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Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Posted on http://nworbleahcim.blogspot.com/

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I'm not a smoker - but that's not going to stop me from learning how to grow, cultivate, and enjoy some good nicotiana tabaccum. Last spring, bought a pack of Scherazi Tobacco seeds - an Iranian variety - and was able to get 1 plant to maturity.

I started 10 seeds in Feburary, at least I think I did - the seeds are so damn small I wasn't sure if they made it into the starters or if they floated away. They stayed under indoor grow lights for about 2 months, until 4 plants were about 4 inches tall.

At this point I moved them outside - for a few hours only at first, working up to full days. Three plants didn't survive this process - sunburn.

The one plant that did make it grew about 3-4 feet tall and eventually produced beautiful pink flowers.

After the flowers bloomed, the leaves towards the bottom started turning yellow. Once I saw some yellow on the leaves, I'd snap them from the stalk and thread them on string to hang.

I read about several methods to dry and cure tobacco. I decided on the simplest method - sun drying. The first batch came out great - nice golden leaves. The second batch, however, hanging under my covered patio, went to mold over night during a rain storm. I was amazed how quick this happened. [BTW I'm not smoking the moldy tobacco.]



The next batch I moved indoors to avoid the mold, but this time the tobacco dried a bit fast and left some green specks on the leaves - chlorophyll. From what I've read, these are still fine to smoke. My wife is unsure about our new curtains.

The final step - and the hardest to decipher the 'best' method, is curing. The suggested dates range from 3 months to 3 years. I'll see how long I can hold out, but the first batch will have been curing for 4 months at Thanksgiving, and I sure would like to celebrate my Native American ancestors with a good toke from a peace pipe.

SIDENOTE: this single plant produced a ton of seeds. After each flower comes a pod. After these pods dry, I've picked them. I have about 25 pods now, and each pod has a 100+? seeds in it. So let me know if you want to seed swap.

Views: 836

Tags: garden, homestead, seed, tobacco

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Comment by michael on April 13, 2010 at 2:27pm
Paul - great to see another tobacco grower out there! Which variety are you growing?

I hadn't heard that you could use tobacco leaves for insecticide. I've done the same thing with tomato leaves once with ok results.

BTW, I have no plans on selling. Holistic remedies, an occasional pipe, and bartering are my plans.

Thanks!

-Michael
Comment by Paul O'M on April 13, 2010 at 1:08pm
I bought some tobacco seeds from www.johnnytobaccoseed.com and they're growing like crazy. I think they have a coating or fertilizer on them. I don't smoke, but I read where you can place cut tobacco leaves in a bucket of water and create a great insecticide you can spray on plants and stuff. I wanted to try it. I believe Trell below is right about selling. You can grow it, but selling without a license may be an issue. Check local laws. TRELL: If you read this please give me an rough idea where you're located. I've never heard you need a license to grow it.

Nice blog site. Thanks. Paul
Comment by Wishingdeeply on December 11, 2009 at 2:07pm
way cool.
Comment by michael on November 9, 2009 at 11:50am
Great point!

From what I was able to gather, in 2005, President Bush and the Congress removed federal controls on growing tobacco, making it legal to grow at home for your own purposes. But I make no claim as having full knowledge on the legal aspect. It would be best to consult local laws and/or grow at your own risk.

(doesn't that seem silly? not being able to grow a plant?!)
Comment by Trell Johnson on November 9, 2009 at 3:04am
Might want to check into your local laws. Where i live, it is illegal to grow or cure tobacco without a license.

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