Gaining knowledge is all about trial and error. It seems that the most successful techniques are stumbled upon, at least it does in my case. The following is one of many such experiences:
The goal was to grind tobacco stalks to use in various medicinal applications and to use as an organic insecticide. Getting to that goal was a new venture for me. The first technique that was used was shaving the stalks into small pieces with a knife. This method was working, but at the speed it was going the task would have been done around the time of next years tobacco harvest.
Sitting there pondering the astuteness of my situation, I caught a glimpse of the wood chipper. The hair around my ears stirred as the brain storm gained momentum. A few minutes later the shredding was finished. The drying of the shredded stalks then began. I tried to air dry them. After 2 days they seemed to have more moisture in them than when this adventure started. (Please take note of the stalks ability to collect moisture even in their shredded form.) The next option was to place them in the dehydrator. This cut the drying time down to a few hours. The final stage was placing the shredded, dehydrated pieces into a blender to grind the pieces into a powder. As this process was taking place, some of the pieces could not be ground down to a powder. The hair around my ears once again stirred as a thought creeped into my mind. The bigger pieces of stalk would work much better in the medicinal applications, and the powder in the organic insecticide uses. Challenge solved! A fine wire mesh strainer separated the two mediums.
Knowledge gained: the plants will guide me through my ignorance time and time again! I give heart filled gratitude for their patience!