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Anybody tried growing your own?


tmckenzie
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I used to raise a little tobacco in the garden each year. This year a friend of mine had somebody bring him a pallet of seedlings up from KY. Gave me about half of them. I planted nearly all of them. The dry weather hurt some I could not water, but the ones I did are coming on nicely. Have pulled a pile of bottom leaves and they are drying in the distillery way up high. The humidity and heat must be prefect as they are yellowing nicely. I think when I get them all dried, I will pack them in a barrel and press them to try to make something like Perique, as when I smoke a pipe, it is one of my favorites in a blend. We shall see.

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I don't know what they are but there is quite a bit of curing methods that if not done the tobacco will be unsmokeable.

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I frequently saw small farms in France with tobacco hanging in barns to dry and often wondered if the stuff was just for personal consumption. I don't smoke but would imagine that fresh homegrown leaf has got to be excellent.

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Fresh homegrown is almost unsmokeable. I dried mine in the barn for a few weeks. The virginia turned a nice yellow/red and the burley turned a nice rich brown. At just under 3 years sitting in boxes it's starting to be smokeable. I did not try to do any sweat curing or anything other than hanging in the heat and humidity of September/October, mainly because I wanted to try it this way.

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Fresh homegrown is almost unsmokeable.

That's what I have always heard, curing it takes a lot of time and you gotta know what you are doing.

A friend of mine said when he was a kid in KY they would snatch leafs from his buddy's dad's barn and they couldn't smoke it, said it was awful.

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I would grow the other stuff if I could get it past my old lady.

You can grow a tenth of an acre legally, after that you have to buy an allotment. The government pays farmers NOT to grow tobacco. You would have to buy an allotment from a farmer who is being paid not to grow it I think.

It all boils down to fermentation. It has to ferment or it has so much ammonia in it it will burn your lungs up. It is like smoking dried tree leaves. Very interesting article on Perique tobacco if you google it. They basically grow the stuff, color cure it, then place it in used whiskey barrels and put jacks over it and put pressure to it and let it ferment in its on juice. The result is a strong, leaf that is truffle like in taste and very fruity, but almost unsmokable on its on. But when used in a blend it is amazing. If you ever see a box of American Spirit black label, snap them up. They have like 5 percent in them. They are good and strong flavored, taste like chocolate to me. I quit my pack and a half a day habit 5 years ago, but I slip every now and then with a pack of those.

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I was just in Kentucky and saw quite a bit in the fields -- I was surprised how much, actually. I think it's a beautiful plant. Almost otherworldly.

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I was just in Kentucky and saw quite a bit in the fields -- I was surprised how much, actually. I think it's a beautiful plant. Almost otherworldly.

Yes they are beautiful but dangerous, much like a lot of other things.

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Yep, they are pretty to look at. I have them planted at the distillery, people always say, what is that? They can be dangerous, but lots of things can be. One note is, you have to be careful working on them, you can get quite a buzz from touching them too much.

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Almost otherworldly.
[QUOTE][/QUOTE]

Yes they are beautiful but dangerous,
[QUOTE][/QUOTE]

Yep, they are pretty to look at, you can get quite a buzz from touching them too much.
[QUOTE][/QUOTE]

Um,...we talking about tobacco or women?

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There are a lot of ornamental varieties too. Sold as Nicotinana (the genus name) or something like that. They do well in pots or in in mixed beds. Always wanted to grow some myself, but never had the right place for it.

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Definitely dangerous. People get crazy sick from working in the fields. Tobacco poisoning is a bitch.

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I never bothered with this for two reasons, first, you can't be an organic gardener and grow tobacco. If you get tobacco beetles, they are a tough thing to get rid of. And second (and most importantly for me), there is a reason that the best tobacco is grown in regions like Cuba, Nicaragua, etc. That is where the climate, soil and so on is the best to grow the leaf. Yes VA, the Carolinas, etc grow tobacco, but that is the stuff that gets blended for cigarettes and cheap chopped leaf cigars. So, I just leave the growing to those that are in the right area for it.

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  • 4 months later...

i have grown some tobacco the last few years (habana 2000 and criollo strains) and roll them up too. its kind of fun, and this year i had 10 plants. the leaves are sitting in a large cooler resting now, but i rolled some up already.

had one plant that reached 9 foot tall.

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I never bothered with this for two reasons, first, you can't be an organic gardener and grow tobacco. If you get tobacco beetles, they are a tough thing to get rid of. And second (and most importantly for me), there is a reason that the best tobacco is grown in regions like Cuba, Nicaragua, etc. That is where the climate, soil and so on is the best to grow the leaf. Yes VA, the Carolinas, etc grow tobacco, but that is the stuff that gets blended for cigarettes and cheap chopped leaf cigars. So, I just leave the growing to those that are in the right area for it.

there is a cigar called the la casita made by tatuaje that is 100% connecticut shade and its one heck of a smoke. hard to believe its all grown in the states, i think they sneaked some nicaraguan tobacco in it or something!

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  • 6 months later...

Back in the late 1980's I lived in Hadley, MA, a farm town bordering on Amherst, in a house about 500 feet from the Connecticut River. The Connecticut River Valley tobacco growing region extends up and down the river valley, and Hadley's right in the middle of it.

Our landlord was (is) a farmer, growing tobacco, potatoes, silage corn, a little asparagus, and some strawberries; by far his most profitable crop was when he had a good tobacco season. The curing barns (always referred to as drying barns (or sheds)) were all around the house in the fields, and even 25 years on, I can sharply remember the late-summer aroma of drying tobacco.

Cigar Aficionado ran a great article back in 1992 about the cultivation process for Connecticut shade-grown:

http://www.cigaraficionado.com/webfeatures/show/id/Surprise-in-Connecticut_7833/

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Back in the late 1980's I lived in Hadley, MA, a farm town bordering on Amherst, in a house about 500 feet from the Connecticut River. The Connecticut River Valley tobacco growing region extends up and down the river valley, and Hadley's right in the middle of it.

Our landlord was (is) a farmer, growing tobacco, potatoes, silage corn, a little asparagus, and some strawberries; by far his most profitable crop was when he had a good tobacco season. The curing barns (always referred to as drying barns (or sheds)) were all around the house in the fields, and even 25 years on, I can sharply remember the late-summer aroma of drying tobacco.

Cigar Aficionado ran a great article back in 1992 about the cultivation process for Connecticut shade-grown:

http://www.cigaraficionado.com/webfeatures/show/id/Surprise-in-Connecticut_7833/

Hadley sure is great this time of year! Thanks for the link. I knew that the local tobacco was supposed to be nice, good to get some facts. There used to be pouches of locally grown tobacco for cheap, but I haven't seen them in years. They were supposedly real nice for the roll em yourself crowd.

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