Skip to comments.Growing my own tobacco -I've had it with these prices! (A journal)
Posted on 06/21/2005 8:25:15 AM PDT by RandallFlagg
Since I have to get to bed, I'm just going to paste what I placed into the coffinnails.com forum. There's relevant questions inclused that I'll place on this thread if they get answered.
Day one -finally got my seeds!
Them things are SMALL! Sheesh! I had to fuzzy up the end of a Q-Tip to place them into the trays. Before I screw things up, there's a few questions I must ask. The 200 seeds I got are Dark Virginia. I'm doing 16 at a time.
Will the unused seeds keep for a while? I'd like to grow 'em in staggered stages. Will regular tap water work, or will I have to use distilled or rainwater? I have to used that kind for my Venus's Flytraps. Flourescent lighting. Will it work well for staggered stage growing year-round? Humidity? Someone told me that nicotine is a natural insect repellant. Is this true? Has anyone here saved the $$$ they expected to save? That's why I'm doing this. What's the best soil to use?
Luckily, there's a big place near my home called Paulino's Gardens, where I can find almost all the accessories I need for this venture of mine. I'll update on this thread as I go along.
OH! First entry: Got seeds three days ago and placed them on top of potting soil in 16-cube icetray container with holes in the bottom. Placed trays in my carnivorous plant terrarium that uses three 15-watt flourescent bulbs on a 18-hour timer. Sprayed and soaked with rainwater. Crossing my fingers.
Last question for the day: How long should it be before something actually grows?
I walked behind a mule every summer from the time I was around ten until I joined the Navy, I hoed cotton, picked cotton, carried fifty pound watermelons, carried burlap bags full of cantaloupes that weighed half my bodyweight, pulled one end of a two man crosscut saw and swung an axe in the winter but I never worked tobacco. From the descriptions I have heard of the tobacco field it may have been even worse than all the stuff I did.
12 gage? .22? Works for me. Watch the wind direction though.
A GOOD .22 rifle can be used by an experienced marksman shooting from a rest at fairly short distance to take out the brain but it takes skill, that is a very small target. A twelve gauge shotgun might do the same but unless you can be sure to destroy the brain stem it is better to let the skunk do as he will. A shot that doesn’t kill instantly will result in a tomato patch unfit to visit for a very long time. If you succeed in taking out the brain stem then you need to bury the animal or take it far away immediately. After a while the scent glands on a dead animal will start to leak and you don’t want to be around that.
Post Obama BUMP!!!
Fire for effect! Tobacco taxes are getting WAY out of hand. As some poster with more savy than me said: “I can’t believe this is the same Country that put tea bags over the side at a little Party in Boston!”
Thanks for this valuable link!
We oughta put some loose tobacco in envelopes and send ‘em to Washington with little notes in ‘em saying something like, “In this great country’s history, we went to war because of overtaxing a similar plant’s consumable leaves once..”
Ping to bookmark
My seeds came in last week!
Others who’ve posted on this thread might add to this list, but here’s what I have:
Small terrarium with flourescent growlamps for starting the seedlings indoors
Small Moss pots
Once transferred outdoors, I was using a digital timer for watering. Get some sevin dust, too. Critters just LOVE eating the leaves.
Last frost where I am is the end of May - so I’ll be starting indoors mid March.
I’ve got a nasty brown thumb but refuse to pay these taxes.
I’ll have enough tobacco for a year within the next few weeks, so I hope to be completely off the tax-grid next year.
Pop into this site and lend a hand on growing knowledge- would be greatly appreciated ;)
Boy, those seeds are teeny-tiny...
I messed that up - last frost is end of April ;)
This will be a learning process
Oh, look, an undead thread. LOL.
(Sad to see sheLion not posting)
Anyway, the trick with rats, mice, and other rodents - they can neither fart nor burp.
Yet, alksa-selter an ex lax are tempting treats...
So, the result is predictable.
Fun to read. Let me know how it goes this year.
Cigs in VA are about to be $50/carton, with the new federal excise tax.
And, of course, VA will charge sales tax on the excise tax.
So, the black market will grow.
Look for reimportation schemes to abound. That is where you buy tax exempt cigs for export (about $2/pack), ship them off shore, and smuggle them back in, to sell them for whatever you can get.
Good luck. Tobacco is a b**ch to grow, first rate pot is a comparative walk in the park. Never even considered indoor growing.
Yeah, the seeds are tiny. Tobacco is damned hard to mechanize. My experience bridges the transition from old style barns to flue-cured, which is virtually all tobacco today.
In the day, one started with the seed-bed, where the teeny seeds sprout. A garden-sized plot of TOTALLY sterilized soil will sprout enough plants for a 40 acre field. Then the planting hands put the sprouted plants out at about two foot spacing. I woudn’t count on the seeds being viable for more than the next season.
Now, after a summer of pulling “sucker shoots, we get to the “fun” part. The leaves mature from the bottom up, and have to be picked in that order, typically four leaves at a pass. The bottom “sand lugs” are useless, the upper leaves being what you smoke. One starts harvesting mid-August, process takes about a month to work up the stalk. In NC, this time of year is normally close to a hundred, and that is temperature as well as humidity. And don’t even dream of a breath of wind, if there were a light breeze, you would never feel it bent over between rows of 6 foot plants.
The real fun is that as one plucks the leaves de jour, one tucks them under the off arm. They are sticky with raw nicotine which absorbs nicely through the skin, and yes, evolutionarily, nicotine is a very effective natural insecticide. As Christopher Buckley described in his “Thank you for Smoking” fictional work, one can kill an adult by slapping on too many nicotine patches. Not at all uncommon for a picker to hit the end of a row, drop the leaves on the sled, and go puke, but please don’t take too long about it. Some farmers pay time, some pay production weight.
Now the real fun; Curing. Old days, hands literally twine tied leaves over a stick, which the barn-monkeys hung on racks in a 30 tall curing barn with a carefully tended slow fire keeping the heat up. Made for spectacular rural fires when the barn tender got drunk and went to sleep on the job.
Nowadays, it’s all flue-cured. You rack the leaves and shove them, close-packed into a little trailer where a propane burner keeps the temp at 130 degrees for a week or so. The racks of fresh leaf go in at over a 100 lbs, come out with all the water gone, but the nicotine is still on the leaf, which should be a nice golden toast shade. These are put into a tarp, each tarp holding about 220 lbs of dried leaf, which goes to the auction barn.
I feel safe in declaring tobacco production to be the most labor-intensive, most miserable work known to man. It didn’t take me long to decide I needed to develop sufficient saleable skills to avoid the tobacco fields for the rest of my natural life.
Good luck. I hear people are trying indoor growing, but I know nothing about how to make that work. Me, I will either pony up the cash or quit, but my tobacco-cultivating days are DONE!
Good luck? You must have me confused with someone else, I quit smoking 35 years ago and I have no intention of growing any kind of weed, legal or otherwise. I merely commented on the kind of hard work people used to do on the farm. My grandparents grew tobacco and cured it in a log barn that was still standing when I was a boy but I have never worked tobacco and never intend to.
My GF’s family still raises tobacco. The mex pickers wear long sleeve shirts working the rows, even in the heat and change shirts several times a day. One got nic sickness this summer and had to be hauled off the field. One of the farmers took him off and gave him something that got him back on his feet a couple of hours later.
That depends where in VA you are. The new Fed hike ads 6.10 to a carton. Here on the Shore most will still remain below $35 a carton, which is still a bucketload cheaper than just 8 miles up the road in MD.
We were gong to start building our "greenhouse" this weekend, but actual paying jobs got in the way of that endeavor, however, it will be built by next weekend.
Surplus windows against the south facing wall of our barn should do very nicely, and not just for my veggies, but for hubby's tobacco seeds.
Yeah, I am examing tax avoidance ideas - Not buying MB in FC, EG!
A thread dead nearly four years come back to life.
Figures - The Walking Dude is involved. :)
AH! What a koinkidink!
As I just walked into the door with my new 72 plant germination tray, you bumped this thread.
Do you know if the new tobacco taxes apply to sales of tobacco seedlings?
If so, it wouldn’t matter.
The seeds only run about $2.50 for a pack of around 50.
Once you buy them and grow, the plants make their own, and you never have to buy them again.
....sorry, but I just had to add this:
1 lb bag - $36.00
Sorry, but SheLion has passed away.
She would appreciate your bumping this thread, though.
So did you finish your first crop and grow more? How did it turn out?
God, do I miss our little redhead.
I didn’t know.I will miss her posts.
It’s about time to start thinking about starting our seed.
http://www.coffinails.com/index.html Best place I’ve found.
Get this book if you can find it.
Thanks for the link. I have not seen anywhere here in the Houston area anyone selling tobacco plants. I wonder if there would be a market for selling mature plants or cured tobacco leaves. I have an acre and a half I could use to plant and sell them.
I think you’d run in to trouble with the Feds if you tried to sell tobacco without paying the taxes.
I also believe 1/10th of an acre of tobacco is the legal growing limit for an individual (again, without paying taxes)
Been watching this thread a long time, it helped me out when I decided to grow my own.
It’s an interesting and informative thread.
And I’ve read just about enough on the Coakley / Brown race.
“Big Tobacco adds a lot of extra “stuff” that really isn’t necessary.”
All the shredded leaf that falls off the conveyor belts gets swept up at the end of each shift and put back into the system as “reconstituted tobacco”.
I hear ya.
I smoke Cigars ... that oughta be easier than cigarettes
Just gotta find some seeds
PPing - may give this a try.
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