Tobacco seeds from Plantation House
 

Newsletter - Summer 2002

What's different in 2002 to 2001

Well what's new in the world of smokers? It's still anti social in the non smoking circles. Reformed smokers tell us how bad smoking is for us, or is bad for them. The temptation must be agony. Anyway, I've got some other news for you, so read on.

Are Governments trying to stop us from enjoying cheap smokes?
Dating your tobacco - a flaw in Government logic
Tobacco Duty - are home growers being treated unfairly?
Plantation House is growing - we are now the largest tobacco seed retailer on the Internet!
Tobacco Forums - join in the chat on our new tobacco forums
What membership fees? - we don't have membership fees, so why do others?
Pelleted Seeds - are they worth it?
Curing Tobacco - should you cure it? We say yes
Climate - our seeds are growing in extreme conditions

Are world governments closing in on the home grower?

It would seem that the ranks are closing in on sites promoting home grown tobacco. How are they doing it? Well introducing tax on the home grower, or regulating the volume of tobacco grown, or in the case of Australia banning any tobacco website selling seeds. I believe Canada has followed suit with advertisers on the web, if the USA and UK follow there example, then this site could end up being based in Timbuktu.

Who is behind this new legislation? My guess is the tobacco manufacturers, followed swiftly by greedy governments whose economy depends on the taxes raised from the smoker. It's ironic that the incredible pressure of modern life is the cause of most of us to smoke, and therefore a guaranteed means of income for governments to pay for those fatcat bureaucrats whom we elected.

You are left with two other options to wind down after a days graft, drink and drugs. Now drink is great if you're not driving and your liver is made of cast iron. After all it provides revenue to pay for millions world-wide to push paper, and we wouldn't like to see them unemployed would we. Now to drugs, I must say I am anti any stimulant, so drugs for me are limited to Nicotiana Tobacum, or smoking to some of you. However it is just a matter of time before other drugs are released on the market, it is only the means of taxing it that holds governments back.

How to date home grown tobacco

This is a great one. As governments start to impose duty on the homegrower, who is to say the tobacco you are smoking was not grown 5 or 10 years ago? Not me, and not them. Unless you are prepared to put a bar code on the tobacco leaf, then it is going to be difficult to prove the crop was not grown in a pre-tax year. I do hope none of you take advantage of this problem the revenue men have to overcome, to ensure they are fully employed? Your duty revenue is badly needed. (Note - I was being sarcastic there!)

There are many issues that need airing on tobacco duty and at what stage it should be rated as taxable, assuming of course that you are going to pay tax. Back in 1912 the UK government tried to charge duty on the homegrower, about 10,000 was recovered for the whole year, it probably cost more in wages to collect this tax.

Duty bound (in red tape)

Governments worldwide are looking into ways of charging duty on the tobacco homegrower. It could be charged on all tobacco grown and cured ready for smoking, or a charge for any excess tobacco grown over and above the limit imposed by your respective governments. Now at what point is tobacco a duty payable item? Let's go to the manufacturers in the UK, and see how they are dealt with!

They import cured and aged (usually 2 years) tobacco, but do they pay tobacco duty now? No just import duty. They shred and flavour the tobacco so it becomes a smokeable product, but do they pay tobacco duty now? No, not yet. They now have to make it into cigarettes, but do they pay duty now? No. From there it goes into bonded storage areas for sometimes up to a year, but do they pay tobacco duty now? No. Excise duty is only paid when the cigarettes are sent to the distributors for retail. Should we be treated any different? Of course not, but then we are not providing billions of dollars for our governments to support left and right wing organisations for their vote.

There is a section in the tobacco forums that allows you to expand on this sore point. No swearing please, but vent your feelings. Anyone thinking I am spreading anarchy here is wrong, I just want us all to be singing from the same hymn sheet.


Plantation House Grows and Grows!

Since Surrey Web Design took over management of my websites in Summer 2001, we've seen huge growth in the number of visitors to our sites and of course, in sales volume. This site is ranked in first place on many search engines. Where we don't rank top, we rank 2nd or 3rd. This site is the only tobacco seed site that consistently appears within the top 3 places on all major search engines.

That means that this site MUST get more visitors than any other tobacco seed retail website in the world and that therefore, Coffinails is the largest tobacco seed retail site on the Internet and that Plantation House is probably the largest tobacco seed retailer in the world!

We are also creating other websites to complement Coffinails. A few months ago, we launched www.WineWorldFDW.com. This site is aimed at the home brew market, giving all the tips on home brew wine making that I have learnt over the past twenty or so years. This site is drawing in more potential home growers of tobacco. After all, a drink and a smoke go together.

People often ask us why we changed from www.smoke4free.com to www.coffinails.com. Basically, when Surrey Web Design took over, we decided to start from scratch with a new site providing a more one-to-one approach with home growers. From the feedback I receive from customers, I know that this laid back but straight talking approach is appreciated. About 95% of the emails we receive begin with "Dear Chris". People clearly feel they can approach us and that they'll get a friendly reply.

Chat to fellow growers on the new forum pages

Earlier this year we set up our home grown tobacco forums. After just a few weeks we had over a thousand visits to these pages. Topics were needed for discussions and this was provided by past and present customers for whom I am indebted. To Christine, Carolyn, David, Tom and Norm, to name just a few, thanks.

Plantation House forum pages are a great way to exchange information, thereby providing help to others, it's not just your successes we need to hear about, but also your failures, so that we can all help each other. Whilst America, Canada, the UK and other European countries are planting out and producing a crop, Australia and New Zealand can benefit from your advice. I'm just one man spreading the gospel of free smoking. I have exceeded all expectations due to this wonderful web, please help others by passing the message on.

I have used this site and this newsletter to express my views, and the forum pages are your opportunity to do the same. I have made a lot of friends through this site, and you have the opportunity to do the same. This is what I believe the web is about; it has shrunk the world to the size of a button, and I love it! Just go to our forums and chat with other home growers throughout the world. No need to be shy!

Bill, an ex Brit living in Australia, returned to his roots this June. Our many emails show how our paths crossed 40 years ago in London. It's a long way to travel for a decent pint of beer Bill! Still, as I'm paying for it why should he worry. Boy have I made some friends through this site, I will look forward to making many more as the years progress.

What Membership Prices?

When I started out on this venture I was recommended to have an annual membership fee. I note some other organisations charge as much as £25 or US$36 just to join, and a further £6 or US$9 per annum. WHAT A RIP OFF!. Others provide seeds that will produce tobacco but no seeds for next year, a good way to cream off a few more bucks from the punters. Let's make it clear, we do not and never will charge any membership fees.

The profit's all in the wrapping!

Have you ever bought something boxed, and found the object inside could have been wrapped in a quarter of the space? Try pelleted tobacco seed, each pellet covers the area of around 100 seeds. Now market it like it was gold dust at say 20 to 25 seeds at a time for 3 dollars a go, one plant producing 300,000 seeds on average could make you 36,000 Dollars US.

Forget the fact that the tiny seed (you could lay 500 seeds on your fingernail flat) has got to get out of that pellet before it can sprout. I get emails from unhappy customers about pelleted seeds, I myself only had a 25% success when I tried them. There is another drawback, pelleted seeds are too heavy now to post by air mail, so be prepared to miss the growing season if you live overseas. I must be making the competition sick with my 200 seeds each, of four types of tobacco for £10 or US$14.5. Still, for the pelleted seed suppliers, it beats panning for gold.


Phew! It stinks in here!

Unscented herbal tobacco and pot have a very similar smell to uncured tobacco. It's an interesting thought that if pot was cured, would it pong so much? Well never having any to test I have no idea, but for the herbal tobacco smokers there is very little reason to cure your tobacco. For the rest of you smokers of home-grown tobacco, if you wish to retain your friends then try to make the effort to cure the leaf. Curing leaf is a minor expense compared to the value of the end product. Little space is required and most items to build it can come from boot sales. The size of the curing chamber is flexible.

"It's cool baby"

Does climate matter? Well not to some customers. Sales to Scandinavian countries, Iceland, and Alaska make me wonder if there is any limit to the tenacity of the home-grower. "How do they do it?" you ask. Well unless they can get 3 months of summer warmth, I can only assume they are using a pollytunnel or heated greenhouse. Think about it, the plant needs 10-12 weeks indoors, and then out in a frost free environment for 3 months to produce tobacco and a further one month for the seeds to form. I take my hat off to these customers, and would love to know how well they did.

On the subject of heat, one chap with a very royal name will be sowing his seed in the United Arab Emirates when the winter is over. It's hard to imagine a frost in the desert, but with the obvious extremes of day/night temperatures, here is another example of the tenacity of man. We must be nuts to go to these lengths to satisfy our cravings for a smoke.

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