Skip to comments.DIY cigarettes? Some smokers start growing tobacco
Posted on 08/20/2009 5:29:15 AM PDT by Peter Horry
RICHMOND, Va. -- Something unusual is cropping up alongside the tomatoes, eggplant and okra in Scott Byars' vegetable garden - the elephantine leaves of 30 tobacco plants.
Driven largely by ever-rising tobacco prices, he's among a growing number of smokers who have turned to their green thumbs to cultivate tobacco plants to blend their own cigarettes, cigars and chew. Byars normally pays $5 for a five-pack of cigars and $3 for a tin of snuff; the seed cost him $9.
"I want to get to where I don't have to go to the store and buy tobacco, but I'll just be able to supply my own from one year to the next," Byars said.
(Excerpt) Read more at thestate.com ...
I’m sure government will figure out how to tax it or make it illegal.
After all, it is illegal to grow certain other plants even for your own use.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama doesn’t eventually try to tax ANY produce that you grow in your own backyard. There must be millions in “unclaimed tax dollars” sitting around in people’s vegetable gardens.
It is called the ATF&E and they are not very friendly.
I encourage people to click the link too see what all is involved in growing your own, it’s a lot more complex than sewing some seeds and watching them grow.
What I didn’t see mentioned is that not all climates in the U.S. are suitable for tobacco.
If you don’t mind all the work involved, just do it. The gov. hasn’t taxed it yet and when they do, they will want to tax my veggie garden too.
I’m all for self reliance and learning something new.
Go for it and grow your own.
Just give them time before investing in hydroponics for raising tobacco. They’ll make it illegal eventually, as well.
WHAT? This is nuts! I can sell or trade my tomatoes, corn and cukes! What's the difference?
Smokers Grow Their Own Tobacco
Darn, I thought I would be the only tobacco user raising their own tobacco.
Presently the law allows 1/4 acre per. but, if the word gets out, I’m sure Obama is going to either tax it to death or stop the growing all together.
I remember an old farmer from my youth who smoked a pipe, and grew his own tobacco. He would platt the leaves together and, would always carry a sharp knife to cut it for smoking.
I was twenty year old at the time and I to smoked a pipe occasionally. One day I ask him for enough to load my pipe...it was darn good. So, I’m now sixty five yr. old and still smoke a pipe, so what the ha!/ I have 35 plats in my garden growing, seven feet tall and still growing.
Who is growing their own?
The homegrown would be healthier without all the additives that a commercial pack of smokes contains. Any info on how to dry the leaves or other basic processing?
You are right.
Cigarette tobacco is made of leaf, blended leaf, reconstituted leaf (look it up and you’ll not want to buy commercial cigarette tobacco again), and stems.
At least with the home-grown stuff, you’ll know what’s in it.
“What I didnt see mentioned is that not all climates in the U.S. are suitable for tobacco.”
FYI, some of the finest tobacco in the world is grown along the Conn. River valley on the CT & Mass. border.
These are the leaves used to wrap expensive cigars.
Slight correction here. The law allows for 1/10 of an acre (about 4,500 sqft) per property owner.
Other than that, I agree totally with you.
My seeds never germinated :(
They sell many varieties of tobacco seeds and have excellent books on the entire process.
Here’s one worthy of an odd gardening ping if ever I saw one...
Sorry to hear that.
To be honest, that was a whole lot easier to take than losing my entire pepper crop :(
ATF should be a convenience store, not a federal agency! :)
Tobacco growers better be careful.
The BATFE might just claim that you’re “abusing” your kids and raid your “compound” just in time for the annual budget hearings.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Thanks for the ping. I haven’t considered and probably won’t until my current source is outlawed......
That’s all I got to say bout dat!
Even a small greenhouse would be sufficient to grow all that even a heavy smoker needs.
If you’ve ever planted Nicotania ornamentals in your yard, you’ve grown tobacco, essentially. It’ll grow in Canada. Many family members of mine used to make a nice little side business, out of hopping a train, or later flying, up to Canada to assist with planting and harvesting.
The author is mangling a few things. First, there is a big difference between Bright Leaf and Burley tobacco. Bright Leaf is flue cured, with heat, in a barn. Burley is cut and air dried. Bright Leaf is the primary tobacco used in cigarettes, for the most part, but there are many, many blends. Burley is primarily used for cigars, snuff and chewing tobacco.
The goal in curing, whether by flue curing with heat or air drying, is to reduce the moisture content to a level of preservability, generally 20% or so.
I suppose a lot of these folks quoted have an old, log tobacco barn falling into disuse on their property, and they’ve put them back to use. A big part of rural southern culture once revolved around sitting at the barns all night, tending to the fires, just as a big part of rural, southern culture revolved around going to market ... to “town.” School schedules were structured around it.
So-called bulk barns, looking more like a semi trailer, with electric heat and dehumidification, made the process much easier and faster, but the culture was lost, as was much of the pride and craft. And, the tobacco looks like trash, all shredded and shot through with holes. No pretty, golden leaves to show off proudly. My grandfather would have been horrified and disgusted, if he had lived to see it.
Many of my ancestral lines here in the US, including my main paternal line, came here to the colonies of Maryland and Virginia to plant tobacco, in the early to mid 1600’s. They were planters in NC before the Revolution, grew it straight through the Civil War, though in the majority of cases the women had to tend it in large part and the Yankees destroyed a crop or two. Not too many of them held slaves for such things. They only stopped with the passing of my grandfather’s generation, in the early seventies. Then, they first resorted to tenat farming, and after that, leasing out the alotment.
It was an honorable but hard way to make a living, and many did quite well with it. The towns of Richmond, Winston-Salem, Danville and Durham grew to early prominence and were cities of wealth and influence, because of it. Cultural influences abound due to tobacco. Duke University, countless foundations.
The whole thing makes me sick. Stupid health nazis. Now, they’re going after food. When will people wake up?
I’ve been buying the same tobacco, but sold as pipe tobacco from EA Carey for $29.99 a pound. The 10.5 oz cans that are for “cigarettes” runs about $50. The pipe tobacco is a thicker shag, but rolls and smokes just as good as the more finely cut cigarette version.
JIM STAFFORD lyrics - Wildwood Weed
Hey I’ve seen that before.
Neither did mine, but I’m still using my ecigarette. Haven’t had a smoke since May 23rd.
Flue Cured tobacco is what I remember, though my first cousin married a submarine sailor from Tennessee whose father grew Burley and I visited his farm a few times.
Curing tobacco with wood is a little before my time. I do remember the log barns but they had been converted from wood to kerosene burners. Log barns, with wooden shingles, were replaced with frame and siding barns with metal roofs and the kerosene burners were replaced by fuel oil burners which were thermostatically controlled.
The barns that were used are in a serious state of disrepair and something smaller than the 16’ or 20’ would suffice for personal use.... perhaps 8’ or 10’.
I`ve raised Burley tobacco for 40 years,got 5 acres
ready to cut in about 2 weeks.One of the best crops
this year in several years.
Burley is for cigarettes...Dark fired is chewing tobacco.
Never grew any Dark fired tho. It`s grown not far from
me.People every year call the fire dept thinking the barns
on fire when it`s being smoked
Bright Leaf is all anyone in my family grew. It was always startling to me, to see entire plants cut and hung to dry in ventilated barns, or even stood on end in the fields like small, oldfashioned haystacks or something, whenever we went through a place, where Burley was more the rule. Closest would be the NC mountain counties.
So, thanks for the further clarification. Despite so many generations of knowledge in my family, Burley is a little outside of it.
Ever been to Danville, VA? Such a grand old market town, fine edifices and civic structures, “Millionaire’s Row” of amazing homes, the whole place now gone down to so little. Beautiful, old historic granite bridge over the Dan River, closed rather than repaired, traffic signals removed due to no traffic, and I guess the maintenance and electricity cost.
If there’s ever a good reason to be there again, Danville would be one fine place to revitalize. They’re trying, but job loss gets in the way, again and again.
Is that the Worsham St, Wilson St. bridge? I remember seeing it when we were going through Danville a couple of months ago?
Yep, cross Craghead on Wilson on the downtown side in the old brick warehouse district to cross it, or you once did. Tall chain link fencing and a gate across the road now, with weeds and even trees starting to pop up through the pavement, and out on the bridge itself. That’ll bring it down in short order, tree roots. It’s pitiful.
I wasn’t that familiar with dark fired tobacco but did find a little information here http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/imagegallery.php?EntryID=T101 . Used to drive through the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, in the fall, and remember seeing the “smoking” barns. Thought they were being used to “smoke” meat but some of them could have been for tobacco.
Haven`t been to Danville,but have been al over Va,beautiful
towns all over the state.Lots of history,I love to visit
the Civil War sites that are all over the state
At one time we had 5 tobacco floors in our town in northern
mid-Tn.None now,all has to signed with a buyer with a promise to deliver the lbs on the contract
It`s a real gamble growing tobacco,as a matter of fact we
had a storm come through this afternoon.Blew a lot of
plants around.Gonna have to walk through trying to straighten `em tomorow.They`d be crooked by cutting time
otherwise and hard to spike and hang
I’ve got a third great uncle buried in a mass grave at the former Gordonsville Receiving Hospital. Miles Veroney Tuttle, NC 21st, Co. G.
You may know descendants of this same family, since several went over the mountains in 1792, just prior to TN statehood, initially in the vicinity of Giles County (Pulaski). One of them, William, the “black sheep” of the family, reportedly took up with a Cherokee woman and fathered a daughter, Dorcas. He was reportedly a teamster in the Revolution as a youth, his father Thomas played some mercantile role in supplying the local militia, and his brother, John, was a dragoon (mounted soldier). John is one of my fourth greats.
There are a lot of Tuttles here in Gallatin.I am about
40 miles from Gordonsville,never knew there is a civil
war history there. This was I suppose the aftermath of
the Battle of Murfreesboro.Next time I`m through there
going to find the site.
Good record keeping of your family history
Gordonsville, VA. Sorry for the confusion. I made reference to that after your mentioning your travels in VA and enjoying visiting the many Civil War historic sites there.