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Is anyone growing tobacco?  RSS feed

 
J Hampshire
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It's always nice to share things with visitors. Of course, with any sort of small holding or homestead, most of the time it's food-based. Besides folk art, what else could I share with people at our future site? Upon reflection of my enjoyment for a fine cigar I began researching growing one's own tobacco.

Upon a quick search, tobacco is a lot more "growable" than I previously anticipated. There are even websites with organic seeds, etc. Has anyone gone down this road? I feel like it would be an incredible value-added crop. I don't drink or drug, but a sharing hand-rolled cigars in my community or with visitors, I feel would give quite a sense of pride. Granted, rolling cigars is a centuries-old artisan endeavor. But it's the principle, the attempt of it. Even if they looked and smoked like crap, you would still be enjoying your own organic leaves. Heck, why not build a peace pipe and smoke your harvest with a helpful neighbor? Also if anyone has experimented, are there any pitfalls or major negative aspects of growing it (does it attract bad stuff/hurt other plants, etc) that I'm not making myself aware of?

Discuss.
 
Cj Sloane
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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I have grown tobacco in the past. Processing is a bit of a chore and since I don't smoke I didn't get very far doing this for my husband. It is a handy plant for other uses like insecticides/good for chicken coops.

It's a heavy feeder but a dramatic looking plant.
 
Peter Hartman
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Location: springfield, MO
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I am growing it. I tried 1 plant last year, I started it late and found that it was a heavy feeder. I have added some organic Fertilizer this year and they are super happy. Last year my one decent plant got hit by an intense early frost. I hope to have better luck this year. I don't smoke much, maybe a few times a year but I thought it would be fun to have some that I grew. I also made a pipe from a lightning struck tree on my neighbors property. So this will be a very local experience for me.

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J Hampshire
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Peter Hartman wrote:I am growing it. I tried 1 plant last year...


Peter; That's what I'm talkin'bout! Those look incredible. Are you more or less winging it/online research, or do you have any texts that you would recommend? Please, please keep me posted on the progress of your crop. Furthermore, that's a damn fine pipe. So amazing what one can accomplish with a little know how and some time. The complete process. Well done.
 
Peter Hartman
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Location: springfield, MO
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Yep pretty much just winging it. The best resources I have found:

http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85737/m1/6/

http://www.howtogrowtobacco.com/forum/index.php?sid=f0b855d3172c8f1aa93393f4e1e2247c

I think the hardest part is the cure so we will see when I get to that point.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I grow a small amount of tobacco. I don't use it. I just want to have genetics that thrive here in case I ever want to grow a real crop. I gifted a plant to the local medicine woman, and a shaman, and to an Indian for ceremonies. My climate is way too dry to be "fermenting" tobacco, or to be using leaves to roll cigars, so I just end up with flakes. The leaves are waxy and take a long time to dry... There might be a sweet spot in the drying process where rolling would be feasible. I suppose that I'll never know. That's not my thing.

I've grown 3 no-id varieties. One was unsuited to my conditions. Two originally did OK, but I had to select for vigorous growth and shorter season. Some of the plants were just starting to flower when my fall frosts arrived. At my place they don't have problems with pests or disease. I start them in a pot in the greenhouse, prick them out into individual pots, and then transplant into the garden. I harvest either individual leaves, or whole plants. The individual leaves dry down better, but whole plants seem more suitable for ceremonial gifts.

I collect seed pods at about the time they start to turn brown, and dry them in the shed. If I leave them too long in the field they open and spew seeds around. After drying I crush them and pour through a sieve which separates the very tiny seeds from the chaff and stems. Final cleanup consists of winnowing.

Tobacco plants are strikingly ornamental:


Drying whole plants in the shed:
 
J Hampshire
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Tobacco plants are strikingly ornamental


Wow! See now there's something I didn't even realize as a fringe benefit. To have a few plants as a conversation piece when strolling through the homestead would be fantastic. Seeing an otherwise "foreign" plant in the ground right in front you, is so powerful. When people think tobacco they think cigarettes or cigars, for the most part. At least, here in the northeast. It is of course a part of the larger system. I'm excited to learn more about it's potential benefits; If even just from a soil food web perspective.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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