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?
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.
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