day when I made the drink again and bam- Miracle! Cough Gone. I don’t want to jinx it, but sharing is caring. Here’s my little experiment:

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Ingredients-

1/2 glass water

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!/2 glass organic no sugar added pure pineapple juice

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1 tablespoon lemon juice

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1 tablespoon honey

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1 tablespoon black seed oil

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1 tablespoon raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the mother

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Mix it up real good and down that baby. I like the way it tastes, but admit it is an acquired taste and maybe not for everyone.

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This drink may not be for everybody and you should definitely check in with your doctor if you have a persistent cough.

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I wish you all well.

Until Tomorrow…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

Getting Started In Hydroponics: Expert Tips, Plans & Secrets

Click Here!

HYDROPONICS HOW TO

If you’ve got 5 minutes
a day, you can have juicy tomatoes the size
of softballs…
without weeding!
girl holding hydroponic tomatoes

You’ve heard how fast plants grow in a hydroponics system. You’ve heard about the huge harvests. Once you have it set up you will only need to spend a small amount of time per day monitoring the plants.

Discover shortcuts that will help you build a hydroponics setup quickly and easily… and cheaply.

Hydroponics is NOT complicated once you understand how to get started. There are five types of hydroponics systems, and this ebook will show you why matching the right system to your situation can save you a lot of frustration.

   What’s the difference between hydroponics
and an ordinary garden?

“Hydroponics how to”
Plants grown in hydroponics have their roots in a clean neutral media such as clay balls or perlite, instead of dirt. A nutrient solution is circulated to the roots via a pump or wick action.

The plants don’t have to waste energy developing a large root system because the food is delivered right to the roots. Since it no longer has to search for its food, the plant’s growth and energy are redirected to lush foliage and abundant flowers and fruit.

mixed lettuces, day 9
lettuce, day 14
hydroponic lettuce, day 23
Mixed lettuces,
Day 9
Day 14 Day 23


My name is Stella. I have 13 years experience with hydroponics, and a little later I will explain my bizarre introduction to this easy way to grow plants. But first…

If you are thinking about getting involved with hydroponics you need to answer these three questions:

1. How are you going to build it?

2. Is there going to be enough space and light?

3. How are you going to maintain it?

 

   Hydroponics How To:
Choosing the right system is the 1st step

combination hydroponics system


Before you start gluing pipe together shouldn’t you decide which system is best for you?

This e-book will take you on a journey, almost like going down a garden path, and help match the right system to your situation.

 


In this comprehensive gardening e-book, you’ll discover…
getting started in hydroponics e-book
  • The quickest, easiest hydroponics system to build. You can get started in hours rather than days and the system is built from common materials so you can save money.
  • 5 ways you can get started in hydroponics on a pauper’s budget. You don’t have to get the most complex system to get incredible results. There are 2 plans that can be built out of common materials you may already have. You can get the rest at Home Depot.
beans taking over Hydro system
  • Which crops to grow and which to stay away from. You can grow just about anything with hydroponics, but some plants will take over, stealing light and space from smaller plants. Here you’ll learn which plants are the smartest, easiest… and tastiest.
  • A Forbidden Hideaway. The last chapter in the book shows you how to create a space in your home to grow plants that nobody will know about. To the outside world you are an ordinary neighbor. But inside “the Grow Box” a different world exists that makes plants grow like crazy.*And don’t miss the bonus secret to supercharging your grow box with CO2.

     

Reach for the light!

   Hydroponics How To:
So what’s the big deal about lighting?

Give your plants the right amount of space and light and they will grow right before your eyes.
HID lamp necessary for hydroponics

Obviously, you know that plants need light to thrive, but don’t you want a lighting system that will fit your situation and fit your budget? There are a number of different ways to get the right amount of light to your plants.

This e-book will show you where the deals are and also what to watch out for. Lighting can be the single greatest expense… and a critical component.

hydroponics thrive under HID lamp
  • Too broke to buy lights? How to get around this roadblock. Hydroponic systems do better in a temperature controlled environment, but there is a way to use hydroponics on the patio- if you will obey this one cardinal rule.
  • The crazy way to get full spectrum lighting. Not only will you save money but your plants will have the closest thing to the sun. Your plants will think the house they live in is actually the Imperial Valley. You will get unbelievable yields- at a fraction of the price.
  • Plants are all the same and have the same requirements. Right? Wrong! If you are only growing lettuce, you may not even need artificial lighting.On the other hand, if you want to grow tomatoes or anything that is going to have flowering buds, then you must provide the necessary amount of light and nutrients so the plants will have plenty of buds or fruit.
lettuce lightbulb

  Hydroponics How To:
I’m a little lazy… how much work is involved?

 

Certainly you knew you would have to do something to keep the plants going. If there were shortcuts that would make maintenance so much easier, would you use them? There are two main things to monitor to ensure a huge harvest.

hydroponic maintenance

Our “Hydroponics how to”
insider secrets include…

ugly bug
  • What you must do to avoid getting eaten alive! Believe it or not, bugs can wreak havoc, even in a spare bedroom. Chapter 14 shows you the easiest methods for keeping them away from your crops.
  • Why organic fertilizers can stunt plant growth. Doesn’t make sense, does it? The trouble with organic fertilizers is they can be wildly inconsistent. If you are eager to use organic, wait till you are a little more experienced. The book will tell you the most potent fertilizer to buy… and where to get it.
beautiful lettuce raft
  • How you can pack “extra wallop” into a lettuce growing season by using hydroponics. Once you learn this trick your family will never be late for dinner again. Chapter 5 has tips to keep the veggies coming one after another, month after month.
  • The magic numbers. Plants will grow best when the temperature is between 65°-78°. If you can keep your plants in this zone, you will have a mind-blowing bounty you can share with friends. The book shows you where heat comes from- and how to get rid of it.


Do you remember your first garden?

Remember how hopeful you were? You prepared the ground, planted the seed, maybe put on a little fertilizer. After a few days the little sprout popped up out of the ground.

What a thrill!

sprouting seed

This ebook is like a seed. It is a different kind of seed. Instead of a tiny speck, it is a plan.

The first step to a hydroponic setup is getting
the know-how and a good set of plans.

By getting this book you will be planting a seed. And enjoying a bountiful harvest.

   Hydroponics How To:
Here’s what you’ll get in this giant e-book:

  • The entire original Hydroponics-Simplified website in PDF form
  • Complete plans for 5 hydroponic mini gardens
  • Detailed instructions for the 5 most user-friendly yet prolific full-sized hydroponics systems we know
  • How to build our original Growbox-Bubbler Unit combo
  • Bonuses, including maintenance schedules, mixing chart, CO2 supplementation, equipment lists and resources- Read all about the cool bonuses at the end of the page.
Getting Started  In Hydroponics


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

1.    Introduction……………………………………3

2.    What is Hydroponics………………………6

   Knowledge is power!

3.    Advantages & Disadvantages…………8

4.    What to grow…………………………………14

5.    Climate requirements……………………24

6.    4 Simple Systems……………………………41

This chapter will get you started fast… and cheaply

7.    Mini Farms………………………………………44

8.    U-Build-It (Full-scale farms)…………52

If you want huge yields..these farms can deliver

9.    Growing Media………………………………57

10.   Hydroponic Solution………………………63

11.   Lighting…………………………………………72

12.   Seeds & Seedlings…………………………80

13.   Plants & Produce……………………………86

14.   Pests & Plagues………………………………94

15.   Troubleshooting ……………………………109

16.   Cheap Supplies/ Contact Us…………114

This chapter will pay for the ebook many times over

17.   MINI FARM PLANS……………………… 115

18.   FULL SIZE PLANS………………………170

19.   GROW BOX & BUBBLER UNIT ………263

    Put this hydroponic farm in a closet!

 

 

“Grab Your Copy Now!”

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