greg1186
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growing tobacco experience??


gumbo2176
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I have absolutely no experience growing tobacco but what little I've seen about growing and curing, it seems quite labor intensive. If I'm not mistaken, most tobacco is grown in N. Carolina, so hopefully someone from that area can be of assistance. If you are a smoker, I could possibly understand your interest with cigarettes going for over $4 a pack at the stores and as much as $8 a pack in bars around my town.

Tobacco is not a big crop down here is SE Louisiana. Sugar Cane rules. There are only one or two places just outside New Orleans that grow a particular type tobacco called Perique. That is supposed to be one of the Holy Grail's of the industry and is widely sought after by many tobacco companies for their specialty blends.

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Ozark Lady
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Here is a photo, from a few months ago in the forest garden, tobacco garden. I was checking for hornworms.
[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/100_2815_phixr.jpg[/img]

This is my second year growing tobacco. I have tobacco growing in all 4 gardens and 3 of the gardens are only tobacco.

Tobacco is a member of the nightshade family. It is raised just exactly like tomatoes or peppers. It requires the same temps, culture, fertilizers etc.
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Thanks to Ozark Lady, I grew some of her tobacco seeds for my first season. It went very well after I finally got them to germinate and start indoors early. Up here in the Northern zones, you'll definitely want to get at least a few weeks of growth before putting them in the ground.

I would say that it does involve a good bit of work, but only if you're growing alot. Start with 10 plants like I did and you get a good idea of what you'll be getting into. I plan to do 15 or 20 next year.

I've done some experimenting with different times to harvest the leaves, different ways to dry them, etc. I'm still trying different recipes for making chew. Most of the basics can be found by googling "grow tobacco", "cure tobacco", etc. It seems to be an art that can only be perfected with experience.

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OK, so orgoveg grows his for chew and experimentation with growing, drying and curing methods.

I, for some reason, can't picture applestar canoing down a N. Arkansas river catching brook and rainbow trout with a huge wad of chaw crammed in her jaw. But she does seem to grow lots of tobacco with 3 out of 4 wild plots full of it.

I have no delusions that all members here that garden for enjoyment and health reasons for knowing what is on the table in terms of fruit and produce, are all non-tobacco users. But it does kind of go against the grain a bit, at least in my eyes.

Yes, I am a former smoker and have been tobacco free for over 8 years a few more pounds now. I made a conscious decision at age 50 to end the madness and have not regretted it once. Unfortunately, my wife, who quit with me only lasted 3 weeks and still has the habit. She'll quit when she's ready, hopefully before something serious happens to her health because of it.

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rainbowgardener
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That was Ozark lady not Applestar with the plots of tobacco. Applestar has rice paddies... :) Ozark Lady I don't think has ever shared with us what she does with the tobacco, but it may be a cash crop.
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Ozark Lady wrote:Here is a photo, from a few months ago in the forest garden, tobacco garden. I was checking for hornworms.
[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/100_2815_phixr.jpg[/img]

This is my second year growing tobacco. I have tobacco growing in all 4 gardens and 3 of the gardens are only tobacco.

Tobacco is a member of the nightshade family. It is raised just exactly like tomatoes or peppers. It requires the same temps, culture, fertilizers etc.
Are you growing it for smoking or other purposes , sadly I am a nicotine addict and would love to be self sufficient for my pipe tobacco!
Any advice on a tobbaco to grow over in london !
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gumbo2176
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rainbowgardener wrote:That was Ozark lady not Applestar with the plots of tobacco. Applestar has rice paddies... :) Ozark Lady I don't think has ever shared with us what she does with the tobacco, but it may be a cash crop.
OOOPPPPSSS. My mistake. I only had 1 cup of coffee this morning when I responded so I guess my brain wasn't fully in drive. Thanks for pointing this out to me. I'll be more diligent in the future. :D

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Is smoking/chewing tobacco different from the nicotiana I have growing?

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rainbowgardener
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Yup... I grow nicotiana all the time and I love it. It's related but not the same.

Smoking tobacco is nicotiana tabacum. Flowering tobacco or nicotiana is nicotiana alata grandiflora (grandiflora = large flowered, the ornamental tobacco has much showier flowers)

Same genus, different species. The nicotiana tabacum has a lot bigger leaves.

That said, could you dry your nicotiana leaves and smoke them? I don't know, never tried. It would likely not be any more poisonous than regular tobacco, but might "taste" different or not dry as well or something. People smoke all kinds of stuff besides tobacco (i.e. Native Americans used to smoke bearberry/ kinikinnik)
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I don't know that this is still the case, but Connecticut used to have a commercial crop of tobacco. Possibly something in the soil, but I recall that the leaves of whatever type grew there were mostly for cigar wrappers. Could also be decreased incidence of insect damage?

I've known people who grow it for spiritual reasons. An ex grew it after we parted because he wanted tobacco for insecticidal uses, but hated buying a plug from Big T.

Big drawback then was tobacco mosaic virus. No grower wants to have it, but we did not allow people to smoke in our back yard because we didn't know if the butts would carry the virus. Tobacco mosaic virus could ravage your solanaceae. There may be better controls for it now.

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Thanks RG. It does make sense that they are related but not exactly the same.

I have the ornamental and it self seeds all over the place, which is actually how I acquired it from the neighbors. Every years it plants itself and smells great in the evening.

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Ozark Lady
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Nicotiana Sylvestris is an ornamental plant. It's leaf size is not unusual, I also grow Oriental varieties that have small leaves and they are for flavoring the others, just a bit differently (like herbs do your other foods).
Nicotiana Sylvestris has a claim to fame... no nicotine, so it is sometimes cured in the same way and used as a nicotine free tobacco.

Tobacco has many uses, not just smoking, chewing, or snuff.
It is also useful as a pesticide, and the flowers are lovely.

Growing tobacco is still tobacco, but if you google all the ingredients in commercial tobacco, I know we can grow a safer product.

And one big bonus, you can get nicotine simply by washing the plant leaves, while they are still on the plant... it would surely help someone wanting to break the tobacco habit, and how can petting your pet tobacco plant compare with smoking, chewing, or dipping?

I am still a rookie, still experimenting, still learning. Like most things, the more you put into learning an art the better you are the faster.
I am interested in fishing, hunting, animals, foraging, etc. I find that my interests are spread in so many directions that I honestly have not focussed on tobacco, beyond growing and curing it. I have roughly 200 plants in the ground at present.

Many are blooming, like the ones in the photo... by the way the blooming ones are an Oriental called Samsun Turkish. It has small leaves, like a Nicotiana Sylvestris, but it has lots of nicotine. Just brush against it, and the world moves for a few seconds! You must be careful in handling tobacco, many field workers go to the hospital with nicotine poisoning from handling them. The tobacco areas are off limits to children for this very reason. Not all tobacco does this, at all times, but I am learning and sometimes I don't know if a tobacco plant will do this or not.

One fascinating aspect of tobacco is: They close their leaves at night, all pointed upward like little hands praying. A second fascinating point to me: They also have a response to predation, they give off a chemical that calls for predators of the bug that is eating them!

They are nightshade, I wonder if tomatoes close their leaves, I never noticed it. I know tomatoes give off an aroma when bugs bite them or you brush them, and I get a rash from the leaves of them.
Tomato plants also have a tiny bit of nicotine in them, I don't know about the fruits. And can be grafted onto tobacco plants.
Last edited by Ozark Lady on Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ozark Lady
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Oops duplicate post.

I smoke. I have smoked for... 42 years. I have no intention to ever stop.

I totally and completely enjoy smoking.

I have never tasted chew or dip, but I sure don't like getting tobacco in my mouth, so I doubt that I would like that.

I told my doctor if I quit smoking I would need tobaccum incense, because I love the smell of tobacco whether it is cigarette, pipe, or cigar.
I don't smoke from fear of weight gain, I simply smoke because I like it, just like some folks eat ice cream because they like it.

I promised webmaster that I won't get into the tastes of one tobacco versus another, so for that information, you would need to pm me. I am very likely pushing the limits with this post.

Selling tobacco beyond the seeds, or small plants phase is illegal.
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Without presenting this as criticism of any sort, I have no real use for them so I don't think I'll ever get into growing tobacco for consumption. N. Sylvesteris, I've always wanted to grow because they're said to attract the large showy moths. :D

On the other hand, I posted in another thread that they also attract sphinx moths and hawk moths whose babies are hornworms and cutworms :eek: Still debating with myself on whether to plant them next year. :?

I also totally believe that like other powerful herbs, tobacco has been misused, and the lucrative industry associated with them has skewed our perception, and that industrial and overhead cutting production methods have created widely distributed toxic products for which the tobacco plant itself may not be to blame. If the species were discovered now, it would probably be treated far differently. :roll:

:?: I'm curious, do they sell organically grown, dye free, chemical free, dioxin free, "healthy" tobacco products? or is that too much of a contradiction to even contemplate :?:

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BTW, I have Arctostaphylos uva-ursi growing in my front yard. 8) :wink:

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Ozark Lady
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There is tobacco sold that is alleged to be organic and additive free.

I have never seen it, but I have seen many discussions of it.

Like most organic items it is high dollar.

The additives in tobacco, are a fatal cocktail, all by themselves, they don't need the tobacco added to make them deadly.

And interestingly, homegrown does not have them, and it always seems to be missing something. That makes one wonder, how many are actually addicted to the other poisons in commercial tobacco and not really to the nicotine alone.

Growing your own is a test... are you addicted to tobacco or the anti-freeze and other deadly ingredients? There are over 500 additives!

They actually liquify the tobacco, mix in additives, then spray it onto paper (?) which is sliced up to make it look like tobacco.

Dioxin is still an issue unless you go to pipe or cigar.
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I guess I am with Ozark Lady on the smoking. I don't have many "bad" habits, but smoking is simply something I enjoy. I've smoked every thing from pipes to cigars to cigarettes. I've never smoked marijuana. Don't think I have ever even smelled it.

I have a yearly physical just for the fun of it. I even went to a cardiologist this year because I had experienced some chest pains I never felt before. I wasn't sure if it was a strained muscle or a heart problem. The cardiologist performed every test he could imagine including cat scans and stress tests. I told the guy running the stress test to kick the tread mill up a couple of notches when he thought he was finished. I just wanted to see how far and how fast I could go before I couldn't go any more.

The cardiologist looked everything over and said " sir you are approaching seventy years of age and I know people thirty years old who would like to have your heart and lungs." He then asked how long I have smoked. I told him I have smoked for fifty two years. He didn't even bother to tell me it isn't good for me.

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Just think what you could have done if you didn't smoke! :) You might be an Olympic athlete...
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[quote="tedln"]I guess I am with Ozark Lady on the smoking. I don't have many "bad" habits, but smoking is simply something I enjoy. I've smoked every thing from pipes to cigars to cigarettes.



Over my many years of smoking, prior to finally quitting, I too enjoyed cigarettes, the occasional cigar and as I got a bit older, I took to smoking a pipe from time to time. To this day I miss the pipe most. The aroma of the tobacco as it burned was the most pleasing part. I know, aromatics and additives.

I still have 3 pipes in a drawer of my desk along with about 2 oz. of a pipe blend from a tobacco shop called The Tinderbox. Don't ask me why I still have the tobacco, I don't know, since it is surely no good any more. But every once in a while I'll open the bag just to get a whiff of the tobacco's sweet aroma.

After 8 years of being a non-smoker I can truly say I do not miss the act of smoking. I am in daily contact with folks that do smoke, starting with my wife and that first cup of coffee in the morning. Do I wish she'd quit? Yes. Will I still love her if she doesn't? Yes. My wife, her 25 yr. old son and her 20 yr. old daughter all smoke. They do so outside on the porch and never in the house but they carry that smell inside as soon as they walk in the back door. Funny thing is, the kids hated to see their mom smoke when they were younger and were always bugging her to quit. The son is moving out in about 2 weeks and the daughter is telling me she wants to quit before years pass and it becomes harder to do so. We'll see, on both counts.

At least twice a week I'm in a pub since I enjoy playing in the local Dart League. So far, the state legislature hasn't banned smoking in bars even though they try to pass legislation every year to that effect. I don't particularly like the way my clothes smell when I finally leave the place but it comes with the territory and I accept that.

Bottom line is, it's your life, if you find pleasure in tobacco, go for it.

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RBG, I guess I could quit and try out for the senior Olympics. I could possibly get a job with Chrysler and just smoke a joint and drink a beer in the parking lot with the dudes on my break time. If you don't watch the news, you won't know what I am talking about. :shock: :D :D :D
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We grow tobacco too. Did you know that commercial cigarettes contain 599 additives, some poisonous carcinogens? See the list here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_additives_in_cigarettes

One of them is caffeine.

Anyone can grow tobacco, anywhere. If you have a short growing season, you will need to start it early indoors. I am sure most northerners are used to starting seeds early indoors to grow tomatoes, peppers and many other common short season vegetables. Tobacco is no different and is no trickier or more demanding than your vegetables to start from seed.

I planted it for hubby, who smokes cigaretes. I figure if he's going to smoke, it has to be organic, without pesticide residue and all those chemicals! It's also cheap. He has a little plastic, manual cigarette maker and a box of rolled papers with filters attached. I think he should drop the filters to be safer, but he's not there yet. Back when tobacco first came on the market, one of the largest filter manufacturers used asbastos in their filters! No wonder tobacco has such a bad rep for causing lung cancer!

I have talked to a lot of people who grow their own and they all say that the "smokers cough" dissappeared when they started smoking their own organic tobacco and the organic stuff is not nearly as addictive.

I think commercial cigarettes are just as dangerous today. It would be nice if organic tobacco and cigarettes were available to the public but I don't think they will be going there.

We are trying several different drying methods ourselves this year. Trying to perfect the best way. Right now all our harvested leaves are hanging to dry in the insulated shed with buckets of water and a fan. I'd love to hear what others are doing and what has worked for you! Please post your drying and curing methods.

I have read that they can just hang to dry for many months and cure that way. We might build a kiln to dry them quicker, but have read that the water leaching works well too. I have read about boiling the leaves also but that would require a lot of energy and room for the amount that we have. We are probably going with the water leaching this year.

I love nicotania, ornamental tobacco flowers and grew them for years but not since we started growing our own nicotania tobacum for smoking. I don't want them to cross with the tobacum seed, since we sell it in our farm store. I miss them in the garden as they were one of my favourites! One tobacco plant sure produces a lot of seed!

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Ozark Lady
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Last year, was my first year growing tobacco. I grew some beautiful plants! But, just dare touch one... the nicotine was over the moon!

However, I started late, and ended up doing most of my harvest, the day after Thanksgiving. Yep, while the healthy folks were fighting the crowds for "black Friday" I was peacefully in my garden, wearing plastic gloves and cutting down tobacco, washing and stalk hanging it to cure prior to drying. It sure was a pretty day, and no crowds to fight! Fresh air, sunshine...Awww!

Tobacco is different from other plants. If I pick parsley and want to preserve it, I want it to dry fast and green. With tobacco, I want to slow the process so that it goes through yellow and then to brown.
To do this requires: heat, humidity and enough airflow to prevent molds and mildew.

Caution: molds and mildew can be deadly!

I had alot of difficulty with curing the tobacco due to not being able to keep the temps and humidity high enough. It dried green, so it is now pesticide!

This year, I have been "priming" my tobacco. Which is simply stated: picking it leaf by leaf. Some leaves I hang up inside with vaporizers and fans going to assist. And some leaves I just hang on wires, right at the edge of the garden where it is growing, deep in the woods.

I find the woods is actually doing a better job, and rain or sun is only helping me to get it cured!

Once it is brown, then I move it to the inside room and hit it with the fans to make sure it is dry, especially the stems, then I simply box it up to age it.

Tobacco improves with age like a fine wine. What you assume is bad tobacco isn't, it is dry tobacco. Add a slice of apple to your "old" tobacco and then check it again the next day.

Now, some of the commercial additives might go rancid, but I know of folks who go buy tobacco just to box it up and store it and let it age into a whole new level of tobacco.

Any tobacco that is not harvested, and color cured before cold weather arrives, will simply not be harvested by me. Why bother to make more pesticide?

You can build an elaborate kiln and maintain a decent temp and humidity and get it to cure, but for me it is not worth messing with to that extent. I have not switched to homegrown as of yet. I do add a bit of it to the commercial, I have switched to roll your own and use the little roller that was mentioned earlier. So, I grow and box it.

We are gearing up and have marked 2011 as the year of no more buying tobacco at all! So I really need to get better at this!

I have also been informed by my doctor that she could sit and listen to my heart all day long! I do eat right, exercise and am very active.
I do not have weight issues at all, which is a big plus to my activity level. I feel that I do really great at caring for my health. And my doctor and my chiropractor both agree: I am in great shape for any age, not just for pushing 60!
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applestar wrote:
On the other hand, I posted in another thread that they also attract sphinx moths and hawk moths whose babies are hornworms and cutworms
So do tomatoes. :lol:


applestar wrote: :?: I'm curious, do they sell organically grown, dye free, chemical free, dioxin free, "healthy" tobacco products? or is that too much of a contradiction to even contemplate :?:
Your asking if there is a commercial tobacco product that sell what you are asking about. Highly unlikely in my opine. Yes there may be organic tobacco,But the processing of the final product may not be organic.
I suspect the dioxin to be a child of the processed and bleached papers when burnt. The papers themselves smell indescribably horrible when lighted a fire. I found this out when I rolled my home grown in a commercial paper. I later lighted a paper up to see if that was the smell. Sure enough it was!

They say Nicotine is addictive and has been listed by the FDA as a addictive substance. If that is the case then why am I craving a commercial Cig. after I smoke home grown,that has 3 times the amount of Nicotine?
:roll:

There is additives and "flavor enhancers" in the commercial products that are by themselves alone very toxic! At the same time if you are a non-smoker and eat at a fast food chain, you have consumed as much toxins in the meal as you would consume the toxins in a commercial brand pack of Cigarettes. {Remember the FDA allows these things to be added and label them as "safe" or "approved" Just like like your fillings in your teeth is highly toxin, but are told is "safe")

Ozark Lady wrote:I have never tasted chew or dip, but I sure don't like getting tobacco in my mouth, so I doubt that I would like that.
Chewing tobacco is different taste wise from smoking tobacco types. You add flavors, like molasses, honey or maple syrup or what ever your heart
desires. Basically the taste is what ever flavor you added. The dark strains I grow warm your mouth up like a medium hot pepper. If you ever got
pepper juice on your lips that made them tingle then that is the effect similar of Nic. in the chewing tobacco.
The leaf it self from my experiment tasted like a bland piece of lettuce hence, no real strong over powering tobacco
taste as you would get from cig tabacca. If you had ever put a flavored cigar in your mouth, the sweet musky taste,
that is similar to another strain of chewing tabacca I grow.

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I grew up in Ripley, OH, a small town of about 2,200 people. It has the distinction of being the only Burley tobacco market in the state. Back in the '70s, they sold ~$14 million a year.

Almost every male in the area helped raise tobacco, whether for their families or neighbors. The most we ever raised was 17 acres, but then we helped others too. Each year, a couple of guys would "quit school" before their senior year started, then after harvest season was pretty much over - the third week of September - they would re-enroll and thus were not counted absent. I never did that, but I did miss 26 days the first quarter of my last year.

Back then, growers were guaranteed X dollars per pound based on its grade or quality. In exchange, they agreed to market only a prescribed number of pounds. This has ended and instead tobacco growers contract with companies. Unfortunately, the companies have all the power. One family took their harvest to sell and the entire crop was rejected because of the color/quality of the leaves (it was due to the extremely dry mid-August to October weather - tobacco needs some moisture to cure correctly). That was probably about $50,000 or more in income. In the past, it would have received a lower grade (K) and instead of selling for $2.09/lb. would have fetched $1.50.

Raising tobacco helped put me through college, buy a new car my senior year, have money for clothes, shoes, etc. I still grow a few plants if I can get back to Ripley during May.

Mike

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Opensource, They took the mercury out of the amalgam for tooth fillings. I don't think it is toxic any longer.

When I was a kid, you could buy Pig twist or Hog twist chewing tobacco. The farmers would cure the tobacco and just before it was dry, they would twist a leaf into a shape like a pretzel or a horse shoe or a curly pigs tail. Farmers carried a twist in their shirt pocket or hip pocket. When a farmer or cowboy met a new acquaintance, or an old friend, you shooks hands, offered them a bite of chew from your pocket and inquired about their health. It was called "being neighborly". You could just bite off a chew or cut it very fine for smoking in a pipe of rolling into cigarettes. There was nothing mild about that stuff. It would leave your lips numb and the farmers I knew didn't add anything to the regular twist. You could buy honey twist or molasses twist and even bourbon twist, but it cost more.

Ted
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wordwiz
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How times change!

[img]https://www.strangebusiness.com/images/content/5072.jpg[/img]

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